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Western AA boys: Missoula Hellgate races past rival Missoula Sentinel for repeat title

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Posted at 4:48 PM, Mar 02, 2024

BUTTE — Defending Class AA champion Missoula Hellgate is heading back to the state tournament as a No. 1 seed.

The Knights wasted no time jumping on crosstown foe Missoula Sentinel on Saturday in the title game of the Western AA tournament and raced to a 59-40 win to claim the divisional crown for the second straight year.

Easton Sant scored all 14 of his points in the first half, helping Hellgate jump to a 12-point lead at intermission. The Knights continued to outpace Sentinel in the second half and led by as many as 21 midway through the third quarter.

Western AA boys: Missoula Hellgate rolls past Sentinel, Knights repeat as divisional champions

Zane Gillhouse and Chance McNulty each scored 15 points to lead Hellgate, which shot 52.2% as a team. Sant pulled down nine rebounds.

Sentinel, which is also headed to the state tournament next week as the division's No. 2 seed, got 12 points from Lincoln Rogers and six each from Riley Allen and Holter Schweyen. Grady Walker grabbed eight rebounds for the Spartans.

Hellgate and Sentinel will be joined at state with No. 3 seed Butte and No. 4 Helena Capital, which each won loser-out games to earn berths earlier Saturday.

Class AA does not play third/fourth-place games at its divisional tournaments, instead basing seeding on head-to-head records.

Saturday loser-out scores

Helena Capital 58, Missoula Big Sky 50

Butte 58, Kalispell Glacier 56