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Class A Girls Basketball
Sidney’s Alex Hammer (24) sets a pick on Polson’s Mariah Hamel (14) while Sidney’s Jordan Sullivan (30) drives to the basket during the first round of the State A girls’ basketball tournament on Thursday in Hamilton. Photo by David Erickson/Ravalli Republic

HAMILTON - Prior to her game, Lisa Laslovich was shaking during warm-ups, her legs trembling on the State A girls' basketball tournament stage at Dale Berry Court in Hamilton.

"I've never been this nervous in my life," the Anaconda senior said later. "I don't know what it was, I just don't know. It was weird."

Well, it didn't show - too much.

Laslovich, a speedy 5-foot-7 guard, shook off a couple early miscues and finished with 13 points, eight rebounds, five steals and three assists in the Copperheads 56-30 first round win over Havre on Thursday night.

"I feel good now," she said. "We just have to keep playing our game and keep our defense up where it's been."

Top-ranked Anaconda will face No. 3 Sidney in the semifinals Friday night at 8 p.m. The Eagles used a pair of late free throws to seal a 44-40 win over Polson to advance.

Anaconda 56, Havre 30

The two-time defending champion Copperheads jumped in front 8-0 after the first quarter against Havre. They limited the Blue Ponies to 0-for-8 shooting and forced four turnovers in that opening quarter alone.

Sophomore Jaclyn Evans scored the first Havre basket with 6:50 remaining in the second quarter to put the Blue Ponies on the scoreboard.

Anaconda maintained a big lead with Laslovich harassing Havre ball-handlers up front and Korey Krumm controlling the middle. They were up 23-9 at the half.

"Defensivley, we played a great game," Copperheads coach Maury Cook said. "Holding them to zero points in the first quarter and nine at the half was just huge for us."

Havre had a 28 percent shooting clip for the game and committed 17 turnovers - 11 in the first half.

"We just came out ready and we know we can't look over anybody so it's just one step at a time, one game at a time," Laslovich said.

Vanessa Jense added 12 points for Anaconda and Rachel Wagner chipped in nine.

Havre's Cassi Darrah scored 11 for the Blue Ponies, playing on bum ankle she rolled late in the first quarter.

Cook said Krumm's interior defense will be key in Friday's matchup with Sidney, where 6-2 senior and future Montana Lady Griz player Jordan Sullivan lurks.

"I think we have one of the best post defenders in the state," the seventh-year Anaconda coach said. "We'll sick Korey on her. We're going to have to limit Sullivan as much as possible."

Anaconda 8 15 20 13 - 56

Havre 0 9 15 6 - 30

ANACONDA - Cara McNeil 2-4 1-2 5, Lisa Laslovich 6-13 0-2 13, Rachel Wagner 3-7 3-4 9, Chelsea Galle 0-3 4-4 4, Korey Krumm 1-6 2-4 4, Jenna Brunell 1-2 0-0 3, Abby Stansberry 1-3 2-2 4, Vanessa Jense 4-6 2-3 12, Jayne Stergar 0-0 0-0 0, Jackie Verlanic 1-3 0-0 2, Lacey Knadler 0-0 0-0 0, Teryn Green 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 19-48 14-21 56.

HAVRE - Jaclyn Evans 2-3 3-4 9, Cassi Durrah 3-8 4-6 11, Cali Freler 0-2 0-0 0, Paighton Gilman 0-3 0-0 0, Hayley Donoran 3-9 0-0 6, Jenny Job 0-2 0-0 0, Ashlynn Van Voast 0-0 0-0 0, Kassala Holdsekv 0-1 0-0 0, Alaynna Gray 0-2 0-0 0, Shay Tatsey 1-2 2-2 4, Sammy Evans 0-0 0-0 0, Chris Mack 0-0 0-0. Totals 9-32 9-12 30.

3-point goals - Anaconda 4-16 (Jense 2-3), Havre 3-12 (Evans 2-3). Total fouls - Anaconda 11, Havre 15. Fouled out - none. Rebounds - Anaconda 32 (Laslovich 8), Havre 17 (Donoron 7). Turnovers - Anaconda 12, Havre 17.

Sidney 44, Polson 40

Sullivan sank a pair of free throws with nine seconds left to lead the Eagles into the semifinals.

She finished with 15 points, nine rebounds and four steals.

"We've had close games most of the year and just kept our composure," Sidney coach Jon Skinner said. "We made some free throws at the very end, obviously I would have liked to hit some of those early ones, to save me some sweat, though."

The Eagles clanged the front end of three trips to the foul line in the final 1:30, shooting in the bonus.

With 24 seconds left, Sidney's Kayla Lake hit 1 of 2 in the double bonus to make it 42-38, but Polson's Riley Kenney scored on a put-back with 12 seconds remaining to make it 42-40 - the closest the Pirates had been since early in the second quarter.

Sullivan received the inbound pass and was fouled with 8.9 left, setting up her game-sealing free throws.

"You know, I really wasn't nervous, just like my whole life, step up and hit them," Sullivan said.

She scored nine of Sidney's 11 points in the fourth quarter, where Polson stormed back after trailing 41-29 with just four minutes to go.

The Eagles had held Polson to just a bucket in the second quarter to take control of the game in the first half. The Pirates lone bucket came on a steal and drive from senior Nicole Davey with 40 seconds left in the half.

"You can't just score two points in any period here and expect to be there in the end," Polson coach Randy Kelley said. "But I'm proud of the girls for charging back."

Junior Breanne Kelley tallied 13 points and sophomore Riley Kenney added 11 for Polson. Davey finished with 10 points and eight boards.

Junior Alex Hammer added eight points to compliment Sullivan, who said Sidney's work is just getting started.

"It's like, ‘Wow, we're in the final four,' " she said. "But we didn't come here to make it the final four, we came here to win it."

Polson 11 2 12 15 - 40

Sidney 11 11 11 11 - 44

POLSON - Kendyall Rochin 0-1 0-0 0, Macall Banner 0-0 0-0 0, Mariah Hamel 1-4 1-2 3, Breanne Kelly 4-8 5-7 13, Riley Kenney 3-7 5-5 11, Kayla Duford 0-3 0-0 0, Nicole Davey 5-12 0-2 10, Heidi Rausch 0-1 3-4 3. Totals 13-36 14-20 40.

SIDNEY - Kodi Satra 1-2 1-2 3, Kayla Lake 0-1 1-3 1, Alex Hammer 3-3 2-4 8, Jordan Sullivan 6-12 3-3 15, Janae Moore 3-8 0-2 6, Megan Johnson 2-5 0-0 4, Whitney Thiel 3-4 0-0 7. Totals 18-35 7-14 44.

3-point goals - Polson 0-3, Sidney 1-5 (Thiel 1-1). Total fouls - Polson 15, Sidney 16. Fouled out - Johnson. Rebounds - Polson 24 (Davey 8), Sidney 24 (Sullivan 9). Turnovers - Polson 19, Sidney 16.

 

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