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Boys fall short in overtime, girls dominate against Shields Valley

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Sophomore Isaac Bedway elevates for a shot during his standout performance against Shields Valley. PHOTO BY RICH ADDICKS

Drama of boys game extended by burst pipe; school experiences minor water damage 

By Jack Reaney STAFF WRITER 

Excitement was in no short supply at Lone Peak High School on Thursday night, as thrilling overtime basketball was disrupted by a burst pipe, which caused minor water damage near the art classroom. That scene was followed by a dominant home win for the girls.  

The boys started slow, allowing nine unanswered points after being tied 6-6 in the first quarter. The Big Horns closed the deficit to three points by the end of the first, behind freshman Ebe Grabow’s three-pointer from the corner and senior captain Max Romney’s layup-and-one.  

A quiet finish to the first half saw the Big Horns trailing 34-26 to the Shields Valley High School Rebels team that made a state-run last season. By the end of the third quarter, the Rebels had extended their lead to 45-33, and the Big Horns began to near their second consecutive home loss.  

After the Rebels scored a layup, Big Horns sophomore Isaac Bedway sparked a comeback by hitting a short floater and shouting to fire up his teammates. Junior Juliusz Shipman followed up by dropping a three, and as Romney drove toward the basket, senior captain Gus Hammond shouted “yes sir” before Romney even scored his layup.  

Senior captain Gus Hammond takes a contested shot. PHOTO BY RICH ADDICKS

Trailing by seven points, the Big Horns defense stood their ground. Coach Malinowski pointed out that the Big Horns eventually outscored the Rebels 17-5 in the fourth.  

After a Shields Valley three, Bedway answered with a jump shot and another three, bringing the margin to five with under four minutes remaining. Shipman, Romney and Grabow contributed layups and free throws between defensive stops, eventually tying the game at 50 behind Romney’s free throw with 17 seconds left.  

“I think we just needed a spark,” Bedway said after the game. “We played three really bad quarters, and at the end we started to figure out how to play as a team, and we did that really efficiently.” 

Head Coach Al Malinowski said Bedway is figuring out his role on the team and gave him credit for recognizing some key mismatches which lead to the sophomore’s “breakout night.”  

Bedway opened the overtime scoring with a free throw, and the teams traded baskets until the Rebels held a 54-53 lead. The Big Horns were surging in transition when a whistle suddenly blew. But it wasn’t the referee’s whistle.  

It was the shrill sound of the fire alarm halted overtime play, and 26 minutes would pass while school administrators sprang into action. The crowd sat idle while the teams shot around.  

No significant water damage 

School Maintenance Director Carey Pemberton told EBS that a pipe burst above the art room. The pipe system was already scheduled for replacement in summer 2023.  

“Thank God somebody was here,” he said, adding that there was no significant destruction aside from water pouring and some damaged sheet rock. “Tomorrow this would have been a major, major deal. It would have just kept pouring.” 

Water poured into a localized area, but caused little damage to school facilities. PHOTO BY JACK REANEY

Athletic director and boys assistant coach John Hannahs said water was “cascading,” and gave kudos to the administration and tech staff for taking quick action. Pemberton responded immediately from his nearby home, arriving within five minutes. The fire department came shortly after to help manage the disrupted fire-suppression system.  

When the alarm ceased and the game resumed, Bedway splashed a three under tight coverage to give the Big Horns a 56-54 lead. In the final 70 seconds, the Rebels scored a layup and a free throw to regain a one-point lead.  

With 17 seconds left, the fire alarm blared back to life. Teams quickly convened in a huddle, but Hannahs made a gesture suggesting the teams play on. The Shields Valley coach nodded in agreement, and the Big Horns prepared to set up a game-winning chance with an inbounds pass.  

“I’m not going to say it was the right decision, but we had 15 seconds left, and it was already pretty loud in the gym,” said Hannahs, who had initially responded to the broken pipe and understood the false alarm. “We just wanted to get one game down I guess, and people were tired of [waiting].” 

In the waning seconds, the Big Horns got the ball to Romney, their leading scorer. With two seconds remaining, he attempted a three but fell short, giving the Rebels a 57-56 victory.  

Coach Malinowski said it hurts to fall one possession short, and while Romney’s three-point-look might not have been ideal, it was a shot. He was proud of the Big Horns for fighting back in the late stages of the game.  

“We’ve had a couple [losses] like this now, so I know our guys are frustrated,” Malinowski said. “I also think they need to recognize that we’re gaining some valuable experience playing in these tight games. The more experience we get, we’re going to get to the outcome we want to. We just need to recognize that some turnovers in the first quarter end up being just as critical as the last possession in a tight game.” 

The Big Horns will continue to work on building depth in their visit to Sheridan High School on Friday night.  

“Sheridan’s got a good team with experienced players,” Malinowski said. “We’re going to need to find a way to rise back up after all the energy we put into tonight’s game, to compete at a high level tomorrow.” 

Girls bounce back with blowout win 

“Thank you for taking that journey with us, let’s play some basketball,” Hannahs announced before reading team rosters ahead of the girls varsity matchup.  

The game quickly escaped the Rebels’ reach, as the Big Horns extended an early 13-10 lead to 29-12 by the end of the first quarter. Soon it was 42-12, and when junior Astrid McGuire succeeded in firing a laser beam three pointer off the backboard at the halftime buzzer, the Big Horns owned a 52-15 advantage.  

McGuire (center) celebrates an unexpected buzzer-beater with teammates. PHOTO BY RICH ADDICKS

“Yeah, you know, I honestly thought we had less time, so I was trying to get the shot up,” said McGuire, who was mobbed and celebrated after her basket. “I did not expect it to go in, but I’m glad it did because it’s a little less embarrassing.” 

Seven different Big Horns would score a three-pointer during the contest, accounting for 30 total points from beyond the arc.  

“We had a great week at practice, we played fast, and we really wanted to show we could press and play fast and recover to create a lot of transition buckets,” head coach Loren Bough said. “So we accomplished that tonight. We’ve been shooting threes great all season and in warmups, so we knew we were due for a night of shooting threes well. When those two things come together, that’s the kind of team I think we’re building.  

“I would say 52 points in a half is probably a school record,” he added. “That’s a rare occurrence in girls basketball in Montana.”  

The Big Horns played as an offensive unit, distributing the ball with speed and intention. Coach Bough said the coaches stress the value of extra passes which lead to better shots.  

Grabow played a physical game with numerous steals. PHOTO BY RICH ADDICKS

“We’ve all played defense against teams that move the ball quick, and it’s really tiring,” said senior captain Jessie Bough. “For me, I know the more I move the ball, the more tired they’re gonna get, and the more open looks we’re gonna have.” 

“We all trust each other to pass,” added junior Vera Grabow. “We never stop the ball, we work together. That’s a big thing we talk about at practice, not being a ball-stopper.” 

As the Big Horns continued to defend their second half lead, starters exited the game and younger players took the court.  

“The idea here is to have a good team, but also to keep the program going at a strong level,” coach Bough said. “We’re always excited to get the freshmen and sophomores out there and give them as much playing time as possible.” 

Jessie added, “I think it’s good for them to have experience being on the court with [starters and team leaders]. I think they have a lot of fun and I think they learn a lot. And we get to learn a lot from them.” 

Jessie said everyone was having fun while playing unselfish basketball. 

“I think it was the most fun game any of us have ever played, which is what we’re working towards—playing together.” 

The Big Horns look to continue rolling against Sheridan on Friday, before their focus shifts to Manhattan Christian and Gardiner at home on Jan. 26 and 27.  

The starting squad stayed engaged late in the contest, celebrating every shot taken by JV and backup players. PHOTO BY JACK REANEY

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