Thursday’s Frontier games will conclude the first trip through the conference. Providence will travel to Helena and take on the Saints of Carroll College, Rocky will be in Dillon to take on UM Western, and Northern will be in Butte to take on the Orediggers. Before we jump into the Skylight- Oredigger matchup let’s get a look at the standings through four games.

(Conference record – Overall record)

Rocky Mountain              4-0         12-4
UM Western                   3-1         15-2
Carroll College               3-1         12-5
Montana Tech                 1-3         5-9
Providence                    1-3         11-6
MSU Northern                0-4         7-10

We have one undefeated team rolling into Thursday, and that could easily change in Dillon (that is going to be a great ballgame). Montana Tech enters this week’s play, with good momentum. They fought tooth and nail last week, and continue to show remarkable progress.

"The Name of the game is defense" Picture courtesy of BnO Photography. BRIANNA OMARA
"The Name of the game is defense" Picture courtesy of BnO Photography. BRIANNA OMARA

“They played their butts off, it’s been fun.” Montana Tech Head coach Jeff Graham, talking about his team.

Against Carroll, on Thursday the Orediggers led 28-27 after the first 20 minutes.

“We had such a great first half against Carroll, and I just didn’t have us ready for that darn zone, that is my fault. The good thing was watching them as they left the locker room (after the game) they had way more confidence in themselves”

In the Providence game on Saturday, it was a much different tale at the half, trailing 29-16 with only 5 points in the second quarter.

“Saturday even at halftime they were like, we got this. We were down 13 but everything we did was positive. We couldn’t buy a darn bucket, but the effort was there defensively”

Much like the Orediggers, the Skylights have played good basketball but just haven’t been able to hang a W in the win column. Skylight coach Chris Mouat is a staunch believer in defense. The discipline they continually exhibit on defense will keep them in every ballgame.

The Lights are led offensively by Brianna McCullough with 14 points and 7 rebounds a game. The ‘Blue Collar’ Ryley Kehr comes in with 12 points and 5 rebounds a game. I love the way Ryley plays the game, smart, and quick, she is one of those players that always seems to be in the correct spot.

Selfishly, I am hoping we get a Kehr-Radamacher matchup. That would be one of those times you sit your kid down and tell them to pay attention, just marvel at how hard they play.

Speaking of playing hard, the Orediggers are led by Tavia Rooney. Tavia is coming off a career-high 27 against Providence, 18 of those were in the fourth quarter. She averages 13 points and 8 rebounds a game coming into the weekend.

Tavia Rooney looks to set up the offense. Picture courtesy of BnO Photography. BRIANNA OMARA
Tavia Rooney looks to set up the offense. Picture courtesy of BnO Photography. BRIANNA OMARA

Back to Aubrie Radamacher, coming into this season we knew that Tech needed someone to step up offensively to take pressure off Tavia and Dani Urick, and Aubrie responded. The freshman is averaging 11 points and 5 rebounds a contest. She scored 14 in each of the last two games.

Picture courtesy of BnO Photography. BRIANNA OMARA
Picture courtesy of BnO Photography. BRIANNA OMARA

Senior leader Dani Urick averages 8 a game for the Diggs. Dani can’t hide from anyone, every coach in this conference knows what she is capable of, therefore she doesn’t get many open looks. But when she does get going offensively, this team looks completely different.

This will be the last home game for the Diggs until January 26th, so I look forward to seeing you at the HPER, Thursday 5pm tip-off.

My sincere thanks to Brianna O'Mara at BnO photography for the use of her outstanding work. You can see more HERE.

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