The term streaky continues to define the 2013-14 season for the Custer County District High School Cowgirls.
The Cowgirls won their first two games of the season, but then lost their first five games of January. With a dominant 58-32 win over Dickinson, N.D., last night, the Cowgirls have now won their last four games.
“We’ve talked and talked about what we’re capable of doing as a team,” Cowgirls Head Coach Jacqui Engstrom said. “And tonight we finally came out and played like we’re capable of.”
The Cowgirls (6-5, 4-2) took control of the game early, and didn’t trail after the 3:34 mark of the first quarter. The Cowgirls avenged a 44-39 loss to Dickinson earlier this month.
“They played so well,” Engstrom said. “No one skipped a beat. Anyone on the bench came in and played just as well. Our defense was tremendous, we took care of the ball and all around, it was a great game for the girls.”
The Cowgirls led 13-9 after the first quarter and scored the first six points of the second quarter to push their lead to 19-9. After Dickinson cut the lead to five, the Cowgirls ended the first-half on a 9-2 run that gave them a 28-16 lead going into the halftime break.
Coming out of the halftime break, the Cowgirls came out firing. They opened the quarter on an 11-2 run and outscored the Lady Midgets 15-4 in the third.
In the second and third quarters, the Cowgirls outscored the Lady Midgets 30-11, thanks in large part to their effective full-court press defense.
“We have some quick guards and we take advantage of it,” Engstrom said. “When we’re smart, we can force a lot of turnovers. It’s definitely one of our strengths.”
Shaylee Singleton and Tori Swope each had four steals and Beth Sutter had three.
For the game, the Cowgirl defense held the Lady Midgets (2-8) to just 19 percent shooting from the field and forced 19 turnovers, while turning the ball over just nine times themselves.
Offensively, the Cowgirls shot 35 percent from the field and were a solid 13-19 from the line in the second half.
Singleton and Sutter each had 11 points to lead the Cowgirls. Makena Ellingson and Amy Blaquiere each had eight points. Kadie Heinle finished with four points, but had five blocked shots.
Heinle and Blaquiere have been pivotal in the Cowgirls four-game stretch, giving the Cowgirls constent play in the post.
“They’ve come so, so far,” Engstrom said. “The push each other every day in practice and that’s fun to watch. They help each other out. Whether they’re on the bench or in the game, they’re talkikng to each other. The guards are getting the ball into them and have a lot of confidence in them. It’s really coming together for them.”
Dickinson eighth-grader Raegan Linster led the Lady Midgets with 11 points.
The Cowgirls have a few days off before traveling to Billings to play Class AA Billings Senior on Friday night. They will get back into Eastern A play on Saturday night when they host Glendive at 7:30 p.m.
Miles City 58, Dickinson 32
Dickinson 9 7 4 12 - 32
Miles City 13 15 15 15 - 58
Miles City (6-5, 4-2)- Tori Swope 6, Shaylee Singleton 11, Beth Sutter 11, Ashlie Larson 5, Kadie Heinle 4, Makena Ellingson 8, Amy Blaquiere 8, Jenna Swope, Jaylen Henderson 4.
Dickinson (2-8)- Avery Privratsky 4, Sydney Gangl 2, Meryl Kovacs 4, Riley Cooper 6, RIana Cooper 5, Raegan Linster 11.