BILLINGS – What a start to Day 2 of the Eastern A boys basketball tournament.
In a game that featured nine ties and seven lead changes, Laurel outlasted Livingston 61-58 in triple overtime Thursday morning in a quarterfinal at Rimrock Auto Arena.
Laurel led 59-58 with 20 seconds left in the third OT when Livingston’s Austin Parker drew a blocking foul. Parker missed both free throws, and the Locomotives ran the clock down to 4.5 seconds before Paul O’Neil was fouled. O’Neil made both free throws, and Livingston couldn’t get a tying shot off before the buzzer.
Both teams had multiple chances to win the game before that. Laurel freshman Colter Bales made a lay-up with eight seconds left in the first OT to put the Locos up 46-44, but Jakim Ricketts hit a deep two at the buzzer to extend the game.
Tied at 52 with 10 seconds left in double overtime, Ricketts fouled O’Neil 30 feet from the basket. He missed both free throws, and Ricketts went the length of the court but missed a wide-open lay-up which would have won it. Livingston got the offensive rebound, but couldn’t get another shot off.
Ricketts led everyone with 19 points before fouling out early in the third overtime. Rydell Floyd added 17 for the Rangers.
Dante Filpula-Ankney paced Laurel with 16.
The Locomotives advance to Friday’s semifinal against Hardin at 3:30 p.m. Livingston will play a loser-out contest Friday at 10:30 a.m. against the winner between Sidney and Havre.
BELGRADE 43, Billings Central 28
In the second boys game, Belgrade overcame an ice-cold Billings Central team 43-28.
Central jumped out to a 10-5 lead midway through the first quarter, but scored just two points over the final 11 minutes of the half. The drought continued into the third, with the Rams scoring just five in the quarter.
Central shot 26.7 percent (12 of 45) for the game, including three of 27 on 3-point attempts.
Dawson Fowler led Belgrade with 15 points, 11 rebounds, and three blocks. Noel Reynolds added 10 points and seven boards.
Belgrade advances to a Friday semifinal against Lewistown at 5 p.m. Central will play a loser-out contest Friday morning at 9 a.m. against the winner between Miles City and Glendive.