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Full Court Press: Friday high school basketball highlights (Feb. 23)

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Boys Basketball

Eastern A

• David Evans led with 19 points and Trae Hugs tossed in 17 as Hardin broke open a close game in the third quarter and cruised to a 61-41 semifinal win over Laurel. Laurel got 11 points from Gaje Leischner. Hardin faces Belgrade on Saturday night for the divisional crown.

Dawson Fowler scored 15 points and Easton Page chipped in with 10 as Belgrade pulled away in the second half for a 41-33 semifinal win over Lewistown. Jaden Graham topped the Golden Eagles with 12.

Western A

Tanner Goligoski scored 18 points and Carter Kearns added 14 as Hamilton (22-0) remained unbeaten with a 56-44 semifinal win over Dillon. Goligoski was 4-for-5 from 3-point range. Clay Allison topped Dillon with nine points.

Jared Cole topped Frenchtown with 12 points and hit the game-winning 3-point basket in the waning seconds of overtime as the Broncs rolled into a championship meeting with Hamilton by downing Butte Central 45-43 in a semifinal. Braden Harrington led the Maroons with 15 points.

Northern B

Aaron White scored 14 points, and Kade Leck and T.J. Reynolds chipped in with 12 apiece as Shelby rallied past Fairfield 62-61 in a semifinal. Fairfield led 50-43 entering the fourth quarter. Kolbe Pitcher topped the Eagles with 16 points but missed a game-winning shot at the buzzer. The Coyotes face Rocky Boy for the divisional title Saturday night.

Ben Iron Eyes scored 20 points, Kendell Windy Boy 19 and Frankie Bacon 17 as Rocky Boy powered past Choteau 84-54 in a semifinal game. The Northern Stars and Shelby square off for the third time this season Saturday; the teams have split their two games. Sayer Patton led Choteau with 16 points.

Western B

Logan Gilliard scored 21 points, Colton Reichenbach had 14 and Beau Santisteven added 12 as Bigfork outlasted Anaconda 58-57 in double overtime in a semifinal game. Braxton Hill, Anaconda's career leading scorer, topped the Copperheads with 24. Anaconda led 26-18 at halftime. Bigfork faces Missoula Loyola for the title Saturday.

• Three players in double figures for Missoula Loyola were too much for Marcus Zeiler's 24 points for Florence-Carlton as the Loyola overcame the Falcons 53-45 in a semifinal game. Joey McElroy led with 15 points, Jack Lincoln added 13 and Jacob Hollenback had 12 for Loyola. 

Eastern C

CJ Nelson scored 21 points as Scobey outlasted Fairview 46-45 for the divisional championship and top seed in the state tournament. Carson Cayko topped Fairview with 18 points. In the third-place game, Jeremiah Payne's 11 points lifted Westby-Grenora past Froid-Lake 45-33.

Northern C

Riley Spoonhunter poured in 26 points, Charlie Tailfeathers had 15 points and Shylon Spoonhunter notched nine points, 13 rebounds and six assists as Heart Butte rallied from a five-point deficit after three quarters to defeat Sunburst 72-65 to win the divisional title. Treyton Pickering had 20 points and 13 rebounds, and Jeff Owens added 17 for Sunburst, which plays Belt on Saturday in a challenge game for the division's second berth at state.

Southern C

Rylan Gauthier scored 20 points and Talon Johnstone added 11 as Park City pulled off the surprise of the night, upsetting unbeaten Melstone 44-42 in a semifinal game that went down to the wire. Brody Grebe led the Broncs with 21 points. Park City will face Bridger for the title Saturday night.

Kolton Pospisil scored 22 points, Carson Roberts had 15 and Russell Zentner 12 as Bridger KO'd Plenty Coups for the third time in four tries this season, 73-54 in semifinal action.

Western C

Will Mesteth scored 25 points to lead four players in double figures as defending state champion Arlee knocked off Manhattan Christian in a rematch of last year's Class C state title game, 69-60 in a semifinal. Greg Whitesell had 16 points, Philip Malatare 12 and Lane Johnson 11 for the Warriors. Matthew Amunrud scored 13 for the Eagles, who also got 12 from Jacob Bos and 11 apiece from Caleb Bellach and Parker Dyksterhouse.

Tanner Ovitt scored 20 points to lead Plains as the Horsemen held off Twin Bridges 56-46 to move into the championship game against Arlee. Daniel Kruer had 22 points and Bryce Nye 18 to keep the Falcons close.

Girls Basketball

Eastern A

• Marie Five scored 18 points as Hardin won a slugfest over Billings Central 44-33 in a semifinal showdown. Isabelle Erickson led the Rams with 11 points. Hardin will square off against unbeaten and top-ranked Havre for the divisional title Saturday night.

Kyndall Keller led three players in double figures with 15 points as Havre broke open a close game in the third quarter and cruised to a 56-41 semifinal win over Laurel. Kaylee Nystrom and Kadia Miller each scored 10 points for Havre. Kaitlyn Dawes topped Laurel with nine.

Western A

Kloie Thatcher scored 26 points — seven more than the entire Frenchtown team — and grabbed eight rebounds as Butte Central nearly doubled up the Broncs, 37-19, in a semifinal game.

Tamilka Guardipee led the way with 13 points and eight rebounds as Browning used a swarming defense to coast into the championship game against Butte Central with a 53-31 trouncing of Dillon. Paige Rouse led the Beavers with 12 points. Leading scorer Brynley Fitzgerald was held to six points on 2-of-17 shooting.

Western B

Darcy Walker scored 12 points as Deer Lodge surprised Florence-Carlton 36-32 in a semifinal game. Danielle Zahn led the Falcons with 15.

Northern C

Lilly Gopher led with 16 points, Cecilia Vielle had 14 points and 12 rebounds, and Sarah Parisian added 10 points as Box Elder ended defending state champion and top-ranked Belt's reign with a 57-52 semifinal victory. Dani Urick topped Belt with 21 points. Box Elder will face Winnett-Grass Range for the championship Saturday night. It is the Huskies' first loss of the season.

Brynn Jolma and Sydney Browning each had 11 points as Winnett-Grass Range earned a berth in the title game with a 46-36 semifinal victory over Hobson-Moore-Judith Gap. Browning added four rebounds and two assists. Brianna Bergum had 12 points and six rebounds to lead Hobson-Moore-Judith Gap.

Western C

• Josie Hokanson and Whitney McKitrick each scored nine points as Ennis used a stifling defense to fend off Charlo 50-38 in a semifinal to set up a rematch of last year's divisional title game with Twin Bridges. No Charlo player scored more than five points.

Kailee Oliverson scored 16 points and RaeAnne Bendon added 10 as Twin Bridges got off to a strong start and held off Arlee 44-35 in a semifinal game. Alyssia Vanderbug led Arlee with 13 points.

20-Point Party

38: Cade Myrick, Glasgow

35: Taylor Matthews, Malta

33: Kobe Chaska, Terry

30: Nathaniel Stiffarm, Browning

29: Jeremiah Payne, Westby-Grenora

28: Trevor Herzog, Reed Point-Rapelje

28: Tyler Kinghorn, Billings Skyview

26: Kloie Thatcher, Butte Central

26: Kola Bad Bear, Billings Senior

25: Micalann McCrea, Ronan

25: Dani Douglas, Columbia Falls

25: Kiah Hohenstein, Belgrade

25: Mya Fourstar, Frazer

24: Trace Simonson, Saco-Whitewater-Hinsdale

24: Kinley Peterson, Westby-Grenora

24: Marcus Zeiler, Florence-Carlton

24: Braxton Hill, Anaconda

23: Damon Sadler, Poplar

22: Brandon Aimsback, Browning

22: Shyan Krass, Turner

22: Clay Ferguson, Butte

22: Kolton Pospisil, Bridger

22: Daniel Kruer, Twin Bridges

21: Abby Clark, Fort Benton

21: Logan Gilliard, Bigfork

21: Shade Main, Polson

21: Kiara Salsbury, Westby-Grenora

21: Jada Sudbrack, Saco-Whitewater-Hinsdale

21: Dani Urick, Belt

21: Luke Holland, Drummond

21: Madison Lommen, Alberton-Superior

21: CJ Nelson, Scobey

20: Cobe Begger, Wibaux

20: Ben Iron Eyes, Rocky Boy

20: Tanner Ovitt, Plains


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