The Whitehall Ledger - Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

By Jack H. Smith
Ledger Publisher 

Strong start to season for Lady Trojans


December 6, 2017

Jack H. Smith

Ashlynn Ellison inbounds the ball against Manhattan Christian.

It's so far, so good for the Whitehall High School girls basketball team.

The Lady Trojans opened up their 2017-18 season last Saturday with a 46-41 home victory over Manhattan Christian.

First-year head coach Kelly Nieksens said after several weeks of practice, the team was getting sick of playing against each other and was excited to play.

"It was good to go out and see where we were, what we can build on, and where we can go from here," he said.

Sophomore Asha Noyes had a huge night for Whitehall with a game high 26 points. Nieksens said his standout guard has had the ability to "turn it on" with her scoring. He said Noyes not only has the ability to create for herself, but as well as for others.

After trailing 7-5 at the end of the first quarter, Whitehall would outscore the Lady Eagles 13-9 in the second to take an 18-16 lead into halftime.

The Lady Trojans continued their dominant play in the third quarter outscoring Manhattan Christian by eight on their way to a 31-24 lead.

The Lady Eagles would close to within three points with under a minute left, but key free throws by Noyes and freshman Macee Patritti sealed the season opening victory for Whitehall.

Freshman Kendra Klapan had five points, while the trio of Dorothy Mastel, Britney Welker, and Allee Scafani each had four. Ashlynn Ellison had two and Patritti added one point.

Jack H. Smith

Sophomore Asha Noyes had a game high 26 points.

Leading up to the game, Nieksens had stressed the importance of defense and was pleased with how the team responded. He said intensity is contagious and they've been trying to push that in practice.

Nieskens was also pleased with how the younger players on the team responded. He said at one point he looked out onto the court and the Lady Trojans had three sophomores and two freshman playing.

The Lady Trojans will next play Friday and Saturday at the Manhattan Bank Tip Off Tournament. Whitehall will face Ennis December 8 at 3:30 p.m. at Manhattan High School. The squad will play Conrad December 9 at 11 a.m. @ Manhattan Christian High School.

Nieskens said the team would use the week to get better. He said they would watch film, and learn from the mistakes in their first game of the season.


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