GREAT FALLS — Billings West and Great Falls High earned wins during the opening round of the Eastern AA tournament in Great Falls on Thursday. The Bears and Bison will meet in Friday’s semifinals.
Bozeman Gallatin and Billings Skyview also posted first round wins to set up a semifinal battle between the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds.
Billings West 67, Belgrade 33
Sydney Pierce scored 16 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead No. 1 seed Billings West to a dominant 67-33 win over Belgrade.
West jumped out to a 22-7 lead after the first quarter and cruised to victory the rest of the way. Brooklyn Pierce scored 12 points off the bench on 4-of-4 shooting, while Layla Baumann added 11 points to join the Pierce sisters in double figures.
Leila Mamangun led all scorers with 17 points for Belgrade, but the Panthers shot just 27% from the field while turning the ball over 19 times. West outrebounded Belgrade 39-21 and blocked 10 shots, led by Elle Stock with four rejections.
West will advance to play Great Falls in Friday’s 3:30 p.m. semifinal.
Great Falls High 42, Billings Senior 33
The Great Falls High girls used a big fourth quarter to pull away from Billings Senior 42-33 and advance to the Eastern AA semifinals.
After scoring just 21 points through three quarters, the Bison erupted for 21 points in the final frame including 10 from Kenadee Mora who hit a trio of three pointers in the fourth quarter.
Dani Senger led Great Falls High with 11 points, whole Ashlyn Jones and Isis Haslem each added six. Lauren Cummings led all scorers with 16 points for Billings Senior in the loss.
The No. 5 seed Bison will face No. 1 Billings West in Friday’s 3:30 p.m. semifinal. The Broncs will move to the consolation bracket to face Belgrade.
Bozeman Gallatin 51, Great Falls CMR 39
Freshman sensation Jada Davis scored 24 points in her postseason debut to help lead the Gallatin Raptors to a first round win over Great Falls CMR, 51-39.
Davis shot 8-for-14 from the floor and added five rebounds and four steals in an all-around game. Teammate Novelle McQuiston added a near double-double off the bench with 10 points and nine rebounds.
The Rustlers were led by Rhema Pace with 12 points off the bench and Kylie Henderson with 11 in the loss. The Rustlers were out rebounded by Gallatin 38-24.
The Raptors advance to face defending Class AA champ Billings Skyview in the semifinals Friday at 5 p.m.
Billings Skyview 52, Bozeman 33
Breanna Williams scored 24 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in a dominant Skyview win, 52-33 over Bozeman in the first round of the Eastern AA divisionals.
The No. 2 Falcons defense held the Hawks to just 13 first half points. At one point in the third quarter, Skyview held a 26 point lead. Charlie Davis and Angel Martin each added nine points in the win.
Bozeman didn’t have any players reached double figures but were led in scoring by Tyra Opperman with nine points and Tailyn Black with eight. The Hawks finished 0-for-12 from behind the arc.
Skyview will try to make it back-to-back trips to the Eastern AA final with a win over Bozeman Gallatin in the semifinals, Friday at 5 p.m.