BILLINGS — Damon Gros Ventre followed up Tuesday's record-breaking 71-point performance by surpassing 2,000 points for his career on Wednesday.
With more than five minute remaining in the second quarter against Lame Deer at First Interstate Arena, Gros Ventre hit the milestone. Lodge Grass topped Lame Deer, 74-70, to move to 14-0. Gros Ventre is the 32nd Montana boys basketball player to accomplish the feat.
"I just wanted to get past it because there was so much weight on my shoulders. Now that I got it, it's like I'm almost free. I just want to give it all back to my guys," Gros Ventre said.
Lodge Grass took an early lead and controlled the game throughout, though Lame Deer made several runs at the Indians. After Gros Ventre's milestone basket gave Lodge Grass a 28-18 lead, the Morning Stars closed the half with a fury to cut the deficit to 36-35 at halftime. That difference held through three quarters, 55-54.
Lodge Grass took control in the fourth quarter, though, building a 68-58 lead with four minutes to play. D.C. Stewart proved instrumental to Lodge Grass's offensive attack in the second half, constantly punishing smaller defenders near the rim.
Stewart finished with 30 to lead Lodge Grass, 18 after halftime. Gros Ventre, who scored 18 in the first half, finished with 20 points, scoring his only points of the second half on a pair of free throws with 6.3 second left. Journey Emerson led all scorers with 35 points.
"I don't like saying this, but they kind of forget about me. They forget who I am and that keeps me going," Stewart said, as Gros Ventre, standing off to the side, nodded in agreement and stated, 'Facts.' "We're a full team. Blessings to (Gros Ventre), blessings. But we're a full team. ... Our motto is 'You can't stop me' I was just thinking that every time I brought the ball up. 'You can't stop me. You can't stop me.' These guys can't stop me. That's my motto going into every game, just come out and give it all I got."
The two sides will play again on Tuesday, Feb. 8 right back at First Interstate Arena in Billings.