BILLINGS — After three blowouts on semifinal Friday at the Eastern A boys and girls basketball divisional tournaments, Billings Central and Havre played one of the games of the season in the nightcap, as Mya Hansen hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to send it overtime, where the Rams won it.
Billings Central 64, Havre 60 (OT)
Down three with 2.7 seconds to play in regulation, Billings Central's Mya Hansen hit a buzzer-beating 3 from the top of the arc to force overtime, where the Rams beat Havre for the second time this season, 64-60.
The loss snaps Havre's 17-game winning streak, which started the game after Havre's 69-54 loss to Central on Dec. 14. They are the Blue Ponies' only two losses of the year.
Central led by as many as eight in the first half, but Havre used a 14-5 run late in the second quarter to take a momentary 24-23 lead before three Central free throws put them up 26-24 at the break.
Havre opened the third quarter on a 15-6 run to take its biggest lead at 39-32. Kadia Miller scored six of her 16 points during the stretch.
Hansen kept Central close with seven points late in the third as the Rams pulled within 41-39 going into the final quarter.
The game turned on back-to-back possessions late in the fourth quarter. With the score tied at 48-48, Havre sophomore Sadie Filius stole the ball from Hansen and was fouled on her lay-up attempt. She made both free throws to give the Blue Ponies the lead and on the ensuing possession poked the ball away from Hansen again. The ball went off Filius' foot back down the court, Havre grabbed it and fed Miller, who scored to give the Blue Ponies a 52-48 lead with 2:29 left.
Miller had multiple chances to ice the game in the final minute, but went 0 for 3 at the free throw line, giving Hansen a chance to hit the game-tying shot in regulation.
Hansen finished with a game-high 32 points on 7-of-17 shooting and a 16-of-17 mark at the free throw line. Central was 30 of 37 from the free throw line as a team, while Havre was just 15 of 23.
Isabelle Erickson scored 10 points, including a key basket to give the Rams the lead for good in the overtime period. Kyndall Keller led Havre with 17 points.
Hardin 63, Laurel 33
Hardin used a 17-0 run between the first and second quarters to pull away from Laurel in a 63-33 win in the night's first semifinal.
Sammi Spitzer hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give Laurel a 6-5 lead early before the Bulldogs scored the final 13 points of the first quarter. They scored the first four in the second to make it a 22-6 game. Laurel never recovered.
Neveah Alden led Hardin with 16 points and eight rebounds, while Marie Five scored 12. The Bulldogs' full-court press defense forced 21 turnovers.
Hardin and Central will meet in the Eastern A championship Saturday at 8 p.m. Havre and Laurel fall into loser-out play Saturday morning.