HAVRE — The North Star girls hit numerous big shots on Saturday, but the biggest one of all came with 15 seconds left in overtime. Jade Wendland hit a wide-open 3-pointer and the Knights stole the ball on the inbound to upset Fort Benton 61-58 in the District 9C girls basketball championship.
The Fort Benton girls had previously only lost to Class A Havre. North Star opened the game with a barrage of 3-pointers, leading 24-11 after the first quarter. Fort Benton settled down in the second quarter to close the gap, then briefly took a lead in the third quarter. The lead flipped seven times in the second half, and Fort Benton forced overtime when Emerson Giese used a steal and fast-break layup to tie it at 53-53.
The two offenses matched each other into the final minute, when Wendland hit the game winner.
Wendland finished with 15 points, while Kenidee Wolery led North Star with 20. Shayla Borlaug added 13 for the Knights, who will take the district's No. 1 seed into the Northern C divisional tournament.
Emerson Giese led Fort Benton with 24 points, while Aspen Giese scored 12. Ashlee Wang scored 11 for the Longhorns. Fort Benton will take the No. 2 seed.
Earlier in the day, the Box Elder girls defeated Turner 51-34 in the consolation game to take third place and advance to the divisional tournament.
BOYS CHAMPIONSHIP: Fort Benton 57, Chinook 40
Hayden Diekhans scored 22 points and Devin Bird added 14 as Fort Benton pulled away from Chinook 57-40 to win the District 9C boys basketball championship.
Fort Benton built an 18-10 lead at the end of the first quarter, with Diekhans scoring at will. The Longhorns increased the lead to nine at halftime, but Chinook would whittle the lead back down to six in the third. But the Longhorn defense, which forced Chinook into 24 total turnovers, was too much as the Sugarbeeters were held to just six points in the final frame.
Ethan Bell, Toby Niederegger and Oskar Pula each scored 11 points for Chinook.
Fort Benton will be the district's No. 1 seed at next week's Northern C divisional tournament, while Chinook will be the No. 2 seed.
The Chester-Joplin-Inverness boys took third place and advanced to divisional after beating Box Elder 52-39 in the consolation game.