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Northern C girls: Resilient Big Sandy girls head to state with challenge game win

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Posted at 8:56 PM, Feb 26, 2024

GREAT FALLS — The resilient Big Sandy girls are headed to state after topping Denton-Geyser-Stanford-Geraldine 56-52 in a Northern C basketball challenge game on Monday.

Eva Yeadon scored a game-high 21 points for the Pioneers who withstood a tough challenge from a team that had already beaten them twice in the regular season. Jai Baumann scored 10 points, Keira Galbayy added nine points and 10 rebounds, while Lainey Terry and Alex Worall scored seven points apiece.

Big Sandy was the No. 3 seed out of District 9C and almost didn’t even make divisionals. After a lopsided loss to Fort Benton in the 9C semis, the Pioneers needed overtime to top Turner in the consolation game and earn a trip to the Northern C.

After winning a play-in game against Simms and then falling to Roy-Winifred in the first round, the Pioneers had to win three straight games to force the challenge. They topped Cascade, Belt and came from behind to beat Chester-Joplin-Inverness in the consolation final.

Head coach Travis Baumann called the Pioneers a “Team of Destiny” as they received the second-place trophy.

Freshman BriElla Becker led the Bearcats with 19 points, Ella Smith scored nine, while Emma Smith and Tycee McVicker each contributed eight points.

Big Sandy will open the state tournament against Western C champion Twin Bridges next Thursday.