Home season comes to an end for Rocky basketball teams, article by student contributor Preston Davenport

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Photo by Ean Mclaughlin

Photo by Ean Mclaughlin

The Rocky Mountain College basketball teams continued their run at home on Feb. 9 and 11 against Carroll College and Montana Western. The women’s basketball team took two close losses, meanwhile, the men’s basketball team upset ranked teams #8 Carroll College and #13 Montana Western.

The women’s basketball team took on Carroll College on Thursday night Feb. 9 and fell short with a score of 54-62. Senior Jayde LeFevre led the women, scoring 12 points on the night, while junior Keisha Engelhardt scored 11 points. The women were 39 percent for field goal attempts, 47 percent for three point attempts, and 54 percent on the free throw line.

On Saturday night Feb. 11, the women were not able to bounce back from their Thursday night loss, losing another close game to Montana Western 64-67. “Our main problem these past two games is finishing and making the critical shots when we need them,” said head coach Wes Keller.

Sophomore Alecia Chamberlain led the team with 15 points, juniors Keisha Engelhardt and Eboney Jackson tacked on 12 points each. The women were 41 percent for field goal attempts, 24 percent for three point attempts, and 66 percent from the free throw line.

The women would lose another close game 63-65 against Montana Tech at home on Feb. 16. Freshman Markaela Francis led the team with 13 points on the night. Three other players scored in double digits including junior Keisha Engelhardt with 12 points, sophomore Hailee Farstveet with 11 points, and senior Jayde LeFevre with 11 points. The women were 41 percent for field goal attempts, 40 percent for three point attempts, and 59 percent from thefree throw line.

The women’s team would fall short 63-68 on their senior night against Lewis-Clark State College on Feb. 18. Freshman Markaela Francis lead the Battlin’ Bears, scoring 19 points on the night. Senior Jayde LeFevre added 13 points, sophomore Hailee Farstveet scored 12 points, and junior Keisha Engelhardt scored 10 points. The women were 35 percent in field goal attempts, 21 percent in three point attempts, and 94 percent from the free throw line, scoring 17 out of 18 free throws. The women’s team looks to finish their season strong when they take to the road on Feb. 24 and 25 to take on the University of Great Falls and Montana State University Northern.

The Men’s basketball team fared better over the past few weeks. The men fought down to the wire and came away with a win against #8 Carroll College. Senior Taylor Longo had a standout performance, scoring 25 points for the Battlin’ Bears on the night. Seniors Derek Graves and Riley Bradshaw added 18 points and 17 points respectively, and senior Zachary Hinton added 10 points in the close victory against the Saints. The men were 47 percent for field goal attempts,60 percent for free throw attempts, and 83 percent from the free throw line. “We started out the game aggressively in the first half and went into the locker room playing good defense,” said Head Coach Bill Dreikosen. “We slowed down a little bit towards the end of the game and they kept creeping back with the scoring as all good teams will do.”

Following the victory on Thursday, the men took on #13 Montana Western and knocked off their second ranked opponent in a row with a score of 80-72. Senior Zachary Hinton led the Battlin’ Bears with 23 points on the night. A total of five players scored double digits for the Battlin’ Bears, including Hinton. Senior Riley Bradshaw posted 17 points on the night, while junior Chad Kananen scored 14 points, and seniors Taylor Longo and Derek Graves scored 13 points and 10 points respectively. “We are getting in a better rhythm,” said head coach Bill Dreikosen following the victory. “We are finding more ways to win against good teams, overall the team is really coming along.” The men look to secure a place in the NAIA playoffs.

Photo by Ean McLaughlin

Photo by Ean McLaughlin

The men continued their current home win streak with a 79-60 win over Montana Tech. Junior Chad Kananen returned to the spotlight leading the Battlin’ Bears with 19 points on the night. Five players on the men’s team scored in double digits. Along with Kananen, senior Taylor Longo scored 17 points, senior Zachary Hinton added 13 points, senior Riley Bradshaw scored 12 points, and senior Derek Graves scored 11 points. “Tech is not a bad team, they have good players but they are just never able to finish,” senior Zachary Hinton said. “They came close to us there for a while but we were able to get the job done and get the win.” The men scored 50 percent of their field goal attempts, 43 percent of their three point attempts, and were 65 percent from the free throw line.

Unfortunately, the home streak would come to an end for the men’s basketball team on senior night Feb. 18 with a close 71-77 loss to Lewis-Clark State College. Regardless of the loss, the Battlin’ Bears still had outstanding performances. Senior Zachary Hinton led the men scoring 29 points on the night. He was also 6 for 6 in free throw attempts. Senior Riley Bradshaw added 22 points on the night, and junior Chad Kananen scored 12 points. As a team, the Battlin’ Bears were 38 percent for field goal attempts, 34 percent for three point attempts, and 92 percent from the free throw line scoring 13 out of 14 free throws. The men’s basketball team also looks to finish the regular season strong on the road on Feb. 24 and 25 when they take on the University of Great Falls and Montana State University Northern.

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