BILLINGS – Layne Willis picked a good time to play the best game of his Laurel career.
The Locomotive senior scored 13 points in the first quarter, and led Laurel down the stretch to a 64-50 win over Belgrade in the Eastern A super divisional championship Saturday at Rimrock Auto Arena.
After Belgrade grabbed an early lead, Willis scored 13 of Laurel’s first 15 points to put the Locos back on top. He carried the momentum into the second half, with a right-wing three-pointer that started a 13-3 Laurel run which proved to be the turning point.
Laurel led 38-27 after a Shay Osborne three capped the run, and the Locos never trailed again.
Willis tied a tournament-high with 30 total points, 15 in each half in the balanced effort.
Laurel will head into the State A boys tournament as the East’s No. 1 seed. Belgrade will be No. 2, with Billings Central and Hardin also advancing from the super divisional. The squads get a week off to prepare – the tournament begins Thursday, Mar. 9 at the Civic Center in Butte.