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Boys Basketball

REGULAR SEASON

Class AA

• Belgrade snapped a 15-game losing streak dating to the 2017-18 season by defeating Billings Senior 58-56 on Tate Bowler's driving layup with 1.8 seconds to play. It's Belgrade's first victory against a Class AA opponent since their jump to the class this season. The Panthers led by as many as 18 in the early third quarter. The Broncs would surge back in the fourth with a 17-0 rally. Ta’veus Randle led Belgrade with a game-high 20 points, and Bowler added 13. Billings Senior was led by Chazz Haws’ 21 points and Reece Connolly’s 11.

Trevor Swanson poured in 24 points and Helena Capital overcame a sluggish second quarter to triumph over Kalispell Flathead 76-60 to close the regular season. The Bruins jumped to a 19-11 lead after one quarter, saw the Braves rally for a two-point halftime lead, then took off in a 26-14 third quarter. Shane Haller added 17 points, Brayden Koch 14 and Parker Johnston 10 for Capital. Gabe Adams had 16 points, Joston Cripe 13 and Hunter Hickey 11 for Flathead.

• Billings West’s offense owned the second half with 15-5 run in the third quarter en route to 53-47 victory over Great Falls that capped its first perfect conference season since 1993. The Golden Bears’ Neil Daily scored 17 points followed by Cade Tyson and Josh Erbacher’s 12 and 10 points. West is on a 16-game winning streak entering the postseason. Drew Wyman carried the Bison with a game-high 24 points.

• Missoula Sentinel junior Tony Frohlich-Fair returned after sitting out one game and scored 10 points as the Spartans scored a 55-42 home win over Butte to close the regular season. Hayden Kolb paced Sentinel with 14 points. Alex Germer scored 12 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. 

DIVISIONALS

Eastern A

• An 18-point, six-rebound performance from Cayden Redfield helped top-ranked Hardin earn a 69-56 win over No. 5 Billings Central for its second divisional title in three seasons. The Bulldogs (21-0) also got 13 points from Kidd Little Light and 12 apiece from Peyton Good Luck and Famous Lefthand, who missed the final quarter and a half with a hip injury. Central’s Marcus Wittman scored a game-high 21 points. Malachi Stewart and Gabriel Penha Dos Santos added 12 and nine for the defending divisional and state champion Rams (13-8).

Brendon Johnson’s 29 points and eight rebounds led Livingston (16-6) to a 58-48 win over Laurel (13-10) in the third-place game. Johnson shot 6 of 8 from the field, 2 of 4 from 3-point range and 15 of 15 from the free-throw line. Wylee Schnetter scored 13 points, Nick Pasquarello had 12 and Colter Bales added 10 for Laurel.

Brendon Johnson scored 28 points on near-perfect shooting to lead Livingston to a 59-51 win over Lewistown in the divisional elimination bracket. The victory sent the Rangers (15-6) to the State A tournament for the second straight season. The senior Johnson shot 9 of 10 from the field, 4 of 4 from 3-point range and 6 of 9 from the free-throw line. Wyatt Saile added 16 points, and fellow Livingston junior Tristan Stenseth had four points and a game-high six assists. Grayden Sanders led Lewistown (8-13) with 12 points, and fellow senior Gage Clinton added 11 and freshman Royce Robinson finished with 10. 

• Senior Danner Purkett scored 14 points and junior Wylee Schnetter had 12 in Laurel’s 53-41 win over Havre in a divisional loser-out game at Rocky Mountain College. The win secured the second straight State A tournament trip for the Locomotives (13-9) . Junior Kellen Detrick led the Blue Ponies (12-9) with 13 points, and senior Mason Rismon had nine.

Western A

• Browning rallied late to top Frenchtown 52-45 in the championship game as Riley Spoonhunter scored a game-high 22 points. The Runnin' Indians outscored Frenchtown 22-10 in the fourth quarter. Frenchtown got nine points from Devin Shelton and eight apiece from Cade Baker and Mason Pyron.

• Butte Central ran away with a 63-35 win over Polson in the consolation final as Braden Harrington scored 14 points, Trevor Neuman 11 and Matt Simkins 10. The Pirates got 12 points from Ryker Wenderoth and nine from Anton Lefthand.

• Less that 24 hours after a semifinal defeat put Butte Central a loss away from seeing their season end ing, the Maroons responded by outlasting Hamilton 41-40 in a loser-out game to secure a return trip to the State A tournament in Billings. Trevor Neumann led the Maroons with 10 points, Luke Heaphy added nine and Central weathered a 17-point performance from Hamilton's Carson Rostad

• Colton Graham led with 15 points, Ryker Wenderoth added 11 and Polson jumped to an early lead and held on for a 50-44 victory over Whitefish to secure a berth at the state tournament and earn the chance to play Butte Central in the third-place game. The Pirates led 11-4 after one quarter. Justin Conklin topped the Bulldogs with 14 points and Jayce Cripe added 10.

Northern B

Kaelob Flores led with 14 points and Conner Murray contributed 13 to lead Fairfield past Shelby 54-34 for the divisional championship. The Eagles led by seven after one quarter, 15 by halftime and 20 entering the final eight minutes. 

Joe Demontiney scored 14 points and Blake Cantrell added 13 as Rocky Boy surged past Malta 50-41 for third place. The Stars led 19-5 after one quarter, watched the Mustangs come all the way back to within six points after three quarters, and then held on. Ben Costin scored 16 points and Kooper Oxarart added 12 for Malta.

Joe Demontiney led five players in double figures with 16 points and Rocky Boy stayed alive with a 71-57 victory over Wolf Point. A 24-14 third quarter was the difference for the Stars, who led by a single point at halftime. Sean Gibson scored 14 points, Sage Bradley and Blake Cantrell had 13 apiece, and Benji Crebs 11 for Rocky Boy. Treyton Lilley led all scorers with 19 for the Wolves, who also received 11 points from Tade Wallette and 10 each from James Lien and Lance St. Germaine. 

Kooper Oxarart dominated with 29 points and Malta won the fourth quarter in downing Harlem 59-54 to earn a shot at Rocky Boy for a berth at state. Tanner Smith added 15 points and Rex Williamson 10 for the Mustangs, who outsscored the Wildcats 16-10 over the final minutes after entering the quarter trailing by a point. Brad Cichosz concluded his illustrious Harlem career with 21 points, RJ Ramone added 14 and Daniel Lawrence 10 for the Wildcats. Cichosz set a state single-game record earlier this month by scoring 68 points against Poplar on Senior Night.

Western B

• Arlee is surging at the right time and topped Deer Lodge 55-48 to win the divisional title. It's the Warriors' first season in Class B after making it to the State C title game four consecutive seasons and winning two championship. The Warriors went winless in Western 6-B conference play and needed to win a play-in game last week at the district tournament. Cody Tanner scored 22 points to pace Arlee, and Tapit Haynes added 17. Deer Lodge got 21 points from Logan Nicholson.

• Liam Haffey led a balanced Missoula Loyola offense with 13 points, Jaden Job had 12 and Will Burns 11 and the Rams secured third place with a 54-44 victory over Thompson Falls. Loyola jumped to a 19-9 lead after one quarter. Sidney Akinde led T-Falls with 18 points.

Jaden Job led all scorers with 18 points and Basil Coutinho chipped in with nine to lead Missoula Loyola past Anaconda 53-46 in an elimination game. Eli Saltenberger topped the Copperheads with 14 points and Kylar Gochanour helped with 12.

• Sidney Akinde's 11 points topped Thompson Falls in a 36-34 win that eliminated defending state champion Bigfork. The game was tied at 22-all entering the fourth quarter. Isaac Bjorge's 10 points led the Vikings.

Northern C

Hayden Diekhans led with 17 points and seven rebounds, Garett Diekhans added 11 points and seven rebounds, and Fort Benton trounced Big Sandy 57-39 for the divisional crown. The Longhorns trailed 12-10 after one quarter but led by four at halftime and put the game away with an 18-6 third quarter. Ryan Roth led the Pioneers with 12 points, and Clint Darlington added eight points and 10 rebounds. 

Aiden McDaniel was tops with 17 points, Kaimen Evans helped with 13 and Bridger Vogl popped in 11 to lead Belt to the third-place trophy with a 51-45 triumph over Chinook. The Huskies trailed 15-10 after one quarter but rallied to lead by three at halftime and then pitched an 11-0 shutout in the third quarter before Chinook made a fourth-quarter surge to trim a 14-point deficit to five. Ethan Bell led the Sugarbeeters with 15 points, Hunter Neibauer added 12 and Reese Elliot 11.

Aiden McDaniel scored 18 points, grabbed four rebounds and dished three assists as Belt moved into the third-place game by edging Roy-Winifred 41-39. Bridger Vogl scored 12 points and Kaimen Evans contributed 11 for the Huskies, who also received eight rebounds from TJ Hennes. Justin Stulc led the Outlaws with 16 points and 11 rebounds. 

Toby Niederegger had 20 points and seven rebounds, and Ethan Bell added 17 points and nine rebounds as Chinook overpowered Centerville 68-42 to  move into a third-place game against Belt. Hunter Neibauer had 11 points and 10 rebounds, and Reese Elliot supplied 10 points and 13 rebounds for the Sugarbeeters, who outrebounded the Miners 48-21. Carson McGinness wrapped up an all-star season with 21 points for Centerville.  

Western C

• Defending state champion Manhattan Christian topped Gardiner 72-55 in the championship game as Josiah Amunrud scored 27 points, Caidin Hill added 17 and Sam Leep pitched in with 14. Jackson Bredenberg scored 16 points, Luke Stermitz added 11 and Elijah Byrd had 10 for Gardiner, which will play Twin Bridges at Belgrade at 6:30 p.m. Monday in a challenge game for the second spot to state.

Charlie Kruer had the hot hand with 25 points, and Bryce Nye had 15 points and six steals as Twin Bridges captured third place with a resounding 69-38 romp over St. Regis. The Falcons will also get a shot at state when they face Gardiner in a challenge game Monday in Belgrade. 

Nicholas Day scored 14 points, Andrew Sanford had 12 and John Pruitt 11 as St. Regis' balance offset the hot shooting of Harrison-Willow Creek's Vern Homner for a 62-55 victory in a loser-out game. Homner poured in 27 points but was the only double-figure scorer for the Wildcats. 

• Jake Hughes led with 12 points and Bryce Nye added 10 to help lift Twin Bridges over Darby 44-30 in a loser-out game. Preston Smith scored eight points for the Tigers. 

Girls Basketball

REGULAR SEASON

Class AA

Willa Albrecht scored 11 points, Laiten Lantis added 10 and Billings West closed its regular season on a 13-game winning streak by downing Great Falls 55-37. The Golden Bears started the season 2-3. The game was knotted at 11-all after one quarter but West outscored the Bison 23-12 over the next eight minutes. Morgan Sunchild scored 10 points and Alison Harris added nine for Great Falls.

Ellie Keller scored 18 points and Aubrie Rademacher added 14 as Kalispell Glacier finished strong with a 57-52 victory at Helena. The Wolfpack led by 11 points entering the fourth quarter. Riley Thennis scored 16 points, McKayla Kloker 12 and Caroline Bullock 11 for the Bengals. 

Mara McGinley led three players in double figures with 17 points and Helena Capital finished its season on a high note with a 72-30 dismantling of Kalispell Flathead to claim the Western AA crown. Dani Bartsch pumped in 16 points and sister Paige Bartsch added 15 for the Bruins, who led 28-12 after the first quarter and upped the margin to 32 by halftime. Jenna Johnson's 17 points led the Bravettes.

Lexi Deden poured in 31 points, and Jayden Salisbury and Challis Westwater helped with 10 apiece as Missoula Sentinel pummeled Butte 65-29 to close out the regular season. The Spartans jumped to an 18-9 lead after one quarter and sprinted past the Bulldogs in each ensuing quarter. McCaul McCarthy's 10 points paced Butte. 

DIVISIONALS

Eastern A

Solei Elletson led with 14 points, Olivia Moten-Schell contributed 12 and Mya Hansen added 10 as Billings Central fended off rival Hardin for the second time this season, 44-39, to win the divisional crown. The Bulldogs clawed back to trail by a single point after three quarters, but the Rams won it with a 15-11 fourth quarter. Kylee Old Elk topped Hardin with 10 points and Navaeh Alden added eight.

Kadia Miller and Sadie Fillius both scored 11 points to lead Havre to a 46-32 win over Livingston in the third-place game. Havre pulled away from a four-point halftime lead by outscoring the Rangers 27-17 in the second half. Kodie Vondra scored nine points to lead Livingston, which earlier in the day qualified for the state tournament for the third time since 2008 with a loser-out win over Laurel. Havre, the two-time defending Class A champion, has two thirds, two seconds and a first from the Eastern A in the five years since the divisional combined the old Eastern A and Central A conferences (since realigned into Southeast A and Northeast A conferences).

• A little more than 12 hours after losing in overtime in the semifinals, the two-time defending state champion Havre Blue Ponies bounced back with a 64-45 loser-out win over Glendive. The victory returns the No. 3 Blue Ponies (20-2) to the state tournament in two weeks. Kyndall Keller led three Blue Ponies into double figures with 17 points. Kadia Miller added 13 points and Jesse Chvilicek made three 3-pointers on her way to 11 points. Savannah Toms led Glendive with 17 points and Karsen Murphy had 10 for Glendive (12-8).

• A big fourth quarter propelled the Livingston Rangers into the third-place game as well as the state tournament in two weeks with a 37-29 loser-out win over Laurel. Trailing 19-18 going into the fourth quarter, the Rangers outscored the Locomotives 11-4 in the final eight minutes to take the victory. Taylor Young led the way for the Rangers (13-9) with 11 points. Skylar Higgs added nine points. Sammi Spitzer scored 13 points for Laurel (12-10).

Western A

• A night after clinching its second state berth in history, Corvallis edged Hamilton 44-43 for the division championship. 

• Browning topped Dillon 48-22 in the consolation final to earn the No. 3 seed for the state tournament. Dulci Skunkcap led Browning with 14 points and Tamika Guardipee had 11. The Beavers, who had advanced by toppling Frenchtown 46-34 earlier in the morning, received seven points each from Josey Jones and Ainsely Shipman

Dulci Skunkcap led all scorers with 20 points and Browning got off to a fast start in dispatching Whitefish 49-33 to secure a spot at the state tournament. The Runnin' Indians led 19-7 after one quarter and built the margin to 18 by halftime. Gracie Smyley's 10 points paced the Bulldogs. 

Western B

• Missoula Loyola improved to 23-0, won the divisional title and earned a top seed to state by scoring a 50-29 win over Bigfor. Nat Clevenger paced the Breakers with 15 points, and Lani Walker, who recently returned from an injury, added 10. Bigfork got a game-high 16 points from Ansleigh Edgerton. Bigfork, which already defeated consolation-game winner Thompson Falls, earned the second spot to state.

Ellie Baxter pumped in 21 points, Megan Baxter provided 17 and Jody Detlaff helped with 12 as Thompson Falls nabbed third place with a 66-49 romp over Anaconda. The game was still within reach for the Copperheads in the fourth quarter until T-Falls went on a 21-11 run. Logan Stetzner scored 15 points and Megan Reich added 10 for Anaconda. 

• Isabel Saltenberger led with 16 points and Logan Stetzner and Kora Kelly dropped in nine apiece as Anaconda staved off elimination with a 58-46 triumph over Florence. A 19-9 second quarter was the difference for the Copperheads. Emma Stensrud had 16 points and Kylie Kovatch 10 for the Falcons. 

• Jody Detlaff scored 17 points and Ellie Baxter added 10 for Thompson Falls in a 54-43 loser-out match with Eureka. Katie Schmidt's 17 points led the Lions, who trailed 30-18 at halftime. 

Eastern C

• Scobey outlasted Westby-Grenora 40-36 for the championship. The Spartans automatically qualify for the state tournament and the Thunder will have to beat Froid-Lake on Monday in Plentywood to advance.

Sydney Labatte led the way with 19 points and Sydney Dethman was right behind with 18 to lead Froid-Lake to a third-place finish and a challenge game Monday with a 54-36 romp over Saco-Whitewater-Hinsdale. The Redhawks led by eight after one quarter and 11 at halftime. Kaitlyn McColly had 14 points and Kia Wasson 10 for the Mavericks. Froid-Lake will face Westby-Grenora on Monday in Plentywood with a state berth on the line.

• Kaitlyn McColly tossed in 17 points and Jaycee Erickson contributed 12 as Saco-Whitewater-Hinsdale extended its season with a 57-32 romp over Fairview in a loser-out game. Montana Zevenberger scored 15 points to lead Fairview in its final game. 

Sydney Dethman had the hot hand with 20 points and Sydney Labatte accumulated 13 and Froid-Lake moved into the third-place game with a 50-37 toppling of Plentywood. The Redhawks entered the fourth quarter trailing by a point but went on a 17-3 spree to close it out. Liv Wangerin led the Wildcats with 16 points. 

Northern C

• Roy-Winifred squeaked past Belt 47-46 for the crown and both teams will compete in the state tournament in two weeks. The Outlaws and Huskies have split four games this year, Roy-Winifred winning the divisional title and Belt the district championship.

McKenzie Clark scored 17 points, Aspen Giese 12 and Megan Clark 11 for Fort Benton in a 77-27 demolishing of Hays-Lodgepole for third place. Eleven players scored for the Longhorns, who were up 41-15 by halftime. Ella Messerly, Tahtianna Whitecow and Jaedyn Chandler all scored seven points for the Thunderbirds. 

Emerson Giese led with 12 points and four rebounds, and McKenzie Clark added 12 points as Fort Benton advanced to the afternoon game with a 52-37 triumph over Turner. Sarah Billmayer led the way for the Tornadoes with 16 points and five rebounds, and Shyann Krass produced 13 points and 13 board. 

Ella Messerly scored 16 points, Mulleah Stiffarm added eight points and four rebounds, and Hays-Lodgepole pitched a 19-0 shutout in the first quarter en route to a 59-26 romp over Denton-Geyser-Stanford and the right to face Fort Benton in the third-place game. Nashone Shambo had five points and five steals for the Thunderbirds. Adie Woodhall had six points and three steals, and Mariah Schott added four points and seven rebounds for the Bearcats. 

Western C

Klaire Kovatch scored 10 points, hauled down 13 rebounds and added two steals and Seeley-Swan won the divisional crown with a hard-fought 39-37 overtime win over West Yellowstone. Terra Bertsch's six points and six rebounds also proved crucial. Emmie Collins led the Wolverines with 13 points, Rebekah Everest added 12 points and eight rebounds, and Averi Parker provided 10 rebounds.

Eliana Kuperus scored 11 points and Kiersten Van Kirk contributed 10 to lead Manhattan Christian over Charlo 41-28 in the third-place game. The Eagles led 14-2 after one quarter and by 14 points at halftime. Liev Smith scored 11 points to pace the Vikings. Manhattan Christian earned the right to face West Yellowstone on Monday for a shot at the divisional's second berth at state.

Kiersten Van Kirk led three players in double figures with 16 points as Manhattan Christian advanced to the third-place game with a 55-30 romp over Alberton-Superior. Ava Bellach contributed 12 points and Eliana Kuperus added 10 points and eight rebounds for the Eagles, who trailed by three points after the first quarter but went on a 22-5 tear over the next eight minutes. Darby Haskins led the MountainCats with 12 points.

Carlee Fryberger led with 13 points and three steals, and Liev Smith provided 11 points and six rebounds to lead Charlo into the third-place game against Manhattan Christian with a 38-32 triumph over Hot Springs. The Vikings bolted to a 15-6 lead after one quarter and held on after the Savage Heat trimmed the deficit to three entering the final eight minutes. McKenzie Cannon scored 11 points and hauled down 14 rebounds for Hot Springs.

20-Point Club

31: Lexi Deden, Missoula Sentinel

29: Kooper Oxarart, Malta

29: Brendon Johnson, Livingston

27: Vern Homner, Harrison-Willow Creek

27: Josiah Amunrud, Manhattan Christian

25: Charlie Kruer, Twin Bridges

24: Trevor Swanson, Helena Capital

24; Drew Wyman, Great Falls

22: Rylee Spoonhunter, Browning

22: Cody Tanner, Arlee

21: Carson McGinness, Centerville

21: Brad Cichosz, Harlem

21: Ellie Baxter, Thompson Falls

21: Chazz Haws, Billings Senior

21: Weston Price, Kalispell Glacier

21: Logan Nicholson, Deer Lodge

21: Marcus Wittman, Billings Central

20: Toby Niederegger, Chinook

20: Dulci Skunkcap, Browning

20: Ta’veus Randell, Belgrade

20: Sydney Dethman, Froid-Lake

20: Colt Miller, Froid-Lake

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