SHELBY — As the final spots at state basketball tournaments filled in over the weekend, history was on the line for programs enduring long droughts.
One of those teams ending a drought on Friday was Shelby, which took down Harlem in a tightly contested semifinal at the Northern B girls basketball divisional tournament.
It's believed that's the first time the Shelby girls have advanced to a state tournament since 1997. Harlem was the defending Northern B champion, but the Coyotes rode a dominant fourth quarter to seal the win. Junior Maddison Underdal scored 17 points, and she said being part of the resurgence for Shelby was pretty special.
"It's amazing and ... I feel so, like, honored to just be part of that. It's so exciting," Underdal said. "We were a little afraid. You know, it was getting really close and it was a close game. But in the end, when we pulled it out, it just, it felt so great. And we just knew right at the end that we were going to do it.
"I looked back at my teammates and we all just sat there and we were so excited. It was so great. It was a great experience and I love my team for it."
Shelby lost to Malta in the Northern B championship and will be the conference's No. 2 seed in the Class B state tournament, which is March 12-14 at Butte. The Coyotes will play Colstrip in a first-round game at 9 a.m. Thursday.