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Q2 AOW: Hair-raising Lewistown boys shredding opponents

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Posted at 12:53 PM, Jan 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-26 14:53:59-05

BILLINGS— Q2's Athletes of the Week are not State A champions. Yet.

But Fergus High's basketball guys in Lewistown are making a strong case for it.

"We want it this year," sophomore guard/forward Fischer Brown recently told MTN Sports. "We want it, we want to fight. We want every chance that we can get to win."

And it shows.

Last week at Billings Central the Golden Eagles were down double-digits in the first half. Calmly and methodically, they not only erased that deficit, but sailed to an 80-60 win.

"Nothing seems to rattle them," head coach Scott Sparks said.

About the only thing these guys didn't do that night was dunk. And with 12 players on the roster listed over six feet tall, they're certainly capable the hair on one's neck.

One memorable rim-rattling moment was less than two weeks ago when guard Bryce Graham drove baseline for a double-fisted jam against Hardin to crack Q2's Game Changers.

"I just came off the screen and saw the Hardin guy was turned around and figured what the heck, I'll go try to dunk it, and (I) just put it on him," Graham recalled.

The Golden Eagle's do showcase some set dunk plays but didn't attempt any in their second meeting with the Rams.

"I was thinking about it, but the last time we played Billings Central at home, you know, missing the dunk," Brown sheepishly recalled, "... I didn't want to risk it."

"You know, we really want the kids to have fun," Sparks said. "We're really, fairly unstructured offensively. We just let them play."

How many statewide players would love to hear those words from their coach? Don't be fooled, though. Fergus possesses enough principles to slow the offense when necessary.

"We're really versatile. This is by far the deepest team I've had," Sparks continued. "We only played eight guys tonight, but all season long we've been playing 15 guys at the varsity level."

That's scary.

But it's also a reason the Golden Eagles are 11-0 and dismantling nearly everybody by double digits. Could this depth finally be the recipe to microwave what hasn't been served at Fergus High for over 40 years -- a boys state basketball championship?

"I think we've got as good a shot as anybody," Sparks said.

"This off-season was the best I've ever seen," Graham acknowledged. "We were constantly in the gym together."

The town's last boys basketball title was in 1979, well before these guys were born. In fact, a lot of their parents may not have been born. And even title contention has been pretty dry since.

"I don't know if we even have many state appearances in the 2000s," Graham noted.

Lewistown's only uncertainty at the moment may be the matter of Fisher Brown's hair. Burning questions like, who does he inherit the giant, tightly curled red mop from? What kind of a cut is he showcasing? And how heavily does the increasing growth influence his listed roster size of 6-foot-3?

"That (6-foot-3) is without hair," Brown laughed.

"Nobody knows," Graham said, shaking his head. "It just depends on how high his hair is spiked that day, or what not."

"He's actually grown since the start of the season," Sparks revealed. "He's a little over 6-foot-4. You put the hair on, he might be 6-foot-7."

Brown, who MTN Sports featured as a nine-year-old honing his skills for the Elks Hoop Shoot National Finals in 2015, isn't even sure on some of the answers.

"Well, it's kind of like the old LaMelo Ball haircut when he was in high school, but I don't really have mom or dad's hair," Brown said. "It's just kind of a random... I don't even know what it is.

"But, it's been a surprise and I get asked a lot of questions: 'Is that natural or is it a perm?'"

The true answer? "It is natural."

There you go. At least one of this season's great Lewistown basketball mysteries is unraveled for opponents chasing any edge.

The perm and company host Laurel (7-4) Friday night.