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What I'll be watching: Regular season winding down

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Posted at 5:22 PM, Feb 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-19 12:15:41-05

There are just three classifications still playing regular-season high school basketball in Montana, as Class C has already dived into its district tournaments.

This is also the final weekend of the Class B regular season, save for District 3B which is playing its tournament this weekend, but some intriguing games remain.

Great Falls High is atop the Eastern AA boys standings, but the Bison have company right behind them. They can check off step one of clinching the conference's regular-season title with a victory at home on Saturday.

Helena Capital's girls will get another test after taking down previously unbeaten Missoula Hellgate last weekend. Are the defending co-champions hitting their stride?

The Class A schedule is light this weekend with the divisional tournaments on the horizon. Laurel sits atop the Southeastern A boys race, but the Locomotives will welcome their rivals into town on Thursday night with the regular-season title on the line.

Havre’s girls have played an impressive non-conference schedule this season and that continues this weekend in a showdown of two of the Hi-Line’s best.

Fairfield’s boys haven’t been shy about picking up marquee non-conference games this year. After playing Lodge Grass in a triple-overtime classic at First Interstate Arena at MetraPark on the eve of Valentine’s Day, the Eagles will play host this weekend to another of the Southern B’s best.

Roundup’s girls have a lock on District 4B, but the important third-place spot in the district is still up for grabs, as they'll avoid a potential meeting with the Panthers in the semifinals.

It's a light weekend of regular-season basketball, but keep your eyes locked on some of the biggest games.

Reminder: Scores, stats and record-breaking performances can be submitted to sports@ktvh.com.


Class AA

  • Great Falls High has just one loss this season, a 76-73 defeat at Bozeman High on Jan. 23. The Bison have been cruising since then and can make the top of the Eastern AA a two-team race with Billings Skyview if they can beat Bozeman at home on Saturday. Bozeman, though, can jump right back in the thick of the conference title race with a win on the road.
  • Missoula Sentinel has dominated the Western AA this season and remains the only unbeaten team in Class AA. The Spartans still have a big game remaining on their schedule, though, as they'll play crosstown rival and defending co-champion Missoula Hellgate next Tuesday. While Sentinel has the regular-season crown all but locked up, Hellgate is hoping to expose any Spartan weakness ahead of the postseason.

Class A

  • Laurel hasn't lost in the Southeastern A, though they do have a loss to Northeastern A Miles City. The Locomotives can clinch the regular season-conference title at home on Thursday night, but they'll need to sweep the season series with rival Billings Central in order to do so. Laurel won the first meeting back on Jan. 15 at First Interstate Arena at MetraPark, 46-40, but the Rams have been playing well of late. Central has a chance to force a tiebreaker scenario should they win on the road.

Class B

  • Just a week after playing defending co-champion Lodge Grass in an instant classic, Fairfield will get another run at one of the Southern B's best. The Eagles are slated to host Manhattan this Saturday in a game scheduled on Wednesday afternoon. Manhattan has lost just one game to Class B teams this season, while Fairfield has proven once again that it will be a contender late in the postseason. This is a great tune-up for both of these teams heading into their respective district tournaments and a litmus test of sorts to see how the Eagles stack up against another top team down south.


Class AA

  • Helena Capital looks to be rounding into form at exactly the right time. The Bruins dismantled previously unbeaten Missoula Hellgate last weekend, 44-30, and now turn their sights to a meeting with Kalispell Glacier on Saturday. The Wolfpack have played both Hellgate and Capital within single digits, but a loss to Missoula Sentinel has kept them from any title conversations. Can Glacier get over the hump on Saturday, or will it be Capital reigning supreme out west yet again?

Class A

  • Fort Benton, Hardin twice, Billings Central, Browning and now Malta. The non-conference schedule for Havre has been one of the best in the state. The Blue Ponies will wrap up their regular season with a battle on the Hi-Line against District 2B-leading Malta on Friday night. This is another high-profile non-conference game that will be beneficial to both teams come postseason play.

Class B

  • Red Lodge's win over Joliet has the Rams in a great spot to take third place in District 4B, but Roundup awaits them on Saturday night. The Panthers have locked up the regular-season crown, but will the Panthers still be at their best this weekend? Avoiding Roundup will be key for Red Lodge's hopes of advancing to the Southern B divisional tournament.