Big Horns basketball one win from divisional tournament
By Jack Reaney STAFF WRITER
Following 14-point and 4-point losses in the regular season, Lone Peak High School varsity girls defeated rival No. 4 West Yellowstone in the district tournament on Thursday night in Butte.
“It was gritty rather than pretty,” head coach Loren Bough told EBS in a phone call. “We came out tense and nervous and not playing at full speed.”
The No. 5 Big Horns trailed 14-0 in the first quarter.
“They kept fighting and kept a full court press the entire game, got a lot of turnovers and foul opportunities,” Bough said.
The Big Horns outscored the Wolverines 36-19 in the second half. A late 3-pointer from senior captain Jessie Bough helped seal their 45-41 victory.
Tonight at 6 p.m., they’ll play Twin Bridges, ranked No. 2 in the state. With a win, they’ll advance to the district final and earn a spot in divisionals. With a loss, they’ll play Saturday morning, needing a win to earn a divisional bid.
“[Twin Bridges] can [substitute] nine girls that are big and strong. We’ll need to force them to shoot good outside shots. We’ll try to set the pace of the game,” coach Bough said.
Boys climb consolation ladder toward divisionals
On Wednesday night, the No. 6 Big Horn varsity boys needed to win a play-in game vs. No. 11 Lima High School. They took a 27-3 first quarter lead, allowing starters to rest up for the following game, against Harrison High School.
No. 3 Harrison defeated the Big Horns, 63-49. Harrison’s center, 6-foot-5 Joe Cima, scored 29 points, according to Big Horns head coach Al Malinowski. The Big Horns couldn’t close a 10-point gap which eluded them throughout the contest, despite 21- and 15-point efforts from senior captain Max Romney and sophomore Isaac Bedway.
This morning, the Big Horns rebounded against Sheridan, who the Big Horns beat in a pair of tough games during the regular season.
“We had to re-focus and get ready today,” coach Malinowski told EBS in a phone call.
Cade Cathey, Sheridan’s guard, scored 26 points including four 3-pointers. For the Big Horns, Juliusz Shipman added four threes of his own.
The Big Horns held a two-point lead at halftime but pulled away in the third quarter, draining nine of 19 3-point attempts.
Behind a strong effort and seven points from senior Ben Saad, as well as hard defense by senior Colter Marino, the Big Horns rolled to a 16-point victory.
“It was a good balanced effort from six of our players,” Malinowski said. “Ben Saad’s points came at critical junctions. A key basket at every moment we needed it.”
Romney scored 14 points, Bedway 13, Shipman and senior captain Gus Hammond each scored 12. Freshman Ebe Grabow added eight points.
“Really proud of their effort today,” Malinowski said. “Our backs were against the proverbial wall, if you will. We responded in the second half and showed how much we’ve improved during the course of the year.”
Saturday morning, the Big Horns play the loser of West Yellowstone and Ennis. The winner goes on to divisionals and the district tournament consolation game. The loser goes home.