GREAT FALLS — After plans for their first state championship in 35 years were derailed in the semifinal round, the Missoula Sentinel Spartans recovered Saturday to win the consolation game and take third place at the State AA boys basketball tournament.
In the girls consolation game, Billings West, another team that lost on semifinal night, walloped crosstown rival Billings Skyview to take third.
BOYS: Missoula Sentinel 61, Helena Capital 52
Tony Frohlich-Fair scored 21 points and Missoula Sentinel took advantage of a long scoring drought from Helena Capital to beat the Bruins 61-52 in the State AA boys consolation game. The Spartans finish third with the win.
The game was extremely tight early, featuring four lead changes and five ties. Sentinel stars Alex Germer and Frohlich-Fair were relatively quiet from the field in the first half, but the Spartans got contributions from Hayden Kolb's outside shooting and TJ Rausch's inside attack to take a 35-31 lead into halftime.
Capital's Brayden Koch had 16 first-half points, but the Bruins struggled in the latter part of the third quarter, going on a nearly seven-minute scoring drought that extended into the fourth quarter. Frohlich-Fair took over in the second half for Sentinel, scoring 14 of his 21 points. Rausch finished with 17.
Koch finished with 25 points for the Bruins and Hayden Opitz added 10.
GIRLS: Billings West 59, Billings Skyview 29
Kaitlin Grossman put up a double-double and Billings West ran roughshod over Billings Skyview 59-29 in the State AA girls consolation game.
West led 24-12 at the break, then used a 9-1 run to extend the lead to 33-13 halfway through the third. By the fourth, the lead ballooned to 35 points. Skyview scored just six points in each of the first three quarters.
Kaycee Rider had 15 points for the Golden Bears, while Taylee Chirrick had 14. Grossman had 11 points and 12 rebounds.
MG Spotted Bear led the Falcons with eight points.