If the District 8C Championship game was an eye opener for basketball fans in Northcentral Montana then Thursday at the Northern C Divisional tournament shouldn’t have caught anybody by surprise. With tired eyes the fans who were in the Pacific Steel and Recycling Four Seasons Arena witnessed something exciting and the people in the Coulee have been anxiously anticipating.
In the first game of Thursday’s action the Centerville Lady Miners defeated Dutton-Brady, 51-31. Led by Cecilia Vielle (13 pts) and Peyton Vining (12 pts) Centerville was able to control the game from the get-go and get something going in the Divisional Tournament.
It wasn’t but more than a year ago that Centerville Lady Miners Head Coach Chris Daniel and I had a conversation at the District 8C Tournament in Lewistown.
He said his team was almost there. He said they had the tools.
And now I believe him.
Centerville was able to gain momentum out of the District Tournament after a buzzer-beating win over Geraldine-Highwood and battle tough with Belt in the 8C Championship game only losing by nine, 61-52.
Now Centerville finds themselves in the Divisional Semis taking on a strong Box Elder Lady Bears squad at 5:30 PM tonight.
If you can tune out the bands and all the cheering you can hear some murmurs and conversations between folks who are thinking that Centerville could get the best of Box Elder tonight.
I’m one of those people.
Centerville has the size advantage with strong posts in Vielle and Lindsey Drew. They’ve also got some quality shooters in Vining and Kendyl Chartier who will be able to stretch the floor against the Box Elder Bears.
Another advantage the Lady Miners have coming into this contest is they’ve seen this press before. Heck, they’ve seen EVERY press before thanks to playing in the District 8C.
And if you can break the press, you’ve got a chance.
I can’t help but be excited for Coach Daniel who predicted his team would be tough this season. I’m not sure he predicted a buzzer-beater by Chartier in the District Tournament, but I wouldn’t doubt it.
Now the Lady Miners have the chance to drop some jaws too if they can capture a little bit of tournament magic against Box Elder tonight.