Lady Dogs fall to Ronan, Libby in District Tourney

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Kaiah Moore launches a baseline jumper against Ronan in the Northwest A District Tournament in Ronan Thursday.

The Lady Dogs gave it their all in their opening game of the District Tournament against Ronan, but couldn’t get the final buckets when they needed them.

Whitefish fell 48-42 in the close battle.

Tied 28 apiece heading into the fourth, Ronan got ahead for a nine-point lead for most of the quarter.

A Payton Kastella layup off Annisa Brown’s steal on the other end put it to six points, and a Hope Brown score on an inbound pass had the Lady Dogs within five with just 27 seconds to go.

The Maidens hit their free throws, however, to put Whitefish away.

Micalann McCrea scored a game-high 20 points for Ronan. Kaiah Moore and Kastella each had nine for the Lady Dogs.

Head coach Ben Johnson said he was proud of the way his girls fought to stay in the game against Ronan.

“The few little things we needed to do probably would’ve got us over the hump,” he said. “The effort, for being young, they do give max effort. It’s just a lack of a little bit better skills as we mature. It’ll be a whole lot different moving forward.”

The Lady Dogs also fell to Libby on Saturday in loser-out action, 44-21.

Ashton Ramsey was the team’s leading scorer with six points.

Jayden Winslow led Libby with 14.

Johnson said the team just started slow and couldn’t catch up after.

“We just really kind of forgot to get off the bus and they jumped on us. It was too big a deficit to try to return from at halftime,” he said.

The Lady Dogs end the season 2-18 overall, with one win to nine losses in Northwest A Conference play.

While the record isn’t great by any means, Johnson said it was a “good building season” and he’s excited to see what the returning players can do next year.

The team graduates two seniors, Annisa Brown and Baileigh Krause.

“The wins and losses don’t always show a lot of what happen within. All in all, great season,” Johnson said. “It should give them some pretty good confidence to build on and have a little more veteran presence next year.”

Ronan 10 9 9 20 — 48

Whitefish 3 15 10 14 — 42

Ronan — Micalann McCrea 20, Gabby Wirz 3, Tianna Ulutoa 1, Madison Clairmont 4, Regan Clairmont 12, Jealynn Askan 6, Madeline McCrea 2.

Whitefish — Hope Brown 8, Claire Carloss 1, Kaiah Moore 9, Ashton Ramsey 2, Annisa Brown 6, Payton Kastella 9, Marlee Bender 8.

Libby 14 4 8 18 — 44

Whitefish 2 0 7 12 — 21

Libby — Emma Gruber 2, Alli Collins 5, Jayden Winslow 14, Sammee Bradeen 2, Khalyn Hageness 8, Shayla Gallagher 3, Shanon Reny 8, Brooklyn Rainer 2.

Whitefish — Hope Brown 3, Kaiah Moore 3, Ashton Ramsey 6, Annisa Brown 2, Payton Kastella 4, Marlee Bender 3.

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