High School SportsHigh School Boys Basketball


Strong finish propels Billings West past Billings Senior, 60-45

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Posted at 10:08 PM, Feb 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-19 12:28:12-05

BILLINGS -- Neil Daily's energy was contagious for Billings West on Thursday night and there wasn't much crosstown Senior could do to answer it.

Daily delivered blocks on the defensive and led the Bears with 14 points offensively on the way to a 60-45 Eastern AA boys basketball win on Senior Night. Taco Dowler dumped in 13 points as West outscored Senior 40-20 in the second half.

"After halftime, coach (Kelly) Darragh just told me, you've got to be more aggressive, start shooting the ball," Daily told MTN Sports afterward. "So, I did what I do, Neil just shot the ball today and it was great.

"We just flipped a switch, started celebrating each other's shots and that just brought us together as a team. Everyone started playing better once we were celebrating for each other."

The win moves West and Senior one step closer to a play-in showdown in a couple weeks for a ticket to State AA tournament. And for another reason, it was also a big confidence boost for the Bears.

"That was our first win versus a winning team," Bears head coach Kelly Darragh said. "We haven't beaten anybody until (Thursdsay) with a winning record. We've got Belgrade (Friday) and I think we can put these together, if we can get it going, I think we're going to be a tough team to beat. That's just Kelly Darragh's opinion, but that's what it is."

Junior Bergen again led Senior in scoring with 13 points. Jacksen Burckley was next with 10, followed by Liam Romie with nine.

West improves to 5-6 and remains fifth in the Eastern AA standings. Senior (6-5) sits fourth in the league and hosts Eastern AA leader Great Falls High in a make-up game Tuesday at 6 p.m.