BILLINGS – Big Timber picked a good time to play its best basketball of the year.
Two weeks after upsetting Three Forks in the 5B District championship game, the Herders rolled St. Labre 71-42 in their opening round game at the Southern B Divisional inside Rimrock Auto Arena.
Big Timber jumped out to a 16-4 lead after the first quarter. The Braves cut the deficit in half, getting within 19-13 midway through the second, but Blake Finn and Kell Schwers pushed the lead back to 29-15 by halftime.
The Herders really opened it up during one early third quarter possession. Ethan Bullock scored and was fouled. Then Bullock was pushed on his way to the free throw line by Tamerson MedicineBull, who was assessed a technical foul. Bullock made his free throw, then Finn made both technical shots. On Big Timber’s ensuing possession, Finn scored and was fouled, and hit the free throw to complete an eight-point trip.
Finn and Bullock each scored 16 points. Ezra Bearcrane led St. Labre with 20.
LODGE GRASS 69, Joliet 54
After trailing by two at halftime, Lodge Grass used a 15-0 run in third quarter to beat Joliet 69-54 in the final Southern B boys opening round game of the day.
The J-Hawks led 38-37 midway through third when Lodge Grass’ run began. The Indians scored the final 15 points of the quarter, and the run was 17-0 into the fourth before Joliet could get back on the board.
Ethan Dust had a huge game for Lodge Grass. Dust scored 27 points on 11-17 FG shooting, and pulled down 17 rebounds – both game highs. Josh Stewart added 13 points and 12 boards for the Indians.
Taylor Rowlison led Joliet with 25 points, but the J-Hawks were just 17-51 from the field (33.3%). Rylan Olson had 12 points and 12 rebounds.
NEXT: Big Timber and Lodge Grass will meet in a semifinal Friday at 5:00 p.m. St. Labre and Joliet will face off in a loser-out game at 10:30 a.m.