SGHS still seeking winning recipe

The girls’ basketball team is still seeking the right formula that will get it not only its first win, but sustain it throughout the rest of the season. 

In back-to-back losses to Fairfield (45-39) and Anaconda (48-41) at the Three Forks tournament Dec. 8 and 9, the Herders were constantly fighting out of holes and searching for a few more points to nail down that winning recipe. A dash of free throws here, some points off turnovers there, and the Herders could be looking at a pair of wins instead. 

But youth and inexperience will continue to be the battle fought among themselves as the Herders (0-3) still seek that first win. Head coach Kim Finn said it’ll come, but not before a few more growing pains. 

“It was a really similar game to the Columbus one,” Finn said. “We had stretches where we were doing a lot of things right, then we’d lose focus, then we’d regain focus and lose it again. We’re just not maintaining focus throughout the entire game, but hopefully it will come later in the season.”

Sydney Prather continued to be the leading scorer for SGHS, as she was in the Columbus game. Prather found 19 points against Fairfield and 14 more against Anaconda the following night. Prather also recorded her first double-double of the season against Anaconda with 13 rebounds, two steals and two assists. 

Madilyn Emter dished out five assists to lead the team in the seven-point loss to Anaconda, and four more in the loss to Fairfield. She also recorded four steals. 

Finn said even some of the senior players are having to adjust to new roles on the team this year, and that in itself will take some time to get used to. But what’s been the most successful item in the Herders’ arsenal isn’t always the easiest thing to learn. 

“They’re playing hard, every game. Their hustle is great,” Finn said. “We could have two, three, four possessions not go our way, and they’re still hustling. That’s why we’ve been in some of these games. They’re just so coachable and now we just need to get confident with what we’re doing.”

A willingness to listen and understand what’s not going well can’t be taught on the floor or in drills. What can be taught is discipline at the free-throw line.

Collectively, the Herders 17-for-29 from the charity stripe in the two games last weekend. That’s a stat that didn’t sit well with Finn, who normally prides herself on the team’s free-throw shooting ability. Conditioning in practice while shooting free throws will continue to be imperative in the Herders hope to close out close games like the three they’ve seen so far this year. 

If they can forge on the path they’re on while adding in some skill points and hunker down on the focus front, the Herders just might make the perfect concoction. 

Next up will be a road trip to Townsend to take on Broadwater at 6 p.m. on Dec. 15 before coming home Dec. 16 and playing Three Forks at 6:30 p.m.

PHOTO CAPTION: Ella Holman (24) takes a jump shot against Columbus on Dec. 2 in Big Timber.  (Pioneer File Photo)

By STEPHEN KALB-KOENIGSFELD / Pioneer Staff Writer

 

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