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State A boys championship: Two years later, Billings Central triumphs again

Billings Central boys basketball
Posted at 10:09 PM, Mar 06, 2021

GREAT FALLS — The Rams are back on top.

Billings Central used a balanced attack and resisted a second-half run from Dillon to win the 2021 State A boys basketball championship with a 49-39 victory at Four Seasons Arena on Saturday. Central last won the title in 2019.

"It's indescribable. You're just so happy, you grew up with these guys playing basketball and then you achieve your goal of winning a state championship and there's no better feeling," senior Marcus Wittman said.

Photos: State A basketball championships

The Rams controlled things from the get-go, holding Dillon to just 10 first-half points on 22% shooting. Meanwhile, Central connected on 58% of its shots to take a 26-10 lead into the break. The Rams then extended the lead to 17 early in the third quarter.

But Dillon didn't quit without a fight. The Beavers outscored Central 19-12 in the third quarter, and even closed the gap to 40-34 with under five minutes to play. But for every big shot Dillon hit, Central had an answer.

Only two players scored in double digits. Brock Blatter scored 12 points for the Rams, while Jonathan Kirkley scored 16 points for Dillon.

The matchup was just the latest chapter in each program's dominance in Class A basketball, particularly in the last 10 years. From 2011-2019, either Dillon or Central played in every single State A championship game. They played each other in 2016 and 2017, with Dillon winning both. The Beavers also won in 2007, 2009, and 2012.