LAUREL -- The Laurel boys basketball team found a way to grind out a win on Friday night at home against Class B Columbus, holding off the Cougars for a 32-31 win.
On a night when Laurel seemingly couldn't get a shot to fall from outside the key, Dalton Boehler gave the Locomotives the second-half spark they needed.
Trailing by four points late in the third quarter, Boehler canned a corner 3-pointer to cut the Columbus lead to one. It was the first made 3 of the game for Laurel.
"You kind of lean on the guys who have been there before, who have gone through things. We kind of play slow, low-scoring anyway," Laurel head coach Tony Trudnowski said. "We kind of panicked in the third quarter. They did a great job sticking with their game plan. We've got to feel like a ticking time bomb. Just need to break the seal, need to break the seal. Eventually we got a big 3 from (Boehler) and that helped."
Columbus freshman Mason Meier opened the fourth quarter with a corner 3 of his own to give the Cougars a four-point lead, 21-17. After a timeout with four minutes left and Columbus leading 23-21, Boehler again saved the day.
Emmet Renner found Boehler out of a double team and Boehler hit his second 3-pointer of the game to give Laurel the lead. With a 26-25 lead, Boehler picked the pocket of Kaeden Daniels and layed it in to give the Locomotives just enough cushion with less than two minutes to play.
"Especially those guys that play the seven, eight, nine roles -- to me that's one of the hardest roles in basketball. Sometimes you come in and you're expected to perform in a really big situation. Other times you have to sit there and watch other guys do it and do both well," Trudnowski said. "I can't tell you how proud I am of (Boehler) being ready the whole time, come in, even missed some shots early but willing to go up to the next one and shoot with confidence. That was huge."
Colby Martinez buried a 3-pointer for Columbus with 0.6 seconds left, but Laurel was able to run out time to seal the win.
Colter Bales led Laurel with 12 points. Renner had 10 points for the Locomotives and Boehler had eight, all in the final 9:05 of the game. Martinez led the Cougars with 12.
The girls played in Columbus on Friday night where the Cougars held off the Locomotives in double overtime, 41-40.
The two sides were tied at 28 at the end of regulation and 36 at the end of the first overtime.
Columbus made just 50% of its free throws, 14 of 28, but outscored the Locomotives 14-8 at the foul line. The Cougars also hit three triples as opposed to Laurel's one.
Payton West led all scorers with 14 points for the Cougars. Grace Timm had 13 for Laurel.
The Laurel boys and girls are in action on Tuesday against Livingston. Columbus will play on Tuesday against Big Timber.