CONRAD — When Shelby junior Rhett Reynolds emerged from the locker room following the Coyotes' 71-70 double-overtime win over Fairfield in the District 1B boys basketball championship, it took a minute to compose himself.
“My hands are still shaking,” he said.
He wasn’t the only one.
After 40 minutes of white-knuckle basketball, the Shelby Coyotes defeated their chief basketball rival and will take the No. 1 seed out of District 1B to next weekend’s Northern B divisional tournament in Cut Bank.
Reynolds, a 6-foot-9 junior post who has committed to the University of Montana, hit the biggest shot of the game. With just seconds remaining and Shelby down 70-69 Reynolds received a pass on the elbow used his post moves to create space and bank the game winner off the glass.
Fairfield got off a prayer from half court with one second remaining, but the shot was off and Shelby's celebration was off, following a sigh of relief.
“It’s just the start, we got to keep working,” Reynolds said. “We got a big next week and hopefully we can move on to the state tournament after that. So moving on to the next week is huge.”
Reynolds finished with 19 points, eight of them coming in the two overtime periods. Shelby senior Logan Leck led all scorers with 27 points in the win.
Neither team ever had a lead bigger than six points in a game that was back and forth throughout. Fairfield, the defending co-state champion in Class B, had a balanced scoring attack with players taking turns hitting big shots.
Kaelob Flores and Daniel Faith each scored 14 points to lead the Eagles, while Brayden Kolwyck added 11.
A district championship is nice, but the Coyotes' goals are loftier.
“We want to win it all,” Reynolds said. “We got two more to go. That’s just one of three.”
Shelby will face District 2B No. 4 seed Wolf Point in the first round at the Northern B divisional tournament in Cut Bank next weekend, while Fairfield earned District 1B's No. 2 seed and will face Harlem.
GIRLS: Fairfield 53, Choteau 37
Tori Jones scored 17 points, and the Fairfield Eagles topped Choteau 53-37 on Saturday to claim a District 1B championship.
These teams had met twice in the regular season already, with Fairfield eking out close wins each time. This game looked destined for a similar fate in the first half before Fairfield pulled away for a convincing win.
Choteau led 17-12 after the first period, but the Eagles outscored the Bulldogs 18-6 in the second quarter and never looked back.
Emma Woods added 13 points for Fairfield, while Madison Rosenbaum scored nine. Christine Funk led Choteau with 15 points with Ada Bieler adding 10 points in the loss.
Fairfield will be the No. 1 seed out of District 1B at the Northern B divisional tournament in Wolf Point next week. The Eagles will face Wolf Point in the first round. Choteau will be the No. 2 seed and will face Harlem in its opener.