Evart girls fall to Shelby in district semis

MORLEY — Evart’s season ended at the Class C girls basketball district tournament Wednesday night but the Wildcats made it very interesting for awhile.

Shelby overcame a seven-point halftime deficit to defeat the Wildcats 50-41 in a semifinal battle.

Evart’s season ended at 11-10.

“We had a great first half with a lot of energy,” said Evart coach Larry Brown. “We knew their team a little bit and that they played a certain way. The kids played hard the first half.”

With Evart leading 28-21 at halftime, Magadalen Hyde netted her third triple of the game for a 32-21 lead at 6:51 of the third. Shelby started its comeback with Tristen Moore hitting two straight to make it a 33-27 score. She later added two free throws and Sydney Czurak scored to make it 33-31. Brianna Sterken scored off a steal to tie the game at the three-minute mark.

Moore’s layup gave the Tigers a 35-33 lead at 2:30 as the Wildcats couldn’t get their offense going. Corina Collier’s 3-pointer boosted the Tiger lead to five points.

Shelby’s lead was 40-33 going into the fourth. The Wildcats continued to miss shots. Hyde scored at 5:30 but Evart trailed 42-35 and Shelby was able to lead the rest of the way. Dennis had two free throws at 4:20 for Evart, making it 44-37. Hyde netted two free throws at 2:50 to make it 44-39 but she fouled out moments later.

Moore hit a layup at 1:30 for a 46-39 lead and Shelby grabbed a steal at the other end.

“What it came down to was I played mainly five or six girls and we thought they’d have enough to last the whole game,” Brown said. “By the end of the third quarter, they started getting tired. They made some shots.”

The Wildcats scored four triples to post their nine-point halftime lead. Freshman Kristin Kullman netted a 3-point play just before the end of the first quarter for a 14-13 lead. Hyde netted two 3-pointers and Kylie Yesh added one to help the Wildcats outscore the Tigers 14-8 in the second quarter. Evart’s defense and rebound positioning also sparked the Wildcats who had a 27-19 lead at one stage.

“We felt good (at halftime) and we wanted to keep it up,” said Evart senior Chelsea Bengry. “Then our shots stopped falling. We knew we had to box out and not let 44 (Czurak) beat us”

“Shelby had a very good team but we thought we’d match up well against them,” Brown said. “In the first half, we shot the ball well. They just lost their legs in the second half. That’s what it came down to.”

Hyde, one of Evart’s seniors, led her team with 18 points.

“All of the seniors played hard,” Brown said. “Kullman came in and made some shots. She’ll be a part of what we do in the future. But this was a good year for us.”

“We battled all year long,” Bengry said.