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Photo Courtesy: Al Balderas/Montana Standard
Photo Courtesy: Al Balderas/Montana Standard

Women Top Lady Bison Twice Over Weekend

By Scott Lemon, Yellowstone Christian SID

BILLINGS, Mont. — The Yellowstone Christian College Centurions beat the Salish Kootenai College Lady Bison twice in two days, 67-55 on Friday and 52-47 on Saturday, for their first two earned victories of the season.

The Centurions (3-12) were gifted their first win via forfeit in their first ever game against Fort Peck Community College. Since then, the women have faced some of the top teams in the NJCAA Region IX and weren’t able to find their way back to the win column. After a heartbreaking overtime loss to Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College last Saturday, YCC was able to get over the hump and secure two victories.

Centurions 67, Lady Bison 55
On Friday, team play was the key to victory for the Centurions. The Centurions consistently used the extra pass to turn a good shot into a great shot. As a team, Yellowstone dished out 14 assists, with eight coming from the hands of Sharnell Thomas.

The Centurions hit their offensive groove early in the first quarter on Friday, but SKC was able to slow down the offensive attack as both offenses ground to a near halt. A defensive battle ensued for the remainder of the first half.

Yellowstone blew the game open in the third, building their lead to as much as 22 in the second half. Salish made a comeback attempt, spearheaded by sharpshooting Whitney Malatare, who finished the game with a game-high 22 points. But the Centurions weathered the storm and sealed the victory.

YCC saw a very balanced scoring attack on Friday. They were paced offensively by Leonardine John who finished with 16 points. Tayler Calf Boss Ribs, Paige Gregory, and Deandra Cunningham all chipped in with ten points each. Cunningham also blocked three shots to lead all players in that category.

Centurions 52, Lady Bison 47
Neither team was able to find much offense through the first few minutes of Saturday’s contest. Sloppy play by both squads dominated the first several trips down the floor. After Leonardine John left the game due to injury in the first quarter, the Centurions needed a spark, and reserve Zhane Akeya responded.

Akeya scored ten points off the bench in the absence of John, who herself averages double figures on the season. Akeya also added four rebounds and three steals.

Akeya was joined in double digits by Tiani Alvarez and Tayler Calf Boss Ribs, who also scored ten points apiece. Calf Boss Ribs just missed a double-double with nine rebounds.

Second chance points made the difference in the game, as the Centurions collected nine offensive rebounds compared to just two for the Lady Bison. Starting center Paige Gregory pulled down six offensive boards to lead all players in that category. YCC also won the rebounding battle overall (28-16).

The Centurions will return to action next weekend, welcoming in the Bravehearts of Oglala Lakota College (S.D.). Games are scheduled for 6 p.m. on Friday and 1 p.m. on Saturday, with the YCC men scheduled to follow both games. For more information on the season and for full game recaps, visit

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