BILLINGS — The ball was tipped out to Teagan Mullowney with four seconds left on the clock - just enough time to get to his spot and send Billings West to state.
Tied 48-48 in overtime, Bozeman's Carter Ash drove for the go-ahead basket, but his shot missed and the Hawks tipped the rebound out to Mullowney, who dribbled to his left side and shot a 35-footer that went in just after the buzzer sounded to give the Golden Bears a 51-48 win in the Eastern AA boys basketball semifinals Friday at Alterowtiz Gymnasium.
The 3 was Mullowney's only field goal of the game.
The win -- West's 17th in a row -- clinches a spot in Saturday's championship game and, more importantly, a berth in next week's State AA tournament.
Cade Tyson kept the Bears in the game early, scoring 14 straight West points in the first quarter to give the Bears an 18-15 lead. Bozeman, though, held West to just four total points in the second quarter and ran out to a 26-22 lead at halftime. The Hawks twice extended the lead to six in the third, but West pulled within 35-34 heading into the fourth.
West opened the fourth on a 7-1 run to take a 41-36 lead. Bozeman pulled within 41-38, and Hudson Willet tied it on a banked-in 3-pointer with 1:00 to play. West had a chance to win in regulation, but Josh Erbacher's 25-foot 3 was too long.
The teams traded the lead three times in overtime, eventually settling in at 48-48 with 17 seconds left. Bozeman ran a curl for Ash, who drove to his left, stopped in the lane and shot a 12-footer that missed. The rebound was tapped to Mullowney, who ended it.
Tyson led all scorers with 16 points -- all in the first half -- while Erbacher added 15 for the Bears. Ash led Bozeman with 15, while Willet added 12 on four made 3s.
West will play the winner between Billings Skyview and Great Falls High in Saturday's championship. Bozeman falls into loser-out play Saturday morning.