ANACONDA — Winning in the Snake Pit is never easy, but that's just what Deer Lodge did on Friday.
Ozzie King scored 16 points and Logan Nicholson and Brodey Freeman had 14 apiece as the Warden boys basketball team built an early lead and then held off Anaconda 53-47 on Friday evening at Memorial Gym in a Western B rivalry game.
The Wardens bolted to a 20-11 lead to close out the first quarter before Anaconda whittled the lead down to 29-24 by halftime. The Copperheads outscored the Wardens by 2 points in the third quarter but couldn't complete the comeback.
"I don't think you want to peak too early but the kids came out and executed," said Deer Lodge coach Dakota Norris. "It was a fun game and all the credit to (Anaconda head coach) Rochie (Estes) and his staff."
"I think the best part was how coachable the kids were and how many adjustments they were able to make. The boys did a great job of staying on the same game plan," he added.
Anaconda was paced by a game-high 18 points from Bradeon Sawyer and 14 from Eli Saltenberger.
Deer Lodge hosts Bigfork on Saturday while Anaconda hosts Corvallis on Tuesday. The Wardens and Copperheads will meet again on Feb. 11 in Deer Lodge.