BUTTE – It was a wild beginning to the AA boys basketball divisionals at Butte High School on Thursday, March 1st.
No. 4 seed Billings Senior played No. 5 seed Billings West in the first game. The Bears led most of the first half and into the second, but Senior came back to take a 53-52 lead with 4 seconds left. Jesse Owens’ long three attempt at the buzzer fell short and Senior moves onto the next round. Connor Kieckbush led the way for the Broncs with 19 points, 4 rebounds and 2 steals. Senior also had Brooks Zimmer score in double figures with 13 points and 8 rebounds, along with Braxton Haws with 10 points and 6 rebounds. Cade Tyson led Billings West with 22 points, Owens had 11. Billings Senior will play the No. 1 seed CM Russell on Friday, March 2nd at 6:30 p.m.
For the second game, No. 3 seed Bozeman matched up against No. 6 seed Billings Skyview. The Hawks came away with a 66-44 victory to move on. 4 Hawks finished in double figures. Mack Anderson had 16 points, 4 rebounds and 2 blocks. Ryan Lonergan had 14 points, Robbie Simpson had 12 points, 8 assists and 3 steals, and Ryan Simpson finished with 10 points. Zach Schacht led Skyview with 10 points and 3 rebounds.
Finally for the third game on the night, No. 2 seed Great Falls High played against No. 7 seed Butte. The Bison led 26-11 at halftime but the Bulldogs made a huge comeback in the second half, pulling the game to within 3 points at one point, but Great Falls High held on to win 45-41 and advance. Great Falls High will play Bozeman in the next round on Friday, March 2nd at 8 p.m.
Butte and Billings Skyview will play in the loser out game at 5 p.m. on the 2nd and Billings West will await the loser of the Bozeman vs. Great Falls High game to play in a loser out game at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 3rd.