Thompson Drives

Manhattan Christian’s Rylie Thompson, left, tries to drive around Ennis’ Landri Paladichuk during Saturday’s consolation game.

BUTTE — Taylor DeVries provided the early fireworks with a pair first quarter 3-pointers. But it wound up being the only offensive production of the first half for Manhattan Christian Saturday evening.

The Eagles made just two field goals — DeVries’ 3-pointers — and scored just seven first half points. That lack of production, as well as a stifling Ennis defense, led to a 45-23 loss in the consolation game of the Western C Divisional tournament.

“We had a real struggle putting it in the hole,” Christian coach Jeff Bellach said. “We struggled to put it in the basket and that’s all there is to it.”

Post Play

Manhattan Christian's Eliana Kuperus, left, looks to get off a shot in the paint Saturday evening as Ennis' Alyssa West defends.

 

Ennis (20-4) rallied to take a 7-6 lead into the second quarter on a bucket by Amanda Russell, and then scored the next 18 points to break the game open.

“The biggest thing was the defensive effort. That set the tone from the start. They hit two tough threes to start the game and they got the lead there,” Ennis coach Jordan Overstreet said. “But after we settled in and chased DeVries off the three-point line we were pretty solid defensively.”

Whitney McKitrick did much of the damage for the Mustangs, scoring nine of those points, including a pair of 3-pointers. The senior eventually finished with a game-high 26 and grabbed eight rebounds.

“Whitney McKitrick, she’s a stud. That bomb she hit in the second quarter, that really got her going. She was probably 28, 30 feet out there,” said Overstreet. “And then after she hits those two threes she’s just able to ball fake and get to the rim at will.”

Ennis took a 25-7 lead into halftime and then stretched it to as many as 26 in the second half. Jourdain Klein reached double figures with 11 points, while Landri Paladichuk tallied a game-high nine rebounds.

Overstreet noted it was a bittersweet moment late in the game when he pulled his starters and shared hugs with his seniors.

Shot Blocker

Ennis' Jourdain Klein, blocks a second half shot attempt by Manhattan Christian's Kelsey Heidema Saturday in Butte.

“If that’s our last game, I mean, it was a pretty awesome season. To go 20-4 and only losing to one Class C school (Arlee on Thursday), that would be a bummer not to make the state tournament,” he said. “But if that was their last game I’m sure as heck proud of those girls.”

The Mustangs needed Arlee to beat Charlo in the championship game in order to force a challenge game on Monday. But Charlo rallied with a late 3 to force overtime and then won 60-55.

Christian (12-12) loses just three seniors to graduation — Jillian Frye, Kelsey Heidema, and Alexa VanDyken — and will return four of its five starters. That includes DeVries, who led the Eagles with six points and a steal in the loss.

“I think it was great to get to Saturday night. I feel good about that,” said Bellach. “I feel like we have a good young team to keep building on. We came a long way this year.”

The Eagles reached the consolation game with a loser-out victory against Seeley-Swan Saturday morning. Led by game-high 14 points from DeVries, Christian posted a 56-31 victory.

Kiersten Van Kirk and Heidema combined for 20 points and 11 rebounds, while Eliana Kuperus added a game-high eight rebounds and four points in the contest.

Manhattan Christian 56, Seeley-Swan 31

Christian                   10  16  13  17  -  56

Seeley-Swan               3  14   7    7   -  31

MANHATTAN CHRISTIAN (12-11) - Jillian Frye 1 0-0 3, Taylor DeVries 5 0-0 14, Hope Kenney 0 2-4 2, Alexa VanDyken 1 0-0 3, Eliana Kuperus 2 0-2 4, Kellie Van Kirk 0 1-2 1, Madelyn Liudahl 0 0-0 0, Kelsey Heidema 4 1-3 9, Ryiie Thompson 1 6-6 8, Kiersten Van Kirk 3 4-5 11, Megan Leep 0 0-0 0, Natalie Walhof 0 1-2 1. Totals: 18 14-24 56.

SEELEY-SWAN (16-7) - Terra Bertsch 2 0-0 4, Autumn Morse 2 3-8 8, Ashley Miller 1 4-4 7, Kara Good 0 0-0 0, Sariah Maughan 1 0-0 3, Bethany Hoag 0 2-2 2, Jory Towe 0 0-0 0, Lily Mercer 1 2-4 4, Aspen Conley 0 0-0 0, Laurn Barnes 0 3-4 3, Taylor Dilree 0 0-0 0, Kinley Moore 0 0-0 0. Totals: 7 14-22 31.

3-point goals: MC 6 (DeVries 4, Frye 1, VanDyken 1), SS 3 (Bertsch 2, Morse 1).

Ennis 45, Manhattan Christian 27

Ennis 7  18  12  8  -  45

Christian 6  1  10  6  -  23

ENNIS (20-4) – Jenna Snider 1 0-0 3, Joree Hokanson 0 0-2 0, Shae Lovett 0 0-0 0, Lander Paldichuk 0 1-2 1, Whitney McKitrick 8 8-10 26, Shelby Klein 0 0-0 0, A. Russel 2 0-0 4, Jourdain Klein 5 1-4 11, Bronwyn Comer 0 0-0 0, A. West 0 0-0 0, C. Hillton 0 0-0 0. Totals: 16 10-18 45.

MANHATTAN CHRISTIAN (12-12) – Jillian Frye 1 2-2 4, Taylor DeVries 2 0-0 6, Hope Kenney 0 0-4 0, Alexa VanDyken 0 0-0 0, Eliana Kuperus 1 0-0 2, Kellie Van Kirk 0 0-0 0, Madelyn Liudahl 0 2- 4 2, Kelsey Heidema 0 1-3 1, Rylie Thompson 1 0-1 2, Kiersten Van Kirk 1 1-2 4, Megan Leep 1 0-1 2, Hailey VanDyken 0 0-0 0. Totals: 7 6-17 23.

3-point goals: Ennis 3 (McKitrick 2, Snider 1), MC 3 (DeVries 2, Ki. Van Kirk 1).