Winnett-Grass Range earn quarter-final win over Ennis

By: 
Doreen Heintz
Sports Editor

Winnett-Grass Range’s Taylor Stahl scores on a layup in the Lady Rams’ win over Ennis on Thursday. Stahl had 18 points in the victory.      Photo courtesy of Ann Stahl

A 3-point basket by Sydney Browning put the first points on the scoreboard for Winnett-Grass Range in the Lady Rams’ first game at the Class C State Girls’ Basketball Tournament in Butte. At the 2:12 mark of the first quarter, Ennis got on the scoreboard on two free throws by Danyel Martin, but the Lady Mustangs never were able to take the lead in the opening-round matchup. By the end of the first quarter, the Lady Rams held a 9-4 lead on their way to a 45-29 win.
Back-to-back baskets by Taylor Stahl in the second period gave the Lady Rams a double-digit lead, 14-4. Stahl went on to finish the game with a team-high 18 points. Another Browning 3-pointer, this one from 23 feet at the buzzer, gave the Lady Rams a 23-11 lead at halftime.
Ennis opened the second half with a 3-point bucket, but Winnett-Grass Range’s de-fense kept the Lady Mustangs at bay. Brynn Jolma had two baskets in the third quarter. At the end of three, Winnett-Grass Range led, 29-22.
A field goal and layup by Stahl to begin the fourth quarter pushed the Lady Rams’ advantage to 36-22. At the 3:23 mark of the fourth quarter, two free throws by Piper Johnson upped the lead to 40-25. When Stahl grabbed an offensive rebound, was fouled and hit both free throws at the 1:37 mark, both coaches cleared their benches to give some playing time to the younger players. Winnett-Grass Range came away with the win, 45-29.
Winnett-Grass Range converted 16 of 18 free throws (89 percent) in the contest. Joining Stahl in double figures was Browning with 11 points. Johnson added 9 points and Jolma finished the game with 6 points. Tia Stahl added 1 point.
Jolma was a workhorse on the defensive boards. She ended the game with a team-high 11 rebounds, 10 coming on defense. Johnson had two of her team’s five assists.
The win moved the Lady Rams into a Friday night semi-final showdown against Plentywood. Earlier in the day, Box Elder scored an overtime 62-59 win over Twin Bridges. The Lady Bears faced Froid-Medicine Lake in the other Friday night semi-final game. Froid-Medicine Hat defeated Harlowton-Ryegate, 60-39, in the first game of the tournament.

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