Herders top Whitehall for first win

Breathe in. Exhale. There’s one. 

The Sweet Grass County girls’ basketball team scored its first win of the season, in what it hopes will lead to a string of more victories after winter break, with a 53-34 decision against Whitehall on Dec. 19. 

Senior guard Madilyn Emter drained a career-high four 3-pointers and amassed 17 points while helping the Herders (1-5, 1-2 District 5B) to the yearly milestone. Sydney Prather, who found herself in foul trouble early, posted 17 more points — 15 of which came in the latter half — to add to the scoring. 

Head coach Kim Finn said it wasn’t anything special or extraordinary that helped the Herders find the mark in the ‘W’ column. Just good, ol’ fashioned basketball. 

“We played very focused, and we just made more shots,” Finn said. “Turnovers were limited, with just 13 as a team, we hit more outside shots and just stayed focused a little bit more. We knew in our minds we were going to win, and we did.”

On paper, and on the court, it was a sound game for the Herders to end on. Emter, along with a career night, had a 3-1 assist-to-turnover ratio, which helped immensely in the Herder’s favor. Her nine assists, coupled with 12 more from the team as well, proved to the Herders they have a winning formula. 

Jaylea Lunceford found six more points, all in the second quarter, and paired with Prather’s 17, the inside game continues to be working, while still a work in progress. 

But that’s what the season is about for the girls’ team, as it is with just about any team in any sport: Progress. Coaches preach if more often than anything else in practice. So, as the turnover numbers fall, and the assists rise, the Herders can — and will — remain confident. 

For more of this story, pick up a copy of this week’s Big Timber Pioneer on newsstands now, or subscribe online at bigtimberpioneer.net.

PHOTO CAPTION: Madilyn Emter (22) drives in for a contested layup against Three Forks defenders on Dec. 16 at home. (STEPHEN KALB-KOENIGSFELD / Big Timber Pioneer)




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