GIRLS EARN THIRD AT STATE

The 2015-16 girls basketball season ends on high note.

Aubrey Stevens, Multimedia Staff

The girls basketball team beat Minico 51-46 on Feb. 20 to earn the third-place trophy at the 4A state tournament.

The team opened the tournament with a 47-30 win over Burley, but lost to eventual state champion Century 41-28 in the semifinals.

For the senior girls who have been on varsity the past few seasons it was a bittersweet outcome, but head coach Duane Ward believes it was a good ending.

“It gives them fond memories for a long time and leaves them knowing they set the standard for the younger players with the legacy they left,” Ward said. “Younger players learned from leaving seniors.”

Ward said a tough regular season prepared the team for their trip to state. The girls finished 15-10, but were 4-0 in league play and beat Moscow for the regional championship.

“Playing 5A throughout the regular season helped by increasing our level of play before we entered the state tournament,” Ward said. “Most of our girls have been in state competition in basketball or other sports, so they were prepared for that level of competition.”

With a young and talented group returning next year consisting of Taylor Ward, Audrey Mattila, Danika Tomazich, Katherine Kaul, Cali Laiborne, Grace Kirscher, and Grace Hicks, Ward believes the team has a good chance to return to the state tournament again next year.

The senior included Madi Schoening, Riley Couch, Cheri-lyn Darrah, BreLyn Converse and Paige DuMars. Schoening, who was the league’s MVP, has signed to play basketball at the University of Montana.