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Guide to the 2018 Class A State Boys Basketball Tournament

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March 1-3, 2018

Brick Breeden Fieldhouse in Bozeman

Overview: As always, eight teams will compete for the right to be crowned state champion. But this year there will be a new champion, as the two-time defending champion Dillon Beavers are not among this year’s field.

Eastern A: Boys Championship

Hardin activities director Mike Erickson holds up the first place trophy as he presents it to the Hardin boys basketball team after they won the championship game at the Eastern A divisional basketball tournament at Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark on Saturday, February 24, 2018.

From the East:

This is Hardin's third straight year to the state tournament and though they returned with a younger roster in starting three sophomores this season, the Bulldogs are 19-1, their only loss of the year coming at the hands of Billings Central in a double-overtime thriller. The up-tempo style of Hardin has averaged 73 points per game while allowing around 53 points.

Other qualifiers: Belgrade (14-7), Lewistown (18-4) and Billings Central (15-7)

Hamilton Broncs

Hamilton's Cam Rothie dribbles down the court during the Western A Divisional Championship Feb. 24, 2018.

From the West:

Like Hardin, this is the third year in a row Hamilton has made the state tournament. After going two and out in both of the previous years, this year, the Broncs are the only undefeated team in Class A at 23-0. The Broncs have been the top-ranked team in the boys basketball rankings all season long and have been a dominant force throughout the season. The Broncs have averaged 67 points per game this year and have topped the 80-point mark four times.

Other qualifiers: Frenchtown (16-9), Butte Central (16-8) and Browning (19-6)


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Fun fact:

Hamilton has never won a state boys title in basketball at the Class A level. Its lone championship came at the Class B level back in 1947, ironically, against Hardin. They met again in 1948 and the Bulldogs took that meeting. Hardin owns four total state championships, defeating Class B Fairfield in 1949 and winning Class A in 1995 and 1997.


Butte Central and Billings Central both own the longest consecutive state tournament streaks at four years in a row each. The Rams, two-time state runner-ups, topped rival Laurel in the Eastern A consolation semifinals to end the Locomotives 10-year run at making the state tournament. Belgrade returns to state after its fourth-place finish last year.

aWestern A Boys Consolation - Central vs. Browning 8

The Browning bench erupts during the final minutes of its Western A boy's consolation game against Butte Central on Saturday at the Butte Civic Center.


  • Browning (19-6) is back in the state tournament after last appearing in 2012. The Indians were members of the Central A last year, but reclassifications and realignments had them playing in the Northwest A conference this year. Browning used the back half of the Western A bracket to advance to state, but were the ones to knock Dillon out in the consolation semifinals, halting the Beavers chance at a 3-peat.
  • Lewistown is snapping the longest streak of them all, making the state tournament again for the first time since 2002.
  • Frenchtown (16-9) is returning for the first time since 2013.
Eastern A: Belgrade vs Lewistown

in the semifinals of the Eastern A divisional basketball tournament at Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark on Friday, February 23, 2018.

Email Kyle Hansen at or follow him on Twitter at @khansen406


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