BILLINGS — The Billings Skyview Falcons snapped Billings West's 17-game winning streak Saturday night with a 54-48 overtime win to claim the Eastern AA boys basketball championship, while West's girls cruised over Great Falls CMR to claim their title.
EASTERN AA BOYS: Billings Skyview 54, Billings West 48 (OT)
After losing twice to crosstown rival West in the regular season, including in overtime last month, Billings Skyview had the last laugh with a 54-48 overtime win to claim the school's first divisional title.
"It's hard to beat a team three times - everyone is telling me that (Saturday)," said Skyview head coach Kevin Morales after the win. "When we played West in the state championship, we ended up beating them three times, so I'm not saying that because it does happen. I was just pleased the way the boys came to play. Their energy all weekend was amazing."
Skyview started fast, scoring 18 points in the opening quarter to take an 18-13 lead. The Falcons held the five-point advantage until three seconds left in the half when West's Logan Meyer hit a 3 to pull the Bears within 27-25 at the break.
Meyer opened the third quarter with another 3 as West grabbed the lead. He led all scorers with 19 in the game. But then it was Skyview's turn to hit a buzzer beater, as sophomore point guard Peyton Sanders hit a floater at the end of the third to give Skyview a 38-37 lead.
The Falcons ran the lead to as many as seven early in the fourth. It was five with less than 2:00 to play when West's Josh Erbacher hit an NBA-range 3 to keep West close. After a Skyview free throw, Erbacher then hit another 3 from almost the same spot to tie the game at 46-46.
Skyview stalled for the final shot, but Camron Ketchum's 20-foot fadeaway was short as the teams regrouped for overtime.
Ketchum made amends in the extra period, making the only field goal of OT to give Skyview the lead for good.
Julius Mims led Skyview with 14 points, including four key free throws in the final minute of overtime. Abe Seybert added 13 while Sanders had 10.
Skyview will be the East's No. 1 seed at the State AA tournament in Bozeman next week. The Falcons open against Butte Thursday at 1:30 p.m. West will be the No. 2 seed and will play Missoula Sentinel in the opener at 6:30 p.m.
EASTERN AA GIRLS: Billings West 52, Great Falls CMR 25
The No. 1-seed West girls made sure it wasn't all bad for the Bears Saturday, as a stifling defense led them to a runaway 52-25 win over Great Falls CMR.
The Rustlers scored just eight points in the first half. West led 22-8 at the break and extended the lead to 38-13 after three quarters without needing much offense from star forwards Maddie and Willa Albrecht.
The twin sisters combined for just five total points - 0 for Maddie - as Mackenzie Rask and Layla Baumann combined for 24. CMR 6foot-4 post Allie Olsen - the Rustlers' offensive focal point - scored just six points.
West will be the No. 1 seed as next week's State AA tournament. The Bears will open Thursday against Kalispell Glacier at 5 p.m. CMR will play Missoula Hellgate at 9 a.m.
NOTES: Billings Skyview's girls advanced to state for the first time since 2001 with a 46-40 overtime win over crosstown rival Senior in a Saturday morning loser-out game. The Falcons will play Western AA top seed Helena Capital in Thursday's opener at 10:30 a.m.