18 and 0!

Herder girls head to districts unbeaten
Thursday, February 20, 2020
18 and 0!
18 and 0!
18 and 0!

Photo by Dean Hendrickson Darby Johnston puts up a free throw for the winning Herder girls.

Yellowstone Newspapers photos by Nate Howard Left, Lauren Niebur corrals the ball against Park County. Right, Emily Cooley towers high to block a Ranger shot attempt.


When you win 18 of 18 games, what do you do for an encore? Just win districts next and move up from there.


The SGHS Herder girls completed the first regular season unbeaten in recent memory and now are shooting for the school’s first state championship since back to back titles in 1980-81 and 1981-82. That was a long time ago.


Manhattan and Park County were the latest teams to be steamrolled by this team. With decent shooting, ever-improving defense and a 16-5 run in the third quarter, the Herders pulled away to a 63-35 whipping of Manhattan Friday.


Assists were huge for the girls with 18, spread around with Bailey Finn’s five, Darby Johnston’s three and two each by Lauren Niebur, Hailee Brandon and Emily Cooley. Finn was a ball thief with six steals. They hit on nine 3-point shots and 10 for 15 from the stripe.


Johnston played an exceptional game with 12 points, three 3’s and 9 rebounds. Finn got 15 points and Cooley fired 14 points at a five for seven field goal clip.


On Saturday, the Herders completed a two-game sweep of Park County, 65-51, jumping out quickly to a 10-point lead at the end of the first and finishing the Rangers off in the fourth.


“We played a much better game against them this game,” said Coach Kim Finn. She noted that no one girl stood out but instead she got steady play and how these players complement each and know their roles.


“The roles change each game but they always do what they are supposed to do,” Finn said. Like win every time out. Bailey Finn found her range with 23 points against the


Bailey Finn found her range with 23 points against the Rangers, hitting nine of 16 from the field. Alyssa Boshart added 12 points and Brandon swished 11 with seven rebounds


Coach Finn likes how her juggernaut team is confident “but not over confident because any team can be beaten,” So far, not the Herders, but some tough competition begins at districts and further up the ladder. They start the tournament with a bye and then take on the winner of Jefferson and Broadwater at 6 p.m. Friday in Belgrade. If they win that one they move to the district championship set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday.


If they win out, divisionals are next at the Billings Metra on March 5-6. The final goal and destination is state in Butte March 12-14.


A historic season continues.