Belgrade girls basketball 3 (copy)

Belgrade's Noami Reanier shoots the ball as Beaverhead County's Ainsley Shipman defends earlier this season.

The good news was Belgrade managed to shut down Billings West’s top offensive weapon Thursday night.

The bad news was the Panthers had a tough time containing everyone else.

The Golden Bears boasted 11 players in the scoring column in a 70-28 Eastern AA victory over the Panthers. That includes a game-high 12 points by Kendall Ellis.

“They are a good team,” first-year Belgrade head coach Erin Nolte said. “They have a lot of depth.”

West (5-3, 4-0 Eastern AA) features the Albrecht twins, Maddie and Willa, a pair of 6-foot guards. While Maddie tallied eight points, Willa only scored four.

“One of them is signed to play for the Grizzlies next year,” Nolte noted. “So we focused pretty hard on the two of them, and we were able to hold the one to four points. So I would call that a pretty good defensive play, although their bench was able to come up and score a lot more points.”

Belgrade senior Hazel Eaton was tasked with defending Willa Albrecht, who scored all four of her points in the third quarter on a field goal and two free throws.

“Defensively we played hard,” Nolte said. “Hazel had a great game defensively. She was the one who ended up kind of holding up Albrecht to four points. So she busted her butt and did awesome defensively.”

The Bears led 20-9 after the first quarter and 38-15 at halftime. Maddie Albrecht and Ellis combined for 15 points in the first quarter.

West went on to outscore Belgrade 26-13 in the second half. Seven players scored six or more points in the contest.

“They were able to attack us from the outside. I think they shot pretty well percentage-wise from the field,” Nolte said. “We were just trying to adjust to a new defense. We tried something kind of new on a whim, and we were able to shut down their best player, but it wasn’t enough.”

Naomi Reanier led the Panthers (1-8, 0-4) with eight points, and Grace Garvert added six.

“(Reanier's) doing a good job of seeing the basket, so that’s a good thing,” Nolte said. “We need to work on finding an offense that’s going to score us points.”

Belgrade next plays at Great Falls on Jan. 31.

Colton Pool can be reached at or 406-582-2690. Follow him on Twitter @CPoolReporter.