Lady Beavs win ugly

J.P. Plutt
Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Dillon junior Jordyn Walker has emerged early on as the burner with determination that will key Dillon’s pressure defense. The track sprinter flies all over the court and provides defensive leadership with a vocal presence and effort. J.P. Plutt photo

The Dillon Lady Beavers entered Saturday’s game versus Livingston, a non-conference affair, with the motivation of unfinished business. The two teams were set to meet Saturday morning at last year’s State A tourney, only to have the whole show canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

It wasn’t quite a cue the inspiration music moment for either team as inexperience, jitters and early season errors led to a less than rosy assessment from Dillon coach John Hansen.

“It was definitely good in the end to get a win (41-39), but it was definitely not pretty,” said the third-year head coach. “Starting off the game I felt we were shell-shocked, a little nervous. Their pressure, which we said was going to happen, got to us. We really didn’t maintain our composure.”

Dillon trailed throughout the first half, but the aggressive defense took a toll as Livingston would make a first half living from the free throw line. The Rangers scored 10 of their 22 points before intermission from the free throw line.

“At halftime, we said we need to calm down, keep our composure, get set-up into our offense and good things will happen,” said Hansen of overcoming the 22-16 deficit. “That was a turning point in the second half. Our press was effective, we started getting some steals out of our press. We really maintained our composure in the second half compared to the first half.

With two projected starters out with injury, Dillon suited only three players with any varsity experience and the nerves showed early. Ainsley Shipman, a junior, was the rock for the team from start to finish. The most dynamic player on the team, Shipman scored 18 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, made 7 steals and blocked 5 shots, all team high marks.

“Ainsley was huge for us,” said Hansen. “She really did everything. She is just a great all around athlete and she was the one that maintained her composure and she was very reliable for us.”

Maddie Shipman, Dillon’s lone senior, and Evey Hansen, a junior post with varsity experience are expected back to the line-up this week. With junior Jordyn Walker and varsity newcomer Bri Williams showing good potential and junior Lauryn Petersen returning with varsity experience, Dillon will move forward with a pretty salty team.

“It wasn’t pretty, but in the end we were able to get it done as a team,” aid the coach. “It will be nice to see this film and see where we need to improve.”

Dillon’s extended stay at B.W. Lodge continues this week with two conference games. A scrappy Stevensville team visits Thursday and always dangerous Butte Central visits Dillon on Saturday.

LIVINGSTON 39, DILLON 41 Dillon scoring – Zoey Morast 3, Sydney

Dillon scoring – Zoey Morast 3, Sydney Petersen 3, Ainsley Shipman 18, Lauryn Petersen 7, Bri Williams 6, Leila Stennerson 0, Jordyn Walker 4, Guildy Browning 0.

Halftime - 22-16, Livingston Dillon three-pointers (0-8) – Morast 0-1, L. Petersen 0-3, Shipman 0-2, Walker 0-1, Willias 0-1. Rebounds (29) – A. Shipman 11, L. Petersen 8. Steals (11) – Shipman 7. Assists (11) – L. Petersen 5, Williams 5. Turnovers (24). Blocks (5) – Shipman 5.