Cowboys, Cowgirls fall in Hardin

Derrick Calhoun Star Staff Writer
Tuesday, February 11, 2020

The Custer County District High School Cowboys and Cowgirls basketball teams fought hard but ultimately lost in Hardin on Saturday. Both teams were unable to overcome the size and shooting of the Hardin High School Bulldogs boys and girls teams.

The Cowboys lost 74-58 and the Cowgirls lost 73-30.

The Cowboys managed to keep things even after one quarter, tying Hardin 19-19, but the second quarter was all Bulldogs. The Bulldogs outscored the Cowboys 18-10 in the second, taking a 37-29 lead into halftime. The 8-point lead was anything but insurmountable though, and the Cowboys would stick in the fight throughout the second half. Unfortunately Hardin was able to pull away little by little, eventually coming away with the 16-point win.

“We played pretty solid against the best team in the state,” Cowboys head coach Houston Finn said. “We had the lead numerous times in the first half but just couldn’t keep it rolling for the whole 32 minutes. We are doing some really good things on both sides of the ball and we are going to keep getting better.”

The Cowboys used hot shooting to stay in the game, connecting on 11-26 threepoint attempts, knowing that the size of Hardin would give the Bulldogs the advantage in the paint.

The Cowboys were outscored in the paint 38-10.

Saturday’s loss was a far cry from December’s blowout win by Hardin, in Miles City, showing how much the Cowboys have worked to slow the gap between the two teams. Hardin beat the Cowboys 77-34 at home on December 12, and the game was never close.

“It’s been kind of a crazy year, we have had sickness, injuries, an odd schedule, but our guys are over comers and we are finding a little bit of a rhythm down the stretch.”

As for the Cowgirls, they have been playing their best basketball of the season, according to head coach Abbie Reynolds, clicking in ways that they haven’t all season. Unfortunately for them their progress came right when their schedule decided to get the most difficult.

“Mentally, it’s hard going into a game knowing you’re playing one of the toughest teams in the state,” Reynolds said. “I’m proud of them for showing up. I wish we would have worked a little harder because I think we could have done a better job, but at the end of the we gave improved dramatically since the beginning of the year so I am just happy about that.”

Reynolds credited the size and shooting of Hardin for their success against the Cowgirls over the weekend.

“I think against a team like Hardin, their size has everything to do with it, but what killed us were their three-pointers,” she said. “They are incredible shooters and our girls just weren’t getting out to them on time.”

Once again though, Reynolds stressed that her team has improved each time they have played a team, always showing improvement in rematches, and to her that is a “great success”.

The Cowboys and Cowgirls will be back in action tonight, as the Cowboys host Baker High School in Miles City and the Cowgirls travel to Baker to take on the girls team from Baker High School. Tip off for both games will be at 7 p.m.

(Contact Derrick Calhoun at mcsportsreporter@gmail.com or at 406-234-0450.)

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