GREAT FALLS – The Belt boys are state bound after a 58-39 win over Big Sandy on Monday in a Northern C challenge game.
Aidan McDaniel scored a game-high 20 points and produced a well-rounded stat line with six rebounds, five assists and four steals. Hunter Vogl scored 15 and Kaimen Evans added 13 points and seven rebounds for the Huskies.
“It’s just a great feeling because we didn’t get to go (to state) last year,” McDaniel said. “Just to go this year for our seniors and the community really means a lot.”
The teams were tied at 4 in the first few minutes of the game before Belt went on a 13-0 run to end the first quarter up 17-4. McDaniel was 3 of 4 from beyond the arc in the first half, leading the Huskies to a 31-17 lead at halftime.
The Pioneers responded in the third quarter with a 7-0 streak to cut the lead to 38-30, but Belt turned up the heat in the fourth quarter, ballooning the lead to 20 at one point and holding off every attempt at a Big Sandy rally.
“We had a really good district and really good division,” McDaniel said. “That should prepare us for teams like Scobey and get us ready for the state tournament.”
Belt recorded 13 steals on Monday, forcing Big Sandy into 18 turnovers. Clint Darlington led the Pioneers with 13 points and 11 rebounds, Ryan Roth added 10 points.
The Huskies will join Fort Benton as the North representatives at the State C tournament in Missoula March 11-14. Belt will face East No. 1 seed Scobey in the first round.