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Western B boys: Eureka stuns Arlee; Missoula Loyola, Florence, Anaconda also advance

Posted at 12:38 PM, Feb 22, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-22 23:05:52-05

PABLO — Missoula Loyola and Florence kicked off the Western B boys basketball divisional tournament with first-round wins Thursday at Salish Kootenai College. The Rams continued their stellar season with an 86-17 dismantling of St. Ignatius, while the Falcons broke free from Thompson Falls in the fourth quarter for a 59-54 win.

In the second session, Eureka edged Arlee 68-67 in the most exciting game of the day, and Anaconda finished the first round with a 58-22 win over Plains.

Western B boys: Missoula Loyola, Florence set up semifinal matchup

Missoula Loyola 81, St. Ignatius 17

Reigning Class B state champion and top-ranked Missoula Loyola had little trouble in its opening game of the Western B divisional tournament Thursday, routing St. Ignatius 81-17.

The Rams, who have racked up multiple 50-point wins this season, jumped out to a quick 36-6 lead after the first quarter and led 67-10 at halftime. Ethan Stack paced Loyola with 29 points — all in the first half on 11-of-12 shooting. Jamo Kendrick added 13 points and Reynolds Johnston had 10, as nine Rams scored in the game.

St. Ignatius was led by Lex LaFromboise with 12 points.

The Bulldogs will play Thompson Falls in a loser-out game at 8 a.m. Friday. Loyola, meanwhile, is into the semifinal round and will play Florence at 3 p.m. Friday.

Florence 59, Thompson Falls 54

Florence limited Thompson Falls to just one made field goal in the fourth quarter to pull out a 59-54 win in the first round of the Western B divisional tournament.

The Falcons and Blue Hawks were tied at 43 after three quarters. Florence's Tyler Abbott scored eight fourth-quarter points, though, to help the Falcons secure the win. Abbott finished with a team-high 19 points, while Trapper Oster added 14 and Brody DuChien had 13. Florence will next play Missoula Loyola in a semifinal game at 3 p.m. Friday.

Bryson LeCoure scored 23 points to lead Thompson Falls, which will play St. Ignatius in a loser-out game at 8 a.m. Friday.

Western B boys: Eureka, Anaconda clinch semifinal berths

Eureka 68, Arlee 67

Caden Vaughn made six 3-pointers — none bigger than his last one — to help Eureka take down Arlee 68-67 in the first round of the Western B divisional tournament.

With less than a minute remaining in the game and the Lions trailing 64-62, Vaughn knocked down his sixth and final 3 of the game to push Eureka ahead 65-64. The Lions added three free throws down the stretch to hold off the Warriors and advance to Friday's semifinal round. Eureka will play Plains or Anaconda at 4:45 p.m. Friday.

Vaughn finished with 21 points, and teammate Tristan Butts scored 24.

Ben Old Person-Harlow scored a game-high 31 points to lead Arlee, which falls to loser-out action with the loss. The Warriors will play Plains or Anaconda at 9:45 a.m. Friday.

Anaconda 58, Plains 22

Cael Mikalatos scored 17 points and River Hurley added 11 as Anaconda rolled to a 58-22 win over Plains in the final first-round game of the Western B divisional tournament.

The Copperheads jumped out to a quick 18-4 lead by the end of the first quarter and led 36-10 at halftime. Tytan Cook chipped in eight points, and Wade Dahood had seven, as nine players scored for Anaconda.

Aden West scored a team-high nine points for Plains.

With the win, Anaconda secured a place in Friday's semifinal round, where it will play Eureka at 4:45 p.m. Plains falls to the consolation bracket and will meet Arlee in a loser-out game at 9:45 a.m. Friday.