By Pierre Bibbs
Sports Editor 

M-ette Basketball 2018-19

M-ettes hope to build on last year's effort


December 5, 2018

Lynne Brewer Photography

The 2018-19 Malta M-ettes: Back row L to R: Head Coach Nate Hammond, Mira Heitland, Skylie Lefdahl, Justine Lamb, Kayla Judd, Carly Garfield, Sidney Meeks, Wylee Young, manager Reba Doucette, Assistant Coach Shane Anderson. Middle row L to R: Macy Williamson, Raina Mortenson, Erica Smith, Kelbee Denham, Kyleigh Schipman, Kloie Marks, Aidan Wiese, and Kaylee Bishop. Front row L to R: Nikki Nicholson, Jillian O'Brien, Leslie Young, Kylie Hunter, and Makiya Wilke.

The 2017-18 season ended in divisionals for the Malta M-ettes, as Fairfield defeated Malta 36-30 in the consolation semi-finals. Neither team made state, but this season has the potential to be different as Malta has 21 athletes on their roster, many of which have played varsity and sub-varsity for Malta last season.

The M-ettes lost Ella Schye to graduation and will be without the help of a few current seniors from last years team. The M-ettes return junior guard Kelbee Denham, their lone All-Conference athlete from last season.

"Kelbee is a really good shooter, who has a lot of poise out there on the floor," Coach Nate Hammond said. "She does a good job handling the offense and we expect her to be even more confident this year."

The team also returns seniors Kloie Marks, Kyleigh Schipman, Raina Mortenson, and Wylee Young. Returning juniors named to the first varsity list of the season include Aidan Wiese, Carly Garfield, and Denham. Sophomores named to varsity include Erica Smith and Sidney Meeks. The team as a whole is comprised of four seniors, six juniors, five sophomores, and six freshmen.

"We have got a good balance of kids at different ages," Coach Hammond said.

The senior class provided a pair of leaders last season, and their leadership has been noticed by Coach Hammond.

"I would say that Kloie and Kyleigh are both a couple of good senior leaders that have the ability to play well in big games," Coach Hammond said. "Those two were good leaders for us and did lots of good things."

Coach Hammond said that he has also seen good things from Young and Mortenson, who have both had plenty of varsity experience last season.

"Raina is a really tough kid," Coach Hammond said. "Really gritty and has a motor that goes full speed all of the time, she brings a lot of energy to the court and has been playing very well."

Coach Hammond admired the fact that Mortenson came to practice a day after getting her wisdom teeth removed. Junior Carly Garfield saw a lot of time at the post position last season.

"She has improved a lot and I hope to see some nice things from her this season," Coach Hammond said.

Sophomore Erica Smith started as a bench player last season but had ultimately earned a starting spot thanks to her hard work on the court.

"Erica is just very competitive and very athletic," Coach Hammond said. "She has got a determination when she is out there that goes along well with her being so explosive. It makes her a really good asset, especially on defense."

Though eventually, the team will set their sights on the postseason, right now Coach Hammond is interested to see how they stack up against opponents they will face this weekend as they travel to Shelby to take on Florence and Cut Bank

"I think that will tell us a lot about where we are at right now," Coach Hammond said. "Florence is one of the best teams in the west over there. They had one senior on the roster last year and Cut Bank was the same with only one senior on the roster."

2018-19 Malta M-ettes

Varsity Schedule



Nov. 19 Monday First Practice TBA Malta

Dec. 7-8 Fri.-Sat. Shelby Tournament TBA Shelby

Dec. 14 Friday Harlem 8 p.m. Harlem

Dec. 15 Saturday Poplar 5:30 p.m. Malta

Dec. 18 Tuesday Havre 5:30 p.m. Malta

Dec. 21 Friday Wolf Point 7:30 p.m. Wolf Point

Jan. 4 Friday Rocky Boy 6 p.m. Rocky Boy

Jan. 5 Saturday Roundup 4 p.m. Malta

Jan. 11 Friday Glasgow 8 p.m. Glasgow

Jan. 12 Saturday Shelby 3 p.m. Malta

Jan. 18 Friday Harlem 7:30 p.m. Malta

Jan. 19 Saturday Poplar 5:30 p.m. Poplar

Jan. 24 Thursday Wolf Point 7:30 p.m. Malta

Jan. 26 Saturday Havre 4 p.m. Havre

Feb. 1 Friday Rocky Boy 6 p.m. Malta

Feb. 2 Saturday Roundup 4 p.m. Roundup

Feb. 8 Friday Glasgow 7:30 p.m. Malta

Feb. 9 Saturday Shelby 4 p.m. Shelby

Postseason Tournaments

Feb. 14-16 Thurs.-Sat. Boys & Girls District Tourney Glasgow

Feb. 21-23 Thurs.-Sat. Girls Divisional Tourney Malta

Mar. 7-9 Thurs.-Sat. Boys & Girls State Tourney MSU-Bozeman

Pierre Bibbs

Erica Smith provided a spark off the bench last season as a freshman and eventually earned a starting spot.


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