GLASGOW -- As the old adage goes, defense wins championships.
That's exactly what propelled the Scobey girls basketball team to the Eastern C divisional title over Westby-Grenora on Saturday night in Glasgow.
"The Eastern C has been really tough," Scobey head coach Jedd Lekvold said. "We feel fortunate that now this is our second year in a row moving on to state. Our goal was to place in the top two. Taking first is a really good feeling. All the credit is owed to the girls for how hard they work."
Scobey trailed 32-26 late in the third quarter, but the Spartans finished the game on a 14-2 run, holding the Thunder to just two fourth-quarter points en route to a 40-34 win.
"Our girls are really gritty. Both teams (Saturday), the defense was unbelievable. You could tell by the final score points were just hard to come by. Both teams play extremely well on the defensive end. Both teams have great footwork. The angles they take, rarely are they out of position. To just get a bucket is big in this game," Lekvold said.
Westby-Grenora led for the majority of the first three quarters, even opening up a lead of nine, 19-10, in the second quarter. Scobey rallied back to trim the deficit to 26-21 at halftime. Thunder standout Jenna Rust picked up her third foul in the closing seconds of the first half and her fourth foul in the third quarter.
But the Thunder were still able to find ways to put the ball in the hole with Rust off the floor, as Westby-Grenora eventually grabbed a 32-26 advantage.
The Spartans' defense was great throughout the game, but it kicked up a notch in the fourth quarter. As Scobey started to pressure Westby-Grenora, the Thunder committed costly turnovers that led to transition baskets.
Westby-Grenora had its chances down the stretch, but the Thunder just couldn't buy a basket in the final minutes. Kortney Nelson led the Spartans with 15 points and five rebounds. Rust had 16 points and 10 rebounds for Westby-Grenora.
"It's not just one girl that does it, we kind of rely on all five and fly around and be in position," Lekvold said of Scobey's defense. "Jenna is a stud and she's going to get her points, I don't care who they're playing. If you can hold her to less than 15 I think you're doing a pretty good job, because she's just an unbelievable talent. She's so big and strong and moves well. ... Just an all-around team effort. I'm so proud of them."
Scobey moves on to the State C tournament and will play the Northern C's No. 2 seed, while Westby-Grenora will play Froid-Medicine Lake Monday night in Plentywood for the final spot out of the Eastern C.