Using quick hands on defense and a consistent outside shooting touch on offense, the Bigfork Valkyries turned what was supposed to be an evenly matched showdown between the second and third seeds into a lopsided 56-33 victory on Friday evening in the Northwestern A girls divisional semifinals at Glacier High School.
No. 2 Libby never led, as the third-seeded Vals jumped out to an 8-0 lead and never looked back. Bigfork advances to the divisional title game against Columbia Falls on Saturday night at 8 p.m. at Glacier High School. Libby drops into the consolation bracket and will face No. 4 Polson on Saturday morning at 10:45 a.m. at Flathead High School.
Sophomore guard Caitlin Charlebois had a breakout game for the Vals, scoring 19 points and constantly harassing the Lady Loggers on defense. Senior Roxy Thurman added 14 points for Bigfork. Charlebois hit four three-pointers and Thurman made three.
Junior Jackie Mee, the second-leading scorer in the conference, paced Libby with 16 points. Jaime Gilden scored 11.
This is the second straight year the Valkyries are in the championship game. Last year, the Vals beat Whitefish 49-40 en route to a perfect 12-0 conference record for the season. The Vals lost four starters from that team, but built a solid young core around Thurman this year and emerged as a contender during the regular season.
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