FRENCHTOWN — The Frenchtown Broncs were slow to start on Friday night but a strong fourth quarter and clutch free throws made the difference as they defeated Butte Central 40-32 in girls basketball action.
In the first quarter, both teams struggled to get a bucket as Butte scored the first two more than three minutes into the game.
After a slow start, Frenchtown took a 5-4 lead into the second quarter and both teams eventually settled in.
Sofee Thatcher caught fire for the Maroons, scoring eight of her nine total points in the second quarter.
Frenchtown's Sadie Smith also got going for the Broncs in the second as she scored eight of her game-high 11 points in the quarter.
"These first four games were kind of some tests for us," said Frenchtown head coach Tim Yeager. "We really only had two girls with varsity experience from last year so those first four games were kind of to see where we're at, to see how girls would play when the lights are on. Now that's it's conference play and we're 2-0 that's kind of how we're thinking, we're just taking every game as a lesson and that's what we're all about right now."
The Broncs outscored Butte Central by one point again and took a 19-17 lead into the locker room.
In the third quarter, both teams regressed to their first-quarter habits, turning the ball over and struggling to create space. Frenchtown scored seven points to Butte's five.
In the fourth quarter, Frenchtown pulled further away, outscoring Butte Central 14-10.
On the night, Frenchtown hit 23 of their 31 free throws, which ultimately made the difference.
"We have to just make sure we're taking care of the ball," said Smith. "They are going to foul, especially when they are down and we've been missing quite a few free throws, but (Friday) we went 23-31 from the line and that's the difference in the game. Just same shot routine, same place on the rim every night and that's what we have to do."
Frenchtown hosts Columbia Falls next week on Jan. 26 at 7:15 p.m.