Wolves battle to the final whistle at Districts
February 22, 2023
Following a season-ending 44-29 loss at the 5B District Basketball Tournament to Jefferson, first-year Head Coach Lacy Noble praised her two seniors, Bri Warren and Brielle Davis. With a young roster this season, Noble also had her eye on next season and returning a wealth of experience.
"My seniors have been the best leaders all season. Bri and Brielle took our young sophomores under their wings and helped them. They showed them and modeled them to a basketball behavior I admire," Noble said.
Fourth-seeded Three Forks opened the tournament with a 44-39 loss to fifth-seed Townsend on Thursday at the Belgrade Events Center and were eliminated after the Saturday loss in a game played at Manhattan High School.
Down 23-10 at halftime Saturday, Three Forks would come roaring back in the third quarter. Maddie Tesoro opened the half with six straight points, cutting it to 23-16. The Wolves would pull as close as 25-20 after four consecutive points from Eva Parker. The Panthers outscored Three Forks 7-2 to close the quarter and took a 32-22 lead into the fourth.
"They gave full effort today. I could not be prouder of them. I know they were playing hard. I know they were battling. They kept their heads up today," said Noble. "This group got their toes wet this season, and I think they are ready to wade in knee-deep next year. They are going to be out for wins. They know what it takes to win. In the offseason, they are going to put in a lot of time. They are passionate for the game and competitive. I think they are going to learn so much from this experience and be a lot more mature group next year."
Tesoro led the team in scoring against Townsend with 11 points. Parker finished with six, Tanaya Hauser had five, and Fallon Page finished with three. Davis and Warren each had two.
It was a low-scoring first quarter, with the Wolves taking a 6-0 lead early after consecutive three-pointers from Hauser and Page. Townsend would score the next five before Bella Jones ended the scoring in the first quarter, giving the Three Forks an 8-5 lead going into the second.
The Bulldogs came out strong in the second quarter taking a 17-11. The Wolves would battle back and pull into within 22-21 after two Hauser three throws to close out the half.
The third was once again a low-scoring affair, with Townsend building a 28-22 lead before Page ended the scoring in the third with a three-pointer with 1:40 remaining to cut the lead to 28-25.
Townsend would push the lead to as big as 39-30 before the Wolves came storming back and cut the lead to as close as 42-39 after two three-pointers from Tesoro and another from Hauser.
After a Bulldog free throw, Three Forks could not connect on two three-point attempts in the final minute.
Hauser led the team in scoring with a game-high 12. Tesoro was also in double figures with 10, and Page finished with six. Parker had four, Jones and Warren finished with two, and Rowan added one.
Following the game, Noble said it was not their best game finishing six of 19 from the free throw line and committing 25 turnovers.
"Free throws...the bane of our existence all season," said Noble. "But then when we did get a rebound, we ended it with a turnover or we would get it to a bunny and then we'd bobble it and miss the bunny. Just not our best basketball."