BILLINGS – The first two tickets to the State B boys basketball tournaments have been punched.
Three Forks and Lodge Grass survived late fourth quarter rallies to win Southern B semifinals Friday inside Rimrock Auto Arena.
THREE FORKS 54, Roundup 46
The Wolves withstood a late rally from Roundup, scoring nine of the final 13 points to beat the Panthers 54-46.
Three Forks led 28-23 after a close first half in which they shot 46.2 percent (12-26 FG). Roundup opened the third quarter with a 7-1 run to briefly takes a 30-29 lead, but the Wolves seized it back by the end of the third to lead 40-36.
Roundup pulled within 45-43 after a Kelson Eiselein three-pointer with 3:04 to play, but never got any closer.
Payden Lynn led everyone with 14 points for the Wolves. Micaiah Hauser added 13, while Colter Miller chipped in 12 with nine rebounds.
Roundup shot just 28 percent for the game, including just 7-30 FG in the second half. Jayce Grifftih was their high scorer with 13, while Tanner Rae scored 12.
LODGE GRASS 70, Big Timber 63
For the second straight night, Lodge Grass used a big third quarter run on their way to a Southern B win.
The Indians outscored Big Timber 17-3 over a five-minute span to take control, eventually holding on for a 70-63 win over the Herders.
Lodge Grass led 36-28 at the half, but Big Timber scored the first five points of the third quarter to cut the deficit to three. The Indians would swell the lead to as many as 19 early in the fourth, before the Herders made a big run to get back in it.
Big Timber got as close as 63-60 with 1:30 to play, but never had a chance to tie.
Ethan Dust had another big game for Lodge Grass – 20 points on 10-12 FG shooting, plus 10 rebounds. Elijah Rogers added 19 points, five rebounds, and five assists.
Kell Schwers led Big Timber with 19 points.
NEXT: Three Forks and Lodge Grass will meet in Saturday’s Southern B championship game at 6:30 p.m. Roundup and Big Timber will play loser-out games Saturday morning with State B berths on the line. Roundup plays Joliet at 9:00 a.m. at Rocky Mountain College, while Big Timber plays Colstrip at 9:00 a.m. at Rimrock Auto Arena.