(Editor's note: this article will be updated with highlights)
MISSOULA—The Butte Central girls crawled out of deficits in each half to escape with a 61-59 win over Miles City in the first round of the State A girls tournament at Dahlberg Arena on Wednesday.
After Miles City jumped out to a 14-6 lead in the first quarter, the Maroons came back to tie it at 27 at halftime behind Brooke Badovinac's 15 first-half points. The Cowgirls again jumped out to a lead in the third quarter, but Badovinac led a late charge in the fourth to bring the Maroons back.
The Maroons' fourth quarter comeback was complete when Sofee Thatcher, who finished with 17 points, scored in traffic with under a minute to go. Butte Central's ball pressure forced Miles City into eight second-half turnovers, and the Cowgirls were unable to get clean looks down the stretch.
Alora Baker scored 15 points to lead the Cowgirls, who drop into loser-out action on Thursday at 8 p.m.
Butte Central will play Dillon in the quarterfinals Thursday at 5:00 p.m.
Hardin 62, Hamilton 48
The Hardin girls took a second quarter lead and never let go on the way to beating Hamilton 62-48 in the first round of the State A girls tournament at Dahlberg Arena.
Hardin led 39-29 after a frenetic first half, and the Bulldogs kept that cushion throughout the second half, extending the lead to as large as 16 in the third quarter.
The Bulldogs saw a balanced scoring attack, with Dierra Takes Enemy leading the way with 12 points. Evelyn Old Coyote recorded a double-double on 10 points and 11 rebounds, and Kamber Good Luck added 10 points. Hamilton's Taryn Searle scored 18 points to lead all scorers, while Layne Kerns hauled in 18 rebounds.
Hardin advances to the semifinal round on Friday at 6:30 p.m.
Hamilton will play in loser-out game Friday at 1:30 p.m.
Billings Central 65, Columbia Falls 30
Billings Central started slow but woke up in the second quarter to dominate Columbia Falls 65-30 at the State A girls tournament.
Central used a 3-point barrage to outscore the Wildkats 27-9 in the second quarter and take a commanding 32-13 lead into halftime. The second half continued the trend as the Rams held Columbia Falls to just 27.8% shooting while also forcing 20 turnovers.
Mya Hansen, who won the player of the year award from Gatorade on Wednesday, scored 16 for Central while Lily Bland scored 12.
Maddie Robison scored 12 points to lead the Wildkats.
Billings Central, the top seed out of the Eastern A, will play Hardin in Friday's 6:30 p.m. semifinal. Columbia Falls moves to a loser-out game Thursday at 8 p.m.