HELENA — The Townsend girls basketball team, which is the Class B tournament's No. 3 seed from the South, is making its first appearance at State in five years.

The Bulldogs, under coach Dan Hazlett, open the tournament on Thursday at the University of Montana's Dahlberg Arena at 3:30 p.m. when they meet Northern Division champion Rocky Boy.

Broadwater's last trip to the Big Show resulted in a state runner-up trophy, when they lost to perennial power Fairfield — and future Gonzaga star Jill Barta — in the 2013 Class B title game.

Townsend enters the tourney with a sparkling 21-4 record. Three of those losses came at the hands of undefeated and 406mtsports.com No. 1 ranked Three Forks, the last taking place for the District 5B title. The fourth defeat was an overtime battle to Colstrip at divisionals.

Tavia Rooney, a 6-foot junior post, leads Broadwater in several categories. The 2017 Independent Record Female Player of the Year, Rooney owns a double-double average at 12.4 points and 10.5 rebounds, along with 3.0 steals and 2.0 blocks per game.

Senior forward Lainee Hill is scoring 10.4 points and grabbing 6.2 boards a game, while Charlotte Watson and Catie Watson average 8.5 and 6.2 ppg. Catie is the team's assist-leader at 3.2 passes per game, followed by Rooney's 3.0.

"Defense, constant communication, and patience and execution on the offensive end of the court will be our keys to success," Hazlett said.

The tourney's championship game is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Saturday in Dahlberg Arena.   

Curt Synness is on Twitter @curtsynness_IR and can be reached at curt.synness@lee.net or curt52synness@gmail.com