RED LODGE — Jessica Adkins scored 18 points and led the Bridger girls to a 39-36 upset win over No. 5 Harlowton on Saturday night in the District 6C championship game. It was only the second loss of the season for the Engineers.
Jessica Adkins provided the scoring for the Scouts, but Emily Adkins and Kate Aisenbrey chipped in with 15 combined points, including some pivotal baskets that helped lead Bridger to the win. Mariah Dietrich had 17 points for Harlowton in the loss.
Each team started sluggish on offense, totaling only 13 points in the opening quarter, where Harlowton led 7-6. The Engineers added some separation at halftime, opening a 16-11 advantage. The halftime speeches from Wes Kragt and Gregg Wasson sparked each team, leading to 48 combined points in the final 16 minutes.
Harlowton led 27-21 after three quarters, but Bridger rallied in the final two minutes, taking a 36-34 advantage on an Emily Adkins 3-pointer with 1:14 remaining. It was the first lead of the game for Bridger.
The Engineers answered on the other end when Madison Wasson grabbed an offensive rebound and was fouled on the put-back attempt. Wasson swished the first free throw, celebrating with a fist pump. The second attempt bounce high off the iron four times before dropping through, tying the game at 36-all with 57 seconds remaining.
Kragt called a timeout to set up the offense for the Scouts, choosing to dribble out the majority of the final 54 seconds before Serena Oyler found Desiree Jones on a backdoor cut, leading to the go-ahead basket with 22 seconds to play. Trailing 38-36, Harlowton went to Dietrich, who rattled out a 3-pointer. Oyler corralled the rebound and was fouled with 13 seconds left, hitting the second free throw of a double-bonus for a 39-36 lead.
Harlowton’s first attempt to tie was off the mark, as Dietrich’s 3-pointer was too strong. But Bridger traveled on the rebound, giving the Engineers a last breath with two seconds remaining. Coach Wasson called a timeout to draw up one final play, but Madison Wasson’s heave at the horn was no good.
Hours earlier, Kragt led the Bridger boys to the District 6C title, as the Scouts ran away from Park City 49-32.
Carson Roberts and Koltin Pospisil had 12 points apiece for the Scouts, while Colter Zentner added 10 in the victory. Bridger led 21-13 at halftime and allowed only four Park City players to score.
Ryan Gauthier had a game-high 14 points and Connor McNeil added 12 in defeat.
All four teams, along with the four consolation teams — the Plenty Coups and Absarokee girls, Plenty Coups and Reed Point-Rapelje boys — advance to the Southern C divisional tournament. The boys divisional will take place next week in Laurel, beginning Thursday, Feb. 22. The girls travel to Miles City March 1-3.