After a great start to their year, the Frenchtown Lady Broncs hit a tough stretch at the end of January this season. With their starting point guard Kayla Blood sidelined due to a concussion, Frenchtown lost four straight games.
"We lost to a couple teams we definitely should not have lost to,” said senior Vanessa Stavish. “They were close games though and we just didn’t come out with a win at the end. That was hard for us but I definitely think it opened our eyes and humbled us a little bit and made us realize that we aren’t the best and we want to work to be the best."
Since that time the Lady Broncs have not lost a game and they enter this week's divisional tournament on a 7-game win streak, giving them some much needed confidence to try for their 3rd straight Northwest divisional championship.
"We’ve won the divisional championship the last two years and we hope to get another crack at it again,” said Lady Broncs head coach Jim Tolman. “We hope to get another crack at going to state and playing Saturday night there."
“Our goals are to get into that championship game and definitely to win it but if we don’t win it, then still to go to state as that two seed,” added Stavish.
Frenchtown knows that once again the road to the championship will go through the Columbia Falls Wildkats, who handed Frenchtown two of their five losses this regular season.
"To beat them we’re going to have to be very disciplined on our defense and we’re going to have to make sure we box out and rebound all the time,” explained Stavish. “They’re really deep so instead of having seven or eight girls they have a deep ten that they can play all the time."
“What we have to do is come out with more intensity on our defense and we can’t panic offensively,” said senior point guard Kayla Blood. “When we go against them we’re very rushed and we’ve got to slow it down and make the right decisions.”
As the season winds down so do the careers of two of the best players to ever suit up for the Lady Broncs. Senior point guard Kayla Blood and senior forward Vanessa Stavish have made for one of the best Class 'A' duos you'll ever find in girls basketball.
"It’s really fortunate for a coach to have two girls like Nessa and Kay,” said Tolman of his standout seniors. “They’re four year starters, they work hard off-season and in season. They’re great students, they’re three sports athletes. They’re great examples and role models in the classroom and out of the classroom. It’s great to have and it will be a sorry kind of thing when they’re gone, because we’re going to miss them."
The Lady Broncs take the #2 seed, behind top-seeded Columbia Falls, into this week’s Northwest “A” Divisional Tournament at Glacier High School in Kalispell. Frenchtown’s first game will be Friday afternoon at 4:30 against 3-seed Libby. The Lady Broncs swept both league games against Libby this season by an accumulative score of 122-47.