GLASGOW — Effort doesn’t show up in the box score, but it goes a long way in deciding which team wins the game.
The tenacity of the Scobey girls basketball team was on display when the Spartans claimed the Eastern C divisional championship last weekend in Glasgow. Although the Spartans are often smaller than their opponent — their tallest girl stands 5-foot-7 — they’re rarely out-rebounded. Scobey is usually the first to a loose ball, too.
“We talk about pursuing the ball when the shot’s up or when there’s a 50-50 ball, a loose ball,” said Scobey head coach Jedd Lekvold. “We feel that if we’re the one that goes and gets it, good things are going to happen. That’s the kind of effort we need when we don’t have the height. We need to have the tenacity and the pursuit of that ball. If we go get it, good things will happen.”
Scobey is also deadly on the offensive end. The Spartans had a barrage of 3-pointers in the championship game, but that’s nothing new. Shooting is what Scobey does best. It makes teams pay by helping on dribble penetration, as it boasts a handful of knockdown shooters.
“Each one of us creates it for each other,” said guard Kortney Nelson. “If one of us drives, we can kick out to the next one and they can hit the shot.”
“We got a shooting mentality,” Lekvold added. “We try to penetrate, draw defenders and then kick out, and everybody pretty much has the green light, so as long as our feet our set, we’re stepping in to our shot, it’s kind of what we do, it’s kind of our game. We’re just shot-ready, but it’s opened up by our penetration. We’ve got girls who are strong with the ball and can get to the hole, so that helps us get open on the perimeter.”
The Spartans have been beating up on opponents all season with their style of play but have remained focused in the midst of blowouts. Scobey’s only loss this season came to Class B Wolf Point. The Spartans split with the Wolves. Scobey routinely beat Class C opponents by 20-plus points.
“During practices, coach always gets after us to go hard. We have to imagine we’re in these situations,” said forward ShaAnn Danelson. “We always keep our cool, we always are talking to each other, making sure we’re all right, keeping our heads.”
Scobey faces Western C runner-up Arlee in the first round of the State C tournament. The Spartans and Scarlets are set to tip at 2 p.m. on Thursday afternoon at the Four Seasons Arena in Great Falls.