HELENA — It took nearly all 40 minutes of the Frontier Conference tournament championship, but there was no doubt following a Drew Huse jumper that sealed the game at 62-61, the Montana Tech Orediggers were champions.
The Carroll College Fighting Saints and Montana Tech fought tooth and nail through slews of chants, that in good conscious can't be repeated, to the end of the Frontier Conference season.
The Orediggers came out firing in the effort going up 9-4 on a Derrius Collins three-pointer before Carroll called a time-out to slow the pace down a little bit. Out of the timeout, the game turned into a defensive stalemate before Andrew Cook buried a jumper that put Carroll within one point at 9-8 with just over 14 minutes left in the first half.
From there the slugfest was on as both teams traded points with neither team truly getting the opportunity to pull away ending the first half at 32-29 in favor of Carroll College.
Carroll's Shamrock Campbell was a key contributor to the Fighting Saints' first-half effort, going 4-4 from three-point range in the first half while finishing the game a perfect 5-5 from deep with a team-high 17 points. Montana Tech's Sindou Diallo was locked in throughout the game, notching a game-high 18 points with two rebounds and assists to pad his stat line.
The second half seemed to take a near opposite route compared to the first after Carroll took a 35-29 lead on Campbell's final three-pointer of the night to open the half. After nearly five minutes of play in the second, the Montana Tech Orediggers found themselves down 40-35 following a Jonny Hillman three-pointer before taking a time out to collect themselves.
Montana Tech's Caleb Bellach knocked back 15 points, four assists and five rebounds in the win, with Carroll's Jovan Sljivancanin and Andrew Cook each turning in double-digit efforts on Monday, as Sljivancanin recorded 15 points and 11 rebounds with Cook adding 10 points and two assists.
Through nearly the rest of the game, the Orediggers saw themselves at a deficit until Huse got open with just over two seconds left and silenced the home crowd with a dagger that gave the Montana Tech Orediggers the Frontier Conference tournament title.
Though the Frontier Conference Tournament is now in the books, both teams will await their fates as they turn their eyes to the NAIA National Tournament that begins on March 11.