BILLINGS — The undefeated Big Timber Herders trailed into the fourth quarter but rallied to beat Lodge Grass in the opening round Thursday at the Southern B girls basketball divisional tournament, while Forsyth won a low-scoring slugfest against Columbus.
Big Timber 53, Lodge Grass 46
Big Timber overcame a seven-point third-quarter deficit, outscoring Lodge Grass 18-8 in the fourth to pull away for a 53-46 win, preserving its undefeated record.
Lodge Grass jumped out to a 27-21 lead at halftime thanks to a stifling defense that forced 16 first-half turnovers. Big Timber would close to within 38-35 after the third, and Ella Holman hit one of her four 3-pointers to open the fourth and tie the game. The run continued with back-to-back Herders baskets, giving them a 42-38 lead. They would never trail again.
Freshman Bailey Finn didn't shoot well from the field (4 of 15) but was her usual stellar self at the free throw line, making all 10 attempts to lead Big Timber with 20 points. Holman scored 16 with seven rebounds, while Emily Cooley added seven points and 13 rebounds.
Jordan Jefferson led Lodge Grass with 16 points but shot a woeful 6 of 32 from the field. She added a team-high six steals.
Forsyth 28, Columbus 20
In a game where offense was at a premium, Forsyth used a 14-4 run coming out of halftime to beat Columbus 28-20.
The Dogies led 7-1 after the first quarter, but the Cougars pulled within 11-10 at halftime despite shooting just 22.2 percent (4 of 18). The turning point came in the third when Forsyth hit back-to-back 3-pointers -- the only field goals made in the entire quarter -- to take a 17-11 lead going into the fourth.
Forsyth ran its lead to 25-14 late in the fourth before replacing its starters.
Columbus held 6-foot-6 post Lindsey Hein to just nine points on 4-of-8 shooting but couldn't find any room inside on offense against the junior and didn't make enough jump shots. The Cougars finished just 6 of 40 from the field (15 percent).
Hein led all scorers and added 11 rebounds. Jordan Cookman also had 11 rebounds for the Dogies, while Roxanne Keefer had eight points and nine rebounds.
Payton West led the Cougars with seven points, making half of their field goals (3 of 7).
NEXT: Forysth will play Big Timber in Friday's 6:30 p.m. semifinal. Columbus and Lodge Grass will meet in a loser-out game at noon Friday.