BUTTE – The Western A girls basketball divisional tournament kicked off Thursday in Butte at the Civic Center. Four teams punched their tickets to Friday’s semifinals. Game recaps are below:
Frenchtown 41, Ronan 26
Alivia Williams tallied a game-high 20 points to lead Frenchtown past Ronan, 41-26, and on to Friday’s semifinal. Williams matched Ronan’s first-half point total of 13. Frenchtown’s defense was stifling from start to finish, holding the Maidens to just 20.8 percent shooting. Williams grabbed four rebounds to go with her 20 points. Micalann McCrea led Ronan with 13 points and was the only other player in double figures.
Butte Central 46, Columbia Falls 42
Three Butte Central girls scored in double figures as the Maroons rallied from a nine-point second-half deficit to defeat defending state champion Columbia Falls 46-42 in the first round of the Western A divisional tournament. Tricia Joyce (15 points), Kloie Thatcher (14) and Megan Michelotti (11) helped Butte Central to the upset win. The Maroons outscored the Wildkats 21-8 in the fourth quarter to advance to a Friday semifinal game against Frenchtown. Trista Cowan scored 15 points and Ryley Kehr added 11 points and 12 rebounds for Columbia Falls, which will play Ronan in a loser-out game.
Dillon 44, Libby 37
Future Montana State Bobcat Brynley Fitzgerald scored 17 points and grabbed six rebounds to help lead Dillon to a 44-37 win over Libby in the first round of the Western A divisional tournament. The Loggers held a two-point lead midway through the second quarter, but Dillon dominated the next 12 minutes of game action to take an 11-point lead. The Beavers made 15 of 17 free throw attempts in the win to secure a berth in Friday’s semifinal round. Shannon Reny scored 12 points to lead Libby, which will play a loser-out game on Friday.
Browning 61, Hamilton 56, OT
Browning rallied from a 30-18 halftime deficit to defeat Hamilton 61-56 in overtime in the first round of the Western A divisional tournament. After shooting just 19.2 percent (five of 26) in the first half, the Indians made 18 of 35 field goals (51.4 percent) in the second hald and overtime to complete the comeback. Taylor Jordan scored 17 points and Olivia Hall added 16 for Browning, which will meet Dillon in a Friday semifinal game. Cariann Kunkel had a double-double of 17 points and 13 rebounds for the Broncs, who will play Libby in a Friday loser-out game.