BUTTE – Day 2 of the Eastern AA divisional boys basketball tournament lived up to the hype at Butte High on Friday.
In the first semifinal game of the night, No. 1 seed CMR played against No. 4 seed Billings Senior. The Rustlers recovered from a shaky start and turned it on in the second half, resulting in a 58-47 win. CMR had three players in double figures, led by Garrison Rothwell with 14 points, three assists and three rebounds. Sam Vining had 12 points along with four rebounds, and Bryce Depping had 10 points, seven rebounds and three steals. The Broncs were led by Braxton Haws, who had a game-high 22 points. Connor Kieckbusch finished with 12 points, four assists and two steals.
In the other semifinal game of the night, No. 2 seed Great Falls High was matched up against No. 3 seed Bozeman. The Hawks led 21-11 at the half, but the Bison made a charge in the second half to get back in the game. It wasn’t quite enough as Bozeman upset Great Falls High 47-44. The Hawks were led by Robbie Simpson, who finished with 15 points, five rebounds and two steals. Mack Anderson finished with a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds while adding two blocks and two steals. Great Falls High was led by Kendall Kynett, who had 13 points, four rebounds and two steals.
CMR will face Bozeman for the divisional championship at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday. Both have clinched Class AA state tournament berths.
In Friday’s loser-out game, Billings Skyview defeated Butte 55-44. Skyview will face Billings Senior in a loser-out game at 9 a.m. on Saturday. Great Falls High will play Billings West in a loser-out game at 10:30 a.m. The winners of both loser-out games, along with getting a berth in the state tournament, will play in the consolation game at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.