Lady Dogs drop close games in Tip-Off Tourney

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  • Marlee Bender posts up against a Eureka defender last week.

  • 1

    Hope Brown floats a layup against Eureka on Tuesday.

  • Marlee Bender posts up against a Eureka defender last week.

  • 1

    Hope Brown floats a layup against Eureka on Tuesday.

The Lady Dogs have started their season with a clear improvement in scoring, but haven’t been able to finish down the stretch.

Whitefish opened the season with a trio of losses to Eureka, Dillon and Butte Central.

In the opener against Eureka, Whitefish trailed just 23-18 at half and 37-27 heading into the final quarter.

A quick Eureka run at the start of the fourth put the Lady Dogs away, however, and Whitefish fell 54-38.

Marlee Bender was the high scorer for Whitefish with 13 points.

Over the weekend the team traveled to Missoula for the Class A Tip-Off Tournament, where they faced off against some top Southwest A competition.

Dillon edged out a two-point win over Whitefish in a tightly-contested 37-35 game.

Whitefish led at half but was outscored in the final two frames. Bender led the team with 10, and Dillon’s Brynley Fitzgerald had a game-high 23 points.

Another tight battle against Butte Central capped off the road trip.

Despite holding Butte to two points in the fourth, a slow start plagued the Lady Dogs for a 46-35 loss.

Butte jumped out to a 36-18 halftime lead.

Payton Kastella led Whitefish scorers with 12 and Claire Carloss added 11.

Whitefish heads to Polson on Friday before turning around to host Browning on Saturday.

Friday’s game will be at 6 p.m., while Saturday’s will start at 5 p.m.

Eureka 10 13 14 17 — 54

Whitefish 7 11 9 11 — 38

EUREKA — Sienna Utter 15, Liz Pacella 9, Maggie Graves 5, Karlee Frost 3, Cassie Hammack 6, Erryn Thier 16.

WHITEFISH — Kit Anderson 2, Hope Brown 3, Kaiah Moore 3, Ashton Ramsey 8, Annissa Brown 2, Payton Kastella 7, Marlee Bender 13.

Whitefish 8 12 4 11 — 35

Dillon 11 7 7 12 — 37

WHITEFISH: Kit Anderson 3, Claire Carloss 5, Annisa Brown 9, Peyton Kastella 6, Marly Bender 10.

DILLON: Brynley Fitzgerald 23, Paige Rouse 9, Jordan McKay 2, Josey Jones 2, Kyndall Peterson 1.

Butte Central 15 21 8 2 — 46

Whitefish 6 12 13 4 — 35

Butte Central: Thatcher 14, Michelotti 10, Bolton 9, Joyce 5, Kump 5, Davis 2, Keeley 1.

Whitefish: Payton Kastella 12, Claire Carloss 11, Annisa Brown 8, Marlee Bender 4.

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