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Montana cruises to sweep of Wyoming in all-star basketball series

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Posted at 10:25 PM, Jun 12, 2021

LOCKWOOD -- Montana earned a sweep of Wyoming with a pair of victories on Saturday night, though they came much easier than Friday's wins in Sheridan, Wyo.

The Montana girls blitzed Wyoming in the final three quarters, while Montana's boys were all over Wyoming from the opening tip, as both teams won by more than 30 points to sweep the weekend's Midland Roundtable Montana-Wyoming all-star basketball series.

Montana girls 71, Wyoming 39

The Montana girls led 18-9 after the first quarter, but the defense ratcheted up a notch in the second quarter, allowing just two points to build a 28-11 halftime lead.

The offense founds its groove in the third quarter, as Montana's lead ballooned to 59-17 on its way to a 71-39 win, the ninth consecutive for Montana in the series.

"We had to guard their big girl, because she scored a lot of their points. I think we came out (Saturday) and we did a lot better job of guarding her," said Fort Benton's Aspen Giese. "And I think it took us a little bit to get used to each other, brand new team and stuff. I think we really came together (Saturday), found the open person and it really helped.”

Montana got a balanced scoring attack, led by Lindsey Hein's 14 points. Gracee Lekvold added 13, Isabelle Erickson had 12 and Giese had 10.

"(Head coach Wes Keller) definitely made sure we kept our defensive intensity up. I think (Friday) we'd get a lead and kind of slack off a little bit. I think (Saturday) we just kept pushing on defense," Giese said.

Montana's girls now lead the all-time series 35-13.

Montana boys 110, Wyoming 71

Montana led 21-3 early in the first quarter and never looked back, leading by as many as 40 on its way to a 110-71 victory over Wyoming.

Montana led 31-9 after one and 58-27 at halftime, putting the game out of reach quickly. That lead grew to 76-43 after three quarters before Montana hit the century mark in the fourth.

"Just coaching, I think," Billings Skyview's Ky Kouba said. "I think that (head coach Steve Keller) just fired us up. Our little pregame, he got us all going. Defense was kind of our key the entire game."

After Friday's hotly contested five-point battle in Sheridan, it seemed as if two entirely different teams hit the floor on Saturday.

"We were more prepared for their players. The first game we don't know who half their players are. We can't really prep," Kouba said. "This game, we scouted their players more, we knew what was coming and we were more ready."

Montana had a well-rounded attack led by Kouba's 23 points. Alex Germer and Malachi Stewart each added 19 and Tony Frohlich-Fair had 18.

The win marks the 18th consecutive for the Montana boys in the series.

"Every second (Keller) could, he told us that we didn't want to be the team to lose the streak. And we weren't. We're all proud of that," Kouba said.

Montana's boys lead the all-time series 63-27.