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Western A boys: Hamilton, Butte Central set for championship collision

Posted at 5:35 PM, Feb 23, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-23 21:20:58-05

BUTTE — It will be Butte Central taking on Hamilton for the Western A divisional boys basketball championship Saturday at the Civic Center.

Hamilton survived Columbia Falls 57-55 in a semifinal thriller Friday to advance. Meanwhile, Butte Central played an efficient game in a 63-51 win over Browning in the day's other semi.

The Broncs and Maroons will for the championship at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

Hamilton 57, Columbia Falls 55

In a back-and-forth battle, a small run at the outset of the third quarter proved crucial in Hamilton advancing to the title game.

The Broncs edged Columbia Falls 57-55 in the tournament's first semifinal game Friday. The win also clinched a state tournament berth for Hamilton.

Hamilton led 31-30 at halftime, but a 7-0 run to open the third quarter gave the Broncs some cushion. At the end of the third, Hamilton led 43-37.

Columbia Falls closed the gap in the fourth, and was within two points in the final seconds. The Wildcats' final shot missed and Hamilton held on.

Cannan Magness led Hamilton with 25 points and five rebounds. Cole Dickemore and Tristan Koerner each had 12 points for the Broncs. Jace Hill and Cody Schweikert each had 21 points for the Wildcats, who fell into loser-out play Saturday.

Western A boys: Butte Central, Hamilton set to collide in championship

Butte Central 63, Browning 51

Central's efficiency was too much for Browning, and the Maroons led virtually the whole way in a 63-51 semifinal win Friday, which also punched a ticket to state.

Owen McPartland had a huge game for the Maroons, scoring 29 points on 7-of-12 shooting. McPartland made three 3s and shot 12 for 12 from the foul line.

Jack Keeley was also key for Central, registering a double double of 14 points and 13 rebounds while hitting 7 of 10 shots from the floor. Josh Sutton added nine points as the Maroons hit at a 54% clip for the game.

Browning, which will play in the loser-out bracket Saturday, got 14 points from Tristan Crawford and 10 points and seven rebounds from Maurice Redhorn III. The Indians went the entirety of the game without making a 3-pointer.

Friday loser-out scores

Dillon 50, Ronan 42

Frenchtown 52, Bigfork 35