GREAT FALLS — The Belt boys didn’t take the easy route to the State C tournament, but they’re Butte bound nonetheless.
After a first round loss to Heart Butte, the Huskies needed to win four straight games to have a chance of moving on. And that’s exactly what they did – knocking off Fort Benton, Great Falls Central, and Chinook in loser out action before capping off the run with a 44-34 win over Sunburst in the Northern C challenge game Saturday night.
“We were a little heartbroken after we lost to Heart Butte,” said senior Keagan Stroop who scored a game high 19 points. “But we were able to pick our selves up, and I’m proud of our guys. That takes a lot of heart and a lot of character to be able to rally back like that and win four straight.”
The Huskies did it with relentless defensive effort. They held the high scoring Refiners to just 14 second half points, and held star forward Treyton Pickering scoreless in the second half after he dropped 13 in the first.
We’re just a defensive team,” said Stroop. “We like to shut people down and that’s how we have to play when we go to Butte.”
The Huskies earn a tough draw in the first round of the State C tournament. As the second seed out of the North, they earned the right to face the top seed in the West which in all likelihood means a Thursday game against defending Class C champ and undefeated Arlee.
“That (Phillip) Malatare is a pretty good ball player and the (Will) Mesteth kid can shoot the lights out,” Stroop said. “So we’re going to have to get ready for them, they’re a pretty good group of ball players.”
The Huskies open the State C tournament in Butte, Thursday at 2 p.m.