MISSOULA – Four of the best teams in the state entered Missoula Sentinel’s gym on Thursday night, and the two underdogs left with wins, leaving everyone in attendance left with quite a story.
The girls of Bozeman and Missoula Sentinel went back and forth through four quarters and five overtimes. The Hawks finally won the epic, 76-74.
Sentinel led for most of the second half, but Bozeman came back in the fourth quarter to force the first overtime tied at 49. The Spartans also built a lead in the opening OT, but Bozeman came back on a basket by Ayla Embry and a free throw in the final minute to tie the game at 55 and send us to overtime No. 2.
Again Sentinel led, but Hannah Wheeler buried a 3-pointer from the corner to tie the game with 30 seconds left. She scored 30 points on the night.
Bozeman held the lead late in the third overtime, but Shelby Schweyen hit a contested jumper to tie the game in the final minute at 64. After both teams had scoreless possessions, we went to OT No. 4.
The Hawks looked close to the victory, but Jordyn Schweyen finished a tough drive through traffic with one second left to tie the game at 71 and send the two exhausted teams to a fifth overtime. Jordyn Schweyen led the Spartans with 19 points.
Embry hit a big bucket for the Hawks with one minute left to put Bozeman up 75-74. She scored 20 points. After a free throw, the Hawks held a two-point lead with less than a second left. Sentinel threw an in-bounds pass from under the basket to Kylie Frohlich. Her catch-and-shoot attempt from just above the free throw line bounced off the backboard and rim, and Bozeman survived a game no one will soon forget.
The boys game couldn’t possibly live up to that drama, but the Spartans and Hawks look like two contenders in Class AA. This one was also tied at halftime, but Sentinel controlled the second half on its way to a 50-39 victory.
Sentinel star guard Sam Beighle poured in 29 points. Bozeman was led by future Montana Grizzly Mack Anderson’s 13 points.