The Libby High School girls basketball team were routed by Frenchtown at home on Friday, Feb. 2.
The low-scoring game began with an action-filled first quarter, as the Lady Loggers and Lady Broncs vied back and forth for dominance. Then, in the final minutes of the half, Libby pulled ahead, while allowing Frenchtown to score only twice in the quarter.
After the half, the Lady Broncs defense responded, but the Lady Loggers also missed some opportunities. The single Libby point for the third quarter was from senior Shannon Reny.
While the third quarter may have bolstered Frenchtown, it far from decided the game, and left the teams tied 19-19.
Libby Head Coach Wally Winslow acknowledged how draining a quarter without a single field goal can be on a team.
“If the ball doesn’t go in, you lose your energy. The kids kind of feel out of it, frustrated. When you take some shots, make some shots, you feel good.” he said. “You wish that wouldn’t affect their emotions and their state of mind as much as it does, but it does.”
In the final quarter, the game turned on free throws, with each team only taking one field goal each. With a minute left, victory for Frenchtown remained uncertain as they led Libby 24-23.
But Frenchtown’s Megan Delaney made full use of two fouls against her in the final seconds, solidifying the Lady Broncs’ 28-23 win.
Winslow gave both credit and responsibility evenly, acknowledging the missed shots throughout the game, but also the Lady Logger defense that kept Frenchtown from pulling too far ahead.
“We can defend pretty good, and that’s good. That can’t ever change,” he said. “We’ll be in ball games, but if we’re gonna win ball games, you have to get the ball in the hole.
“And you know, it’s not for want. The girls are trying hard and trying to do the right thing, and sometimes they just don’t go,” he said. “Hopefully we can get that figured out, both from a player and and a coaching standpoint, over the next couple weeks.”
As Libby heads into the postseason, Winslow said the focus is on moving forward.
“It’s certainly not going to get any better if you put your head in the sand, so you gotta keep working at it, both from a coaching standpoint and from a player standpoint,” he said.
Frenchtown 28, Libby 23
Frenchtown: 6 5 8 9 - 28
Libby: 5 13 1 4 - 23
Frenchtown: Meg Delaney 9 points, 4-4 FT; Liv Williams 6 points, 6-9 FT; Kylie Willett 9 points, 3-4 FT; Syd Channer 1 points, 1-2 FT; Kaja Shelton 3 points
Libby: Alli Collins 3 points, 3-4 FT; Jayden Winslow 7 points, 2-4 FT; Shannon Reny 11 points, 3-6 FT; Brooklyn Rainer 2 points