The Choteau High School boys’ basketball team won their first conference game of the season on December 21, beating Conrad, 48-42, in a fierce battle that gave the Choteau boys their first victory since the start of the 2020-21 season.
The boys are now 1-0 in the conference and 1-1-5 in aggregate. The victory over Conrad was the first victory for Choteau’s varsity team since coach Kevin Kovatch started with the team in the 2020-21 season. “They were super excited and I’m really proud of them,” Kovatch said of the win, adding that the boys now know they can win and know how they feel with a win which should help. to build their confidence as they continue the season. .
This week, the boys returned to the gym on Monday, and Kovatch said they will be working on adding two more offensive plans and one more defensive plan. They also continue to work on passing, dribbling, shots from the floor and the free throw line and rebounds.
They will resume play on January 7 at Shelby, where they will face a large and talented team led by Rhett Reynolds, 6-6 seniors. Kovatch said Reynolds isn’t alone in the Coyotes’ offensive production, as the college boys have had three to four players scoring in double digits in every game so far this season.
Choteau will have a disadvantage in height and will try to take care of the ball, to be patient in attack and disjointed in defense.
They will play at home on Jan. 8 against Cut Bank, a team that beat Conrad by five points earlier in the season. Kovatch said the Choteau boys are physically up against Cut Bank and that this is a team that Choteau should be able to play with and take a win.
In the boys ‘victory over Conrad, the Bulldogs’ defense limited Conrad to just three points in the first quarter, and with their offensive offense, they took a 27-20 lead in the locker room at halftime.
“Our defense was really good in the first half,” said Kovatch, “and we had a little attacking attack.”
Choteau continued to shoot well in the third quarter, edging out Conrad, 11-7, and leading by 16 points at a time. The Bulldogs were leading 38-27 at the start of the fourth quarter, but then, Kovatch said, the boys “freaked out a bit” and started attacking the basket and taking inadvisable shots which opened a small door for Conrad to get himself. rally. The Cowboys had 18 points in the fourth quarter compared to 10 for Choteau, but the Bulldogs held on for the win.
Henry Bieler led Choteau with 19 points while Jacob Beattie had 11 in the victory. The boys made 13 of 28 or 46 percent of their free throws in the game. Kovatch said he wanted to see the boys do more of their free throws and that will continue to be an emphasis in practice.
The boys wrapped up the 2021 portion of their season on December 22, hosting Jefferson County High School, a strong, tall, and South Division athletic team. The Bulldogs played a great first quarter – arguably their best basketball this season and last, Kovatch said – and led 11-10 after the first quarter.
In the second quarter, however, the Panthers found their rhythm and dominated Choteau, 19-9, to lead, 29-20, at halftime. Fouls played a huge role in the game, however, as three Choteau starters Landon Jamison, Bowen Rappold and Will Patterson all committed three fouls in the third quarter and, with those boys on the bench, Jefferson netted 31 points. to both Choteau and led 60-22 at the start of the fourth quarter.
Kovatch said Patterson fouled in the fourth quarter and Choteau struggled to get rebounds. Jefferson also switched defense at half-time, leaving man-to-man cover and switching to a zone defense which was very effective in trapping Choteau and allowing the Panthers to reclaim Choteau’s initial pass early in many possessions. offensive.
Despite the level of competition on the pitch, Bieler managed to score 24 points in the game and was the only Choteau player to score in double digits. The boys made 47% of their free throws.
Kovatch said coaches continue to work with the varsity team to build the strength and confidence of rookie Kellen Meyer and sophomore Bowen Rappold to take more shots and help to diversify the offensive. He said Patterson has a good chance of scoring under the basket and that Jamison is first and foremost a defensive player who does a great job of getting the team to bounce back. Beattie, who is a junior but is only playing basketball for his second season, also shows continuous improvement in his ability to lead to the basket and score points.
Choteau 19-08-11-10 – 48
Conrad 3-14-7-18 – 42
Choteau – Henry Bieler 6 6/13 19, Kellen Meyer 1 3/4 5, Bowen Rappold 1 1/2 3, Jacob Beattie 5 1/7 11, Will Patterson 2 2/2 6, Gus Johnson 1 0/0 2, Landon Jamison 1 0/0 2. Totals: 17 13/28.
Conrad – Teagan Arnold 1 0/0 2, Christean Habets 3 0/0 8, Sam Blanchard 1 2/7 4, Zach Durnell 1 0/0 2, Devon Baney 4 2/3 11, Brayden Stordahl 3 1/3 7, Kaden Savik 1 0/0 2, Roscoe Shaw 2 0/0 3. Totals: 16 5/13.
Total fouls: Choteau 12, Conrad 22. Exits: Habets. Three-point goals: Bieler, Habets 2, Baney, Shaw 2.
Choteau 11-9-2-11 – 33
Jefferson 10-19-31-6 – 66
Choteau – Henry Bieler 6 9/13 24, Kellen Meyer 0 0/1 0, Bowen Rappold 1 0/2 2, Jacob Beattie 0 0/2 0, Will Patterson 1 0/0 3, Gus Johnson 1 0/0 2, Landon Jamison 1 0/1 2. Totals: 10 9/19.
Jefferson – Tyler Harrington 4 5/5 13, Zach Zody 3 1/2 10, Mike Emter 1 0/0 2, Trent McMaster 4 4/5 12, Luke Eckmann 1 6/6 8, Jake Genger 3 1/1 7, Dalton Noble 0 0/4 0, Hyrum Parke 0 1/2 1, Wade Rykal 6 1/3 13. Totals: 22 19/28.
Total fouls: Choteau 20, Jefferson 18. Outs: Patterson. Three-point goals: Bieler 3, Patterson, Zody 3.