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Western AA boys: Missoula foes Hellgate, Sentinel to meet for championship

Posted at 7:44 PM, Mar 01, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-01 21:44:05-05

BUTTE — Familiar foes will decided the championship at the Western AA boys divisional basketball tournament at the Civic Center.

Misoula Hellgate survived Helena Capital 41-38 to advance to Saturday's championship game and also clinch a state tournament berth.

The Knights will take on crosstown foe Missoula Sentinel, which needed some last-second heroics in a 64-63 victory to beat Butte, clinch a state berth of its own and advance to meet Hellgate for the title.

Missoula Hellgate 41, Helena Capital 38

Hellgate got all it wanted from Capital, and the Bruins had the ball in the final seconds with a chance to tie the game. But Chance McNulty jumped in front of a pass and stole the ball, then was able to dribble out the clock.

Easton Sant had 13 points to lead Hellgate. The Knights spread out the scoring, though, as Zane Gillhouse scored nine points and McNulty and Colter Russell each added seven.

Kyler Meredith had 17 points to pace Capital, which fell into loser-out action Saturday. Cole Dawes chipped in 11 points and Merek Mihelish added eight.

Western AA boys: Missoula Hellgate, Missoula Sentinel survive, will meet for title

Missoula Sentinel 64, Butte 63

Lincoln Rogers' 17-foot jump shot with five seconds left lifted Sentinel over Butte and into the divisional championship game.

Rogers used a high screen to get free, curled inside the arc and pulled up for a shot that rattled in to ultimately give the Spartans the victory. Sentinel saw a 14-point halftime lead evaporate but was able to hold on.

Rogers finished with 24 points on 9-of-15 shooting with five 3-pointers. Teammate Grady Walker also had 24 points for the Spartans, and pulled down seven rebounds.

Butte, which fell into Saturday loser-out action, got 23 points from Hudson Luedtke and 19 more from Russo Batterman, but the Bulldogs' comeback effort fell short. Tocher Lee added 11 points for Butte.

Friday loser-out scores

Kalispell Glacier 63, Kalispell Flathead 38

Missoula Big Sky 56, Helena 48