Basketball (W)

Pioneers Beat Royals, Outlast Tetons in 2OT Thriller

Torio Drops 42 on Saturday Night

Box Score

(Miles City, MT) The Lady Pioneers hit the hardwood for a weekend doubleheader. The Pioneers played Lake Region State College and Williston State college as a part of the Foundation Classic Tournament hosted at Kailey Gymnasium.

Game 1 MCC 70 vs. Lake Region State 67

First Half:

The Pioneers got off to a slow start on Friday night against an impressive Lake Region State team. The Royals came into the weekend at 5-1 with and impressive resume so far in the season. The slow start for the Pioneers would last until after the 7:00 minute mark of the first quarter when they would start to heat up. After opening the half with six straight scoreless possessions and also after losing sophomore leader Savannah Weidauer, the Lady Pioneers would go on to shoot 12 for 25, 4 for 10 from behind the arc, to close out the half. Tia Torio and Lacey Waid would lead the way for MCC in the backcourt in the first half with a combined 25 points between the sophomore duo. Colleen Katoa would do some damage inside as well nabbing four first half rebounds while also putting up tallying a pair of blocks and steals after the first two quarters of action. LRSC has and answer inside as Cassidy Nelson would find 8 points inside the paint on 3 first half offensive rebounds. The playmakers from Lake Region would stay cold throughout the first half shooting 34% (12-35) from the floor and firing an abysmal 16% (3-18) from behind the arc. The Lady Pioneers shot 40% (12-30, 4-10) from both the floor and behind the arc and would take a 33-32 lead into the locker room.

Second Half:

MCC picked up just where they left off with some tremendous backcourt play by Waid, Torio, and Jennifer Burnham hitting 4 of 7 shots from deep and opening up the paint for Katoa who added seven points to her scoring column in the second half along with another five rebounds. With less than two minutes to play in the game, MCC would trail by 2 until Emily Bergum would take the lead with a long ball of her own. On the next trip down the floor, Torio would hit one of two free throws to give MCC a two point lead with less than a minute to play. LRSC’s Cassidy Nelson would answer on the other end as she would be fouled and knot the game up at 67-67 with two free throws of her own. After a MCC inbound, LRSC would foul Torio intentionally in the back court in a lapse of judgement and send the near automatic Torio to the charity stripe with a chance to take the lead back. Torio would hit both shots to take the two point lead with less than 30 seconds on the clock. On the defensive end, Katoa would force a turnover with her fourth steal of the game and after hitting one of two free throws she would ice the game and the Lady Pioneers would go on to win 70-67.

Recap:

The Lady Pioneers improved their record to 3-3 with the weekend finale coming up on Saturday against Williston State. Sophomores Tia Torio and Lacey Waid would lead the Lady Pioneers in the scoring column with 20 points and 15 points respectively. The difference in the game would prove to be free throws as MCC hit 16 of 24 shots from the line, five of which came with less than one minute to play. Colleen Katoa would find herself in double digits in rebounds and points landing her first double-double of the season.

Game 2 MCC 82 Williston State 76 2OT

After a gutsy win Friday night over Lake Region State, the Lady Pioneers hit the floor Saturday to take on Williston State College (1-4) in what would turn into a double overtime thriller.

First Half: MCC would get off to a hot start despite being without Sophomore Savannah Weidauer. The Pioneers would Lead after the first quarter 17-8 after some stellar shooting from Lacey Waid and Tia Torio. In the second quarter, MCC would slow down on the offensive end of the floor scoring just nine points while allowing 15 to the Lady Tetons. Madison Jaeger and Katelynn Nice would find their form late in the first half leading the charge to what turned into a 10-2 run in favor of Williston State that would dwindle MCC’s lead to just six points heading into the locker room.

Second Half:

From the start of the second half, the game was bound to be something special. Both teams traded buckets throughout the second half. Torio, along with Katoa would do a majority of the scoring for the Lady Pioneers in the second half as they combined 18 points in the second half before the end of regulation. MCC would continue their hot shooting from the floor and from behind the three-point line shooting a remarkable 42% (11-26) from field and 57% (4-7) from behind the arc. Williston State would match MCC on every trip down the court with Katelynn Nice and Jessi Zuroff leading the way with 12 second half points and 8 second half points, respectively. The game came down to the wire late and with 18 lead changes it was bound to be a special night on the basketball court. With the shot clock off, Williston State’s Katelynn Nice drove to the lane and drew a foul with 4.8 seconds on the clock. She would hit both free throws and give WSC a 57-55 lead. Head Coach Liz Lewis would take a timeout and advance the ball to half court with enough time to draw up one final play. With 4.8 seconds, Katoa inbounded to Torio who made a move to her right and drew a foul on her shot as time expired. With the lane clear and the sophomore on an island, Torio dug deep and hit both shots with 0.0 showing on the clock to knot the game at 57-57 and force overtime.

OT:

With five minutes of extra time both teams battled up and down the court and with a change of fortunes, MCC would have two free throws with less than 15 seconds on the clock. Torio would hit the pair to give the Lady Pioneers a 69-67 lead. WSC’s sophomore guard, Ashonni Limbs would drive the length of the floor and draw a foul on a layup with just two seconds remaining in the game. The veteran guard would hit both free throws to bring the game to a deadlock at 69-69 and the game would continue into a second overtime period.

2OT: With the performance by both teams after 40 minutes of regulation and five minutes of extra time, it was fitting that it would take a second overtime period to decide a victor. MCC would be hard at work on the defensive end of the floor forcing five turnovers in 2OT. With two minutes to play, MCC would make their move. On three consecutive trips down the floor, Torio would hit a long ball, followed by Emily Bergum, and Maria Delgado would add a banked in three point shot of her own that would prove to be the icing on the cake. MCC, behind a 42 point night from Torio would pull off the 82-76 victory!

Recap:

Sophomore Tia Torio proved to be a primetime player this weekend averaging 31 points per game with a 42 point night against Williston State. The Sophomore guard would shoot an incredible 63% (17-27, 9-11 3-pt) and would be as clutch as it can get from the free throw line shooting 83% (19-23). She would also serve as the workhorse for the Pioneers playing in 85 minutes out of 90 on the weekend. Lacey Waid and Colleen Katoa would supplement the great play from Torio with both going for double digit scoring in both games during the Foundation Classic. The Pioneers improve their record to 4-3 on the year.

Head coach Liz Lewis on the gutsy performance of her team, Torio: 

"Our performance this weekend was good. You can never be upset about two wins.  There are definitely some things that we need to work on but it was great experience for our team being apart of a double OT game.  A lot of girls stepped up for us with Savannah being out.  We hit some big shots down the stretch in both games that are going to be great to look back on when we find ourselves in tight games later this season.  Tia Torio showed us exactly what she is capable of.  She put the team on her back and was confident in everything she was doing on the court.  For a player to step up and take on the role of a game changer is something special, and we are excited to see more of it this season." 

Coach Lewis on the status of Savannah Weidauer:

"Weidauer is up in the air of whether she will play this weekend.  She is a huge player for us on the floor and down in the low post and brings us some size that we are lacking when she is on the sideline.  She can block shots, rebound, and score down low which only opens up options for the rest of the team. We look forward to having her back on the court."

Next up for the NEERS:

The Lady Pioneers will head to Twin Falls, ID for the annual Golden Eagle Thanksgiving Classic where they will take on Region 18 opponents College of Southern Idaho and Snow College of Utah.

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