The Choteau High School girls basketball team will be at home on Thursday for a conference game against Great Falls Central Catholic, the squad’s first conference game of the 2019-20 season.
The junior varsity girls will play at 3 p.m. and the varsity at 6 p.m.
On Saturday, Dec. 21, the girls will travel for nonconference games against the Broadwater County High School Bulldogs in Townsend. The JV will play at 1 p.m. and the varsity at 4 p.m.
Head coach Carissa Jenkins on Monday said GFCC has one tall girl but otherwise matches up with Choteau well on size of players. The Townsend girls are big and tall and with multiple returning starters, they will be a challenging team to play.
Jenkins said she expects them to play an up-tempo game, to pressure the ball well and to try to force turnovers. Choteau’s strategy will be to control the tempo of the game, minimize turnovers, stay out of foul trouble and prevent Townsend from making easy layups.
In practice this week, Jenkins said, the girls will focus on ball handling, solid defensive plays and offensive strategy for getting the ball inside to the posts.
Jenkins said she wants her team to play with confidence and to take care of the ball. If they do that, she said, they will have a great chance to win games in the tough District 1B.
Choteau will be missing two important players this weekend as junior Christine Funk, a starting guard and usually the team’s top scorer, will be out of town for a college volleyball matter. Senior Samara DeBruycker who rotates in off the bench will also be gone as she is getting her wisdom teeth removed this week.
In the first weekend of the season, the Choteau girls hosted nonconference Eureka and Thompson Falls on Dec. 13 and 14. The Choteau varsity squad lost both games.
In the season opener, the Choteau varsity girls fell behind in the first quarter and were never able to take the lead though they had a great rally in the third quarter to draw within three points of Eureka. Turnovers on steals and bad passes hurt the Choteau girls on offense, and Eureka, with a big height and size advantage, was able to keep Choteau’s girls largely out of the key and forced them to mostly take perimeter shots.
Choteau had four girls score with Funk leading the team with 18 points and freshman Ada Bieler putting up 11.
In Choteau’s second game of the season, the girls lost, 59-45, to Thompson Falls. The Thompson Falls girls jumped out to a 19-11 in the first quarter and outscored Choteau in the third and fourth quarters for the win. Choteau had seven girls scoring with Bieler leading the team with 18 points and Funk putting up 12. Funk went out of the game in the fourth quarter after hyperextending two fingers on her right hand.
Jenkins complimented Bieler who played in Funk’s position and scored 18 points in the game, including a last-second three-pointer.
Jenkins said the Choteau girls did much better on rebounding in this game, but still had too many turnovers. Thompson Falls had a height advantage and used it to block Choteau shots and grab rebounds.
Choteau shot 35% from the three-point line, Jenkins said, and 66% from the charity stripe.
Choteau 9-9-17-4 — 39
Eureka 16-17-10-7 — 50
Choteau — Christine Funk 6 2/2 18, Abby McCollom 2 0/2 4, Ada Bieler 5 0/0 11, Nicole Krone 1 3/4 6. Totals: 14 5/8.
Eureka — Rhianna Hawkins 1 0/1 2, Megan Hanson 2 4/8 8, Avory Escobar 1 2/4 4, Katie Schmidt 5 4/5 15, Reena Truman 2 1/2 5, Jadyn Pluid 1 0/0 2, Maggie Graves 5 0/2 12, Karlee Frost 1 0/2 2. Totals: 18 11/24.
Fouls: Choteau 21, Eureka 12. Fouled out: McCollom, Graves. Three-point goals: Funk 4, Bieler, Krone, Schmidt, Graves 2.
Choteau 11-11-14-9 — 45
Thompson Falls 19-10-15-15 — 59
Choteau — Emma Gunderson 2 1/2 5, Christine Funk 4 1/2 12, Jessie Henderson 1 0/0 3, Samara DeBruycker 0 2/4 2, Abby McCollom 1 0/0 2, Ada Bieler 6 4/4 18, Nicole Krone 1 0/0 3. Totals: 15 8/12.
Thompson Falls — Elli Pardee 1 0/0 2, Ellie Baxter 5 7/8 19, Riley Wilson 2 1/2 6, Faith Frields 2 0/0 4, Caity Alexander 0 1/4 1, Jody Detlaff 3 6/10 12, Megan Baxter 7 1/2 15. Totals: 20 16/27.
Fouls: Choteau 20, Thompson Falls 15. Fouled out: Gunderson, McCollom. Three-point goals: Funk 3, Henderson, Bieler 2, Krone, Baxter 2, Wilson.