It was a thrilling start to conference play for the Three Forks High School Girls' Basketball team.
After building a 36-27 lead at the end of three-quarters last Friday night at Whitehall, the Wolves would see their lead dissipate and fell behind 45-43 late in the fourth. Maddie Tesoro would step up big time for Three Forks, and her three-pointer with under a minute left would be the game's final points in the 46-45 victory.
"I am so grateful the girls got the conference win, and it was on the road, which is something I think we struggled with the first few games," Head Coach Lacy Noble said.
Following the dagger from Tesoro, Whitehall would have an opportunity to win the game, but a Maxine Hoagland shot from the top of the key rimmed out as time expired.
Noble said the defense they used at the end was a risk and was glad it paid off.
"It was pretty exciting, and I told the girls that they made it exciting for the crowd," Noble said.
With Tesoro hitting the shot moments after committing a turnover, Noble was impressed with the bounce back play from the freshman, who had a game-high 15 points.
"I told all the girls in the last minute that we are going to have to play with a maturity beyond our years, and Maddie continues to impress me. I am okay with mistakes if they can just turn around and play through them, and so far, Maddie is playing with a maturity that is unmatched in a lot of freshmen," Noble said.
It was also a big game for Fallon Page, who finished with 12, including two three-pointers in the first quarter. Bri Warren and Eva Parker finished with seven, and Brielle Davis added five.
"Our ball movement was a little bit better, and we were a little more patient on offense," said Noble. "We got a few offensive boards and scored off of them, and I think that is something we need to do more of. We were oversized, but Eva (Parker) got some key rebounds in there, and we had some nice passing. We're going to be outsized every time, but when we can score against teams in the key, those points are going to be huge for us," Noble said.
In their home opener Saturday against Big Timber, the Wolves fell 55-21.
Page led the team in scoring with seven, and Tesoro added four. Tanaya Hauser, Parker, Kylie Rowan, and Judd each finished with two points.
After a December 20 home game against Jefferson, Three Forks will have a break until a January 6 game at Manhattan.
Noble said she would like to see the team continue to work on their press.
"I have a little team, and I want to go after other teams. I want them to have confidence and the smarts. We cannot be fouling when we press," she said.