The Loggers spent Friday night, Feb. 2 fighting for a comeback against the Broncs, but though they came close, they never overcame their early deficit.
The first minutes of the Libby and Frenchtown game were a steady back and forth, with Libby taking the lead for a few minutes in the first quarter. But before the quarter ended, the Broncs tied the game, then nudged into the lead on a single point from a free throw.
For the rest of the game, Libby struggled to catch back up to Frenchtown, often coming close, only to see the Broncs re-establish their cushion.
By halftime, the game was still far from decided, the score 43-36, Frenchtown. In the third quarter, with two minutes left, Libby had the game tied again, 51-51.
“I thought our effort was good — we lacked a little bit of execution on things and finishing in certain areas, but our effort was good,” said Libby Head Coach Josh Bean. “We locked down on some defensive stuff, and we were able to get some rebounds early in that third quarter, which allowed us to get caught back up in the ball game.”
Bean pointed to the impact of turnovers that led to large increases in the point difference between the two teams, which the Loggers then had to fight there way back from.
“That stuff just wears on you, when you spend so much energy trying to get back in the game,” he said.
Despite the energy drain, Bean spoke with pride of how his players got back in the game every time, calling out seniors Logan Christensen, Brian Peck and Nik Jones for their contributions.
“I’m super proud of my kids tonight,” he said. “Our role players did some good things tonight.
So, overall, I was really happy with the effort that everybody put in.”
Bean also gave credit to Frenchtown, and said it was a confidence builder for his team to come so close to beating a team as good as the Broncs.
“We know we’re 2-3 minutes away from being right in that game, and having an opportunity to win it,
And that’s the third place team, right now, over in the southwest,” he said. “So, if we play well at districts, we get out of divisionals, we know we can play with them.”
Frenchtown 71, Libby 65
Frenchtown: 18 25 15 13 — 71
Libby: 17 19 15 14 — 65
Frenchtown: Ethan Pyron 8 points, 4-5 FT; Cade Baker 15 points, 3-5 FT; Poruck Rugg 2 points; Ty Hoppie 2 points; Zack Baker 5 points, 3-4 FT; Adam Botkin 13 points, 0-1 FT; Hank Rugg 10 points, 2-5 FT; Jared Cole 14 points; Porock Diehl 2 points
Libby: Brian Peck 3 points, 1-2 FT; JJ Davis 3 points, 1-2 FT; Ryggs Johnston 26 points, 11-12 FT; Jay Beagle 10 points, 1-5 FT; Logan Christensen 13 points, 1-2 FT; Nik Jones 10 points, 4-4 FT