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Western A boys: Frenchtown upsets top-seeded Columbia Falls; Hamilton, Dillon, and Butte Central advance

Frenchtown's Carter Anciaux.jpg
Posted at 5:16 PM, Feb 23, 2023

RONAN — The Western A divisional boys basketball tournament got underway at Ronan High School on Thursday. Here are the recaps as well as highlights in the videos above:

Butte Central 63, Whitefish 41

Butte Central bullied the Bulldogs in the fourth and final game of day one at the Western A divisional.

Dougie Peoples led the Maroons with 19 points. Butte Central went into the game as the No. 1 seed from the Southwest A while Whitefish came in as the No. 4 seed from the Northwest A.

From start to finish it was all the Maroons who jumped out to a 27-15 lead at the half.

Butte Central continued to pile it on in the second half with 33 second-half points compared to the Bulldogs who finished the game with only 41 total. The Maroons closed out the game with a comfortable 63-41 win over Whitefish and will now take on Dillon in the semifinals on Friday at 8 p.m.

Jack Sears led Whitefish with 10 points and they'll play Browning in a loser-out game at 1:30 p.m. on Friday.

Dillon 46, Browning 32

Dillon muscled past Browning 46-32 in the third boys game of the day at the Western A divisional.

Eli Nourse and Carter Curnow each scored 12 points for the Beavers. Dillon entered as the No. 3 seed from the Southwest A while Browning was the No. 2 seed from the Northwest A.

The opening half was a slugfest between the two programs, and Dillon led 18-16 heading into halftime.

But in the third quarter, the Beavers were able to break it open after outscoring Browning 16-5. From there, they cruised to the win and the semifinal round.

Tommy Running Rabbit led Browning with seven points.

Frenchtown 69, Hamilton 50

The Frenchtown Broncs picked up the first upset of the day as they topped Columbia Falls 69-50 in the second boys game.

Connor Michaud poured in 23 points for the Broncs, who entered as the No. 4 seed from the Southwest, while Columbia Falls was the No. 1 seed from the Northwest.

The Wildcats led 29-28 at halftime, but in the second half Frenchtown found its footing and never looked back. Kellen Klimpel hit a buzzer-beating heave at the end of the third quarter to make it 51-41, and things just went Frenchtown's way from there.

Eli Quinn finished with 19 points and Klimpel added 15 as the Broncs advanced to Friday's semifinal. They'll take on Hamilton at 6:30 p.m.

Jace Hill led Columbia Falls with 13 points. The Wildcats will play Polson in a loser-out game on Friday at noon.

Hamilton 54, Polson 44

The tournament began with No. 2 Southwest Hamilton taking on No. 3 Northwest seed Polson, and the Broncs prevailed 54-44 to advance to the semifinal round.

Eli Taylor scored 19 points and Asher Magness added 16 for the Broncs. Hamilton led 27-23 at the end of the second quarter.

The Broncs led 38-37 at the end of the third, but put Polson away down the stretch of the fourth quarter behind scoring from Taylor, Magness and Liam O'Connell.

The Pirates were led by Espn Fisher and Cymian Kauley who each had 12.