RONAN – Bigfork stayed perfect, and their latest win earned a Western B Divisional championship.
The Vikings finally built separation from Missoula Loyola in the third quarter, and then held off the Rams for a 70-58 victory Saturday night. The win sends Bigfork to the state tournament in Missoula March 8th-10th. Loyola will now face Anaconda in a challenge game.
The Rams kept it close throughout the first half. Even after the Vikings extended a second-quarter lead to seven points, Loyola came back to only trail 30-28 at halftime.
The third quarter turned the game. Bigfork out-scored the Rams 18-8 in the eight minute stretch, building a double-digit lead. And the undefeated Vikings held that advantage throughout Loyola’s frantic attempt to come back in the fourth.
Anders Epperly and Logan Gilliard each scored 18 points to lead Bigfork. Jack Lincoln paced the Rams with 14.
Bigfork will carry the one-seed into state. But the Western B’s other representative won’t be decided until later. Loyola will meet Anaconda at 6:00 Monday night. The 6B rivals split their two meetings in the regular season. The rubber match will send one to state.
Anaconda earned a chance to challenge the Rams by beating Thompson Falls 79-48 Saturday morning, and Florence 66-49 in the consolation final. Florence eliminated Deer Lodge earlier, 49-40.