BILLINGS -- A pair of juniors came up clutch for Billings Senior Thursday night when it counted most this season, helping the Broncs advance to next week's State AA tournament in Great Falls.
Reagan Walker and Melo Pine combined for 22 points in Senior's 51-42 boys basketball win over Billings West. Walker had 13 off the bench, his biggest of the night a deep 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter increasing Senior's lead to seven.
"I just tried to come out and play," Walker told MTN Sports. "I mean, I've been shooting a lot and my teammates were getting me the ball. It was working really good.
"We've been working all season for that, and that's all we wanted. But we've got a big road (ahead)."
Junior Bergen led the Broncs in scoring with 17 points. Neil Daily matched it with 17 for West.
It took each team more than two minutes to score in the early going before Bergen hit the game's first lay-up. He hit another with time expiring in the first half for a 20-18 Senior lead at the break.
West tied it at 30 on a series of makes from Daily, Paul Brott and Teagan Mullowney, but that's when Senior answered with a 7-0 run capped by Walker's deep 3 to start the fourth quarter.
Senior enters the State AA tournament next week with a 9-6 mark. West closed its season 7-8.
West's top-seeded girls had no trouble with a young Bozeman Gallatin team, eliminating the Raptors 59-20 Thursday night.
The Bears led 23-9 after one and increased it to 38-14 at halftime. The Bears (14-1) held Gallatin scoreless in the third quarter before their lead ballooned to the point of a running clock.
Taylee Chirick finished with 18 points for West followed by Kaitlin Grossman's 11.
Bears head coach Charlie Johnson went deep into his bench early, substituting several players off his sophomore and JV teams.
Gallatin closes the season 1-14.