The Billings Central girls began their postseason as defending co-state champions with a flawless performance against Miles City, blowing out the Cowgirls 69-11 at the Eastern A divisional tournament on Wednesday. Glendive kept a third meeting between the Rams and Laurel from happening, as the Red Devils rallied from an early deficit to hold off the Locomotives 45-41.
Billings Central 69, Miles City 11
Billings Central led 22-1 after the first quarter and 45-4 by halftime, as the defending co-champion Rams blasted Miles City 69-11 in the opening round of the Eastern A divisional tournament inside First Interstate Arena at MetraPark.
Central hit 9 of 18 3-point attempts, while Miles City mustered only 20 shots total and turned the ball over 31 times. Maria Stewart had five steals for Central, as nine of the Rams' 12 girls recorded at least one steal.
Isabelle Erickson led all scorers with 16 points, doing much of her damage in the opening half. Central had 10 girls in the scoring column. Solei Elletson was the only other player in double figures with 11.
Central moves on to Friday night's semifinals, where the Rams will face Glendive. The Rams swept the Red Devils this season, winning both meetings by more than 30 points. Miles City will face Lewistown on Thursday at 6 p.m. in loser-out action.
Glendive 45, Laurel 41
Glendive made just one field goal in the fourth quarter, but Madison Wahl's layup with less than 30 seconds to play all but sealed the deal. The Red Devils punched their ticket to the Eastern A semifinals with a 45-41 win over Laurel.
Laurel held a 37-36 advantage heading to the fourth quarter, but Glendive made a living from the free throw line in the final frame and kept the Locomotives off the scoreboard for large chunks of the quarter.
Glendive faced multiple seven-point deficits in the first half, but the Red Devils rallied to tie it up at 24-all at halftime. Laurel built a quick five-point advantage in the opening minutes of the third quarter, but again the Red Devils fought back to tie it up at 36 apiece. A Sophia Timm free throw gave Laurel the lead heading into the final period.
Jillian Litwiller had a game-high 17 points for Glendive, who also got 11 from Wahl. Freshman Emma Timm led Laurel with 16 points.
Glendive and Billings Central will have Thursday off before meeting in Friday night's semifinal round. Laurel moves to loser-out action and will play in Lockwood on Friday at 4:30 p.m.