BILLINGS – The Billings Central Rams weren’t going to lose another heart-breaker to their rivals.
Jet Campbell made two free throws to put Central up 46-43 with 2.3 seconds left. Laurel then threw a three-quarter court pass to Dawson Cortese, but his game-tying three was wide left as Central claimed a split in the season series.
Laurel’s Christian Jones hit a 10-foot jumper at the buzzer to give the Locomotives a 34-32 win in the teams’ first meeting back on Jan. 20.
Central led most of the game until Jones hit a three late in the third quarter to tie it at 31. Nobody led by more than three the rest of the way.
Shay Dantic hit a three to pull Central even at 43 with 30 seconds to play, and then hit one of two free throws moments later to put the Rams ahead for good.
The result put both teams at 7-3 at the end of the Eastern A regular season, creating a three-way tie at the top with Hardin. Central High officials however believe the tie-breaker falls to Laurel, with Hardin earning the East’s No. 2 seed in the upcoming Eastern A divisional beginning next Wednesday, Feb. 22.