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State AA girls: Billings West, Skyview and Bozeman Gallatin roll; Missoula Hellgate edges Great Falls CMR

Missoula Hellgate vs. Great Falls CMR girls basketball
Posted at 12:01 PM, Mar 07, 2024

MISSOULA — Billings West and Billings Skyview started the Class AA girls basketball state tournament Thursday with dominant wins at Dahlberg Arena.

The Golden Bears rolled past Missoula Big Sky 66-38 and the Falcons pulled away from Kalispell Glacier 61-38 to advance to the semifinal round. West and Skyview will play a semifinal game at 3:30 p.m. Friday. Big Sky and Glacier will meet in a loser-out game at 9 a.m.

In the second session, Bozeman Gallatin took care of Missoula Sentinel 60-36 and Missoula Hellgate edged Great Falls CMR 49-47. Hellgate, the West division champion, was the only team from the West to win in the first round.

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Billings West 66, Missoula Big Sky 38

Kourtney Grossman
Billings West senior Kourtney Grossman (with ball) looks for room against Missoula Big Sky in the first round of the Class AA girls basketball state tournament at Dahlberg Arena in Missoula on March 7, 2024.

Billings West senior Kourtney Grossman entered Thursday's first-round game against Missoula Big Sky with a black eye, but she and the Golden Bears bruised the Eagles in a 66-38 win that sends West into the semifinal round of the state tournament.

West dominated from the tip, scoring the game's first nine points. The Bears led 16-6 after the first quarter and 37-20 at halftime.

Grossman scored 26 points on 9-of-12 shooting, including a 4-for-4 mark from 3-point range, and also had eight rebounds and four steals. Halle Haber added 14 points on 7-of-11 shooting for West, which made 25 of 50 field goals and 10 of 20 3-pointers as a team.

To lead Big Sky, Sadie McGuinn scored 13 points and Audrey Hale at 11.

Billings Skyview 61, Kalispell Glacier 38

Billings Skyview vs. Kalispell Glacier girls basketball
Billings Skyview defeated Kalispell Glacier in the first round of the Class AA girls basketball state tournament at Dahlberg Arena in Missoula on March 7, 2024.

Billings Skyview pulled away from Kalispell Glacier for a 61-38 win Thursday to advance to the semifinal round of the state tournament.

The Falcons led 29-18 at halftime and used an 18-5 advantage in the third quarter to take complete control. Breanna Williams had another solid all-around game, scoring 16 points, grabbing five rebounds, dishing out six assists and swiping six steals. Taryn Salveson added 12 points and Rae Smart had 11.

As a team, Skyview made 21 of 45 field goals and 16 of 23 free throws. Glacier attempted only six free throws in the game.

Noah Fincher had 12 points and seven rebounds to lead the Wolfpack.

Bozeman Gallatin 60, Missoula Sentinel 36

Bozeman Gallatin vs. Missoula Sentinel girls basketball
Bozeman Gallatin defeated Missoula Sentinel in the first round of the Class AA girls basketball state tournament at Dahlberg Arena in Missoula on March 7, 2024.

Bozeman Gallatin built an early lead and then handled Missoula Sentinel the rest of the way for a 60-36 win.

The Raptors led 14-5 after the first quarter, 30-15 at halftime and 46-21 going to the fourth. Jada Davis scored 19 points to lead Gallatin, Ave Odegard added 15 and Makayla Coleman had 10.

Sentinel was led by Emily McElmurry with 11 points and Peyton Size with 10.

Missoula Hellgate 49, Great Falls CMR 47

Missoula Hellgate vs. Great Falls CMR girls basketball
Missoula Hellgate defeated Great Falls CMR in the first round of the Class AA girls basketball state tournament at Dahlberg Arena in Missoula on March 7, 2024.

Chloe Larsen scored the go-ahead basket in the final seconds to help Missoula Hellgate to a 49-47 win over Great Falls CMR.

After the Rustlers tied the game at 47 on a free throw, Hellgate called timeout on its offensive end of the floor. Carmen Anderson inbounded the ball from under the basket, finding Larsen on the opposite side of the lane. Larsen banked in the bucket, and CMR wouldn't get another attempt off.

Larsen finished with 14 points and eight rebounds for the Knights, who led by as many as 10 points in the third quarter only to have to rally in the fourth. Anderson added nine points and Alix Mund and Elly Reed each scored seven.

CMR was led by the duo of Macie Wheeler and Rhema Pace. Wheeler had 16 points and seven rebounds, while Pace scored 13 points.