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By Jack H. Smith
Three Forks Voice 

Wolves finish second at Districts

 

February 26, 2020

Melissa Jenkins

Ashlyn Swenson gets by her defender at the 5B Tournament.

The Three Forks High School girls basketball team is headed back to the Southern B Divisional Tournament.

The third-seeded Wolves finished second at last week's 5B District Tournament. Three Forks won two at the tournament with an opening-round 54-46 win over rival Manhattan and a 36-25 semifinal win over second-seeded Whitehall. Three Forks lost a hard-fought battle in the finals 45-34 to undefeated and top-seeded Big Timber.

The Wolves will open the Southern B Divisional March 5 at 6:30 p.m. against Roundup in a game at the MetraPark Arena in Billings.

OPENING ROUND

The Wolves used a strong fourth-quarter performance to come away with a 54-46 win over the Tigers.

Kendall Lynn and Ashlyn Swenson both had big nights for Three Forks who outscored the Tigers 17-9 in the final quarter. Lynn led the team with 19 and Swenson added 15 on five-three pointers.

Following the game, Head Coach Mike Sauvageau said his team kept getting the lead and Manhattan came back and was able to get the lead on them a couple of times. He added them were able to get off a couple of quick baskets in a row in the fourth, made some free throws, and were able to hold off the Tigers.

Sauvageau praised the play of Lynn who he said had a great night, Swenson, Kinzee Howey who he said had her best game in a while and Erin Welter on defense.

"It was a good night for our whole team," he said.

It was a slow start offensively with both teams scoreless for the first three minutes of the game. After the Tigers scored the points of the game at the 4:48 mark, Three Forks would answer back with two consecutive threes by Swenson to take a 6-2 lead. Manhattan would score the next five before Lynn drilled a three to give the Wolves a 9-7 lead. Manhattan would answer right back on a three from Madeline Severson to take a 10-9 late in the quarter.

Three Forks would start strong in the second quarter scoring the first five points of the quarter on two free throws from Breanna Bloch and a three from Kinzee Howey to take a 14-10 lead. The Tigers stormed right back with six straight points to take a two-point lead. Keaton Lynn would score the next four to help Three Forks retake an 18-16 lead. They would push the lead to 21-17 on another three from Swenson, her third of the first half. The back and forth battle would continue with Manhattan scoring the next four to tie the game at 21-21. Two Lily Jones free throws would put the Wolves up late in the half, but Manhattan would score the final three points of the half to take a 24-23 lead into halftime.

After falling behind 26-25 early in the third, Three Forks would quickly take a 30-26 lead after a three-pointer from Swenson and a basketball by Kendall Lynn. The Wolves would take their biggest lead of the game so far, 35-29, after another Swenson three and a Kendall Lynn free throw. Manhattan would outscore the Wolves 6-2 in the final two minutes of the quarter to cut the lead to 37-35 going into the final quarter.

Three Forks would score the first five of the quarter on a Kendall Lynn basket and another three from Swenson.

Keaton Lynn added eight for the Wolves, and Howey had four. Breanna Bloch and Page had three, and Lily Jones added one point.

SEMIFINALS

Three Forks used a dominant second-half performance Friday night at the 5B District Tournament on their way to a 36-25 win over second-seeded Whitehall.

Following the game, Sauvageau said things didn't start out well and Whitehall came out with a lot of intensity and they could not get a shot off.

"It wasn't looking good, but we were able to get into our offense, they settled down, Kendall (Lynn) hit some shots, and hit a couple of free throws," he said. "Our starters did a good job, everyone on the bench did great. We had eight girls' score. That was definitely a team win," he said.

It was a back and forth affair in the first half with Whitehall racing out to a 9-2 lead late in the first quarter. Trailing 9-4, Three Forks would open the second quarter on a 7-0 run to take an 11-9 lead. Jada Clarkson would score the next four for the Trojans to put them up 13-11. Kendall Lynn would score the final points of the half with two free throws to send the game tied at 13 going into the break.

The Wolves came out of the gates strong in the second half scoring the first nine of the third quarter to take a 22-13 lead. Whitehall would cut the lead to 23-18 in the final seconds of the quarter, but Lynn was able to connect with time running out in the quarter to give Three Forks a 25-18 lead.

Melissa Jenkins

Lynn led a well-balanced Three Forks scoring attack with nine. Swenson had seven, Lily Jones finished with six, Keaton Lynn and Howey each had four, Peyton Page added three, McKenzie Feddes had two and Bloch added one.

FINALS

Big Timber would lead by just three (11-8) going into the second quarter and increased the lead to 26-18 at the half.

Three Forks chipped away at the lead in the third quarter and a Swenson three with two seconds lead cut the lead to 30-29.

The Wolves would take their first lead of the game at 32-32 on a Kendall Lynn jumper with 6:25 remaining.

With Three Forks in the lead 34-32, the Herders would close out the game on a 13-0 run.

Kendall Lynn led the team in scoring with 18. Bloch added seven.

 

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