MISSOULA — Shelby used a strong third quarter to rally past Colstrip, 51-45, in the first round of the Class B boys basketball state tournament at Dahlberg Arena on Thursday.
The Colts limited Shelby to just 5-of-27 shooting in the first half to build a 27-18 lead at the break. Colstrip led by as many as 15 points in the second quarter, with Isaiah Williams sparking a personal 5-0 run in the period with a dunk and a 3-pointer.
Williams continued his strong play with a volleyball-spike block in the third quarter to help Colstrip go up 29-18, but Shelby answered with a 9-0 run, getting two old-fashioned three-point plays and a wing 3-pointer from Aaron White.
On the first possession of the fourth quarter, TJ Reynolds gave Shelby its first lead since the first quarter with a bucket and the foul underneath. Reynolds had a monster game for the Coyotes, finishing with 18 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks. White scored a game-high 19 points and made seven of eight free throws.
Colstrip got 13 points and seven rebounds from Williams and 12 points and seven rebounds from Joel McRae. The Colts, though, got to the free throw line just four times. Shelby, meanwhile, attempted 20 free throws, converting on 14.
The Coyotes will meet Lodge Grass in a Friday semifinal game scheduled to tip at 8 p.m. Colstrip will face Anaconda in a loser-out game at 1:30 p.m.
Lodge Grass 72, Anaconda 66
Mylon Blacksmith scored 27 points and Elijah Rogers added 12 as Lodge Grass stunned Anaconda, 72-66, in the first round of the Class B boys basketball state tournament at Dahlberg Arena on Thursday.
Blacksmith was on fire to start the game, knocking down four first-quarter 3-pointers as the Indians built a 27-20 lead. As a team, Lodge Grass made seven 3s in the first quarter and 11 for the game. Blacksmith was seven of 14 from beyond the arc.
Lodge Grass maintained its lead into the third quarter, but Anaconda demonstrated its resiliency and ultimately got the lead back at 43-42 with 1:52 remaining in the third. Braxton Hill took a layup coast to coast to give the Copperheads, who played in last year’s state championship game, a short-lived lead.
The Indians answered with 3s on their next two possessions — sandwiching a two-handed dunk by Anaconda’s Trent Mikalatos — and closed out the third quarter on an 8-2 run. It was 50-45 going to the fourth, where Lodge Grass would extend the lead to as many as 14 points — 61-47 with 4:23 to go.
Anaconda made things interesting, putting together a 19-7 run to get within 68-66 with just 5.5 seconds remaining. The wheels came off in the final moments for the Copperheads, though, as they earned flagrant and technical fouls, giving the Indians four free throws for the final margin.
Hill, Anaconda’s all-time leading scorer, finished with a game-high 34 points, nine rebounds, and seven steals. Mikalatos added 16 points, six rebounds and seven blocks. The Copperheads will play in a loser-out game at 1:30 p.m. Friday.
Lodge Grass will meet Shelby in a semifinal game at 8 p.m.