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State AA boys: Missoula Hellgate 'said we would do it,' then conquered Billings West for title

Posted at 10:40 PM, Mar 11, 2023

BUTTE — The boys Class AA boys state championship game saw Missoula Hellgate run past Billings West 70-50 to claim its first title since 2020 when they were co-champions, and its first outright championship since 2013.

The Knights roared out to a 6-0 lead in the opening four minutes of the game until the Golden Bears finally got rolling. They went on to close the gap but it was Hellgate who led 15-13 at the end of the first quarter. It was a back and forth second quarter but the Knights who ended up stretching their lead to go up two possessions, 30-25, at the half.

In the third quarter it was Hellgate who took over, outscoring Billings West 17-9 to go up 47-34 heading into the final eight minutes, and from there the writing was on the wall. The Knights continued to roll in the fourth quarter largely thanks to Connor Dick, and Hellgate outscored the Bears 23-16 over the final eight minutes on the way to a 20-point rout to win the state title in style.

Hellgate was led by Dick who finished his game with 28 points — 18 of those coming in the second half. After the game, Dick exclaimed, "We said we would do it!" in celebration of the championship win. West was led by Cooper Tyson who finished with 16 points.