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Eastern A boys: Lewistown, Glendive, Havre, Billings Central claim first-round wins

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Posted at 1:26 PM, Feb 22, 2024

BILLINGS — The Eastern A boys basketball tournament began with a flourish Thursday at First Interstate Arena.

Lewistown and Hardin played a first-round thriller. A layup in the final seconds lifted the Eagles into the semifinals. Meanwhile, Glendive advanced to the semis with an upset victory over Lockwood.

In the day's later games, Havre and Billings Central also advanced to the semis. See below for details:

Lewistown 51, Hardin 49

Sean Zimmer's basket underneath gave Lewistown a 51-49 victory, pushing defending state champion Lewistown into Friday's semifinal round versus Glendive. A last-second 3-point attempt from Hardin fell short, and the Bulldogs fell into a loser-out game.

Eastern A Boys: Lewistown tops Hardin 51-49

Wylee Snapp led Lewistown with 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting. Snapp also had five rebounds. Kason Brown added 14 points for the Eagles.

Trailing by three with less than a minute to play, Hardin tied the game with a three-point play. But the Bulldogs were undone by 36 total turnovers. Justin Strait had 12 points for Hardin while Lamont Hogan had 11.

Glendive 58, Lockwood 49

Glendive scored the first upset of the tournament with a 58-49 win over Lockwood. The Red Devils had a nine-point lead in the first half but Lockwood fought back to tie it 30-30 with 2:00 left in the third on a 3 by Kobe Blake.

Eastern A Boys: Glendive holds off Lockwood

But Glendive pulled away in the fourth as Cy Eaton scored 20 of his team-high 25 points in the second half. Eaton also had seven rebounds. Glendive shot 51% as a team to that of 36% for Lockwood.

Lockwood, which lost Zicciah Callison-Blake to an ankle injury early in the game, was led by Tyce Casterline's 25 points and 11 rebounds. Blake added 11 points.

Havre 67, East Helena 55

It was a game of runs, but Havre's second-half burst led it to a 67-55 first-round win over plucky East Helena for a berth in Friday's semis.

The Vigilantes opened the game with a 9-1 run but Havre answered with a 13-0 stretch of its own to take a first-quarter lead. East Helena fought back to take back the advantage on a DeonDray Ellis 3 in the second quarter. But the Blue Ponies took control with an 18-4 run to close the third and pull away.

Jackson Headdress led Havre with 17 points while Tre Gary added 14 and Shane Patacsil scored 10. Dax Oswalt grabbed 10 rebounds for the Blue Ponies. Ellis had 20 points and seven rebounds to lead the Vigilantes, and Tucker Petty finished with 14 points.

Havre, Billings Central boys to meet in semifinals

Billings Central 58, Miles City 43

Darcy Merchant Jr. had 18 points on 9-of-12 shooting and Billings Central shot 58% from the field in a 58-43 win first-round victory over Miles City.

Kyler Northrop hit three 3s and finished with 17 points and seven rebounds for the Rams. Sam Jagodzinski scored 10 points to hel Central advance into Friday's semifinals against Havre.

Miles City trailed 13-5 after one quarter and couldn't catch up. Bridger Muri's 13 points and Rylin Gentry's 11 led the way for the Cowboys, who will play in the loser-out bracket Friday. Jake Larson added 10 points for Miles City.