Fergus drops home conference opener

By: 
Doreen Heintz
Sports Editor

Hanna Hayes eyes the bucket from behind the three-point line against Belgrade on Thursday.
Photos by Doreen Heintz

Ajiah Ross (15) works to get an inside position for a rebound against Belgrade’s Pipi Eitel with a Lady Panther shooting the free throw.

The inexperience of the varsity girls’ basketball team definitely showed up on Thursday night at the FHS Fieldhouse on Thursday. The Golden Eagles dropped their conference opener to a red-hot Belgrade club, 35-54. Fergus led only once in the contest when the Golden Eagles beat the full-court pressure of the Lady Panthers and Ajiah Ross laid the ball in the basket. Belgrade’s Krista Brown grabbed an offensive rebound, scored and was fouled. Brown hit the free throw to give the Lady Panthers a 3-2 lead, and Belgrade was never behind in the score again. Belgrade scored on another offensive rebound to take a 7-2 lead.
Both teams were hampered by fouls and turnovers, especially in the first half. The Golden Eagles had eight turnovers in the first eight minutes. Those turnovers contributed to several easy baskets for the Lady Panthers at their end of the court.
Belgrade led, 15-10, after the first quarter. At halftime, the Lady Panther’s lead stood at 24-16.
The Lady Panthers began pulling away from the Eagles in the third quarter. Belgrade went up 32-19 early in the third period. Fergus Coach Deena Wier called a timeout with 5:47 left in the third to attempt to get her team refocused. Haydn Potter responded with a bucket off an offensive rebound. She was fouled on the basket. Potter went to the line and sank her free throw to cut the Belgrade lead to 34-22. Later in the quarter Anna Zimmer hit a field goal, and just before the third quarter ended, Gracia Butcher added a 3-point bucket. Heading into the final eight minutes of play, Belgrade led, 36-27.
The Lady Panthers added 18 points in the final quarter and held the Golden Eagles to only 8 points in the period. The final score read: Belgrade 54, Fergus 35.
Free throws hampered the Golden Eagles throughout the contest as they were only able to make 9 of their 23 free-throw attempts.   
Kaitlyn Anderson and Ross led the Eagles on the offensive end of the court with 9 points each.

Overpowered by Miles City
On Tuesday, the Fergus girls’ team traveled to Miles City for a non-conference game against the Cowgirls of Custer County. Custer County won the contest, 53-43. Hanna Hayes led the offensive attack for the Golden Eagles with 13 points. Zimmer chipped in 10 points.

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