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State C girls: Saco-Whitewater-Hinsdale claims back-to-back titles, pushes win streak to 54

Posted at 10:03 PM, Mar 09, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-10 01:04:59-05

GREAT FALLS — The Saco-Whitewater-Hinsdale girls are back-to back champs after topping Roy-Winifred 62-31 in the State C title game.

The Mavericks have now won 54 straight games in one of the most dominant runs in Class C history.

Roy-Winifred was aggressive early, leading 14-13 after the first quarter. But the Mavericks led 27-21 at halftime and used a 14-4 third-quarter run to pull away in the second half and never looked back.

“Definitely defense in the second half,” said senior Paige Wasson. “We buckled down and we just defended. We had to do that in our first game on Thursday against Roberts. We're just a really good defensive team and I think that was really the goal and how we came out with the win in the end.”

Wasson led all scorers with 18 points to cap off a spectacular tournament for the Rocky Mountain College-bound guard. Montana State signee Teagan Erickson scored 16 points and grabbed 20 rebounds to go along with three blocks and two steals.

The Mavericks' seniors have won a trophy in each of their four seasons, including championships in the last two. It’s a special group that head coach Amber Erickson will miss.

“It's kind of surreal, honestly. Like, I don't think it's hit me yet. I got a little emotional in our pregame today. You get pretty close to your kids when you coach them for so many years,” Erickson said. “But just thinking about what they've accomplished. And I said, just take a second at some point and look around you and realize what you've done. We’ve had great players before them but this class is pretty special, that's for sure.”

The Outlaws, who won a title in 2022, had a pretty special group of seniors of their own. Isabelle Heggem led her team with 11 points and 15 rebounds in the loss. Laynee Elness added eight points and three assists. But shots were hard to come by against the Mavericks' defense with Roy-Winifred converting just 11 of 41 shots from the field.

Saco-Whitewater-Hinsdale out-rebounded Roy-Winifred 39-25 in the game and forced 15 turnovers.

The Mavericks didn’t like to talk about the win streak while it was happening. But the seniors could reflect as they walked off the court with a trophy and nets around their necks.

“It's really incredible,” said Wasson. “Especially that are the only two state championships we've won with the full co-op of North Country. And doing that undefeated just makes it 10 times better.”

And while the Mavericks lose five seniors on a stacked team, coach Erickson has belief that the success will follow now that the standard and the bar has been set.

“My bench pushes my kids every day in practice and they have had to play against the best defense in the state, in my opinion. So they've come a long way,” Erickson said. “I think we set a high standard in our program and I think the seniors before them did a good job setting a standard, and these guys definitely did. And those kids are going to want to be back here again next year, without a doubt.”

Consolation final

Twin Bridges 61, Roberts 46