FRENCHTOWN – The District 13 titles will either belong to Blackhawks or Tigers. The boys and girls from Seeley-Swan and Darby won semifinal games on Friday to advance to the championship games on Saturday.
The top-seeded Darby boys continued their long winning streak, beating Alberton-Superior, 67-50. The four seed held a 12-11 lead at the end of the first quarter. Darby took a 28-22 lead into the halftime locker room. And then the Tigers came alive in the third quarter, outscoring the Mountain Cats 20-8. Dylan Parks scored 26, 10 in the second quarter, to lead the Darby attack. The Tigers only loss all year came against Drummond back on Jan. 5.
The Seeley-Swan boys will get to take their third shot at the Tigers, after they took down three-seed Victor. The Blackhawks pulled away after a slow start to beat the Pirates, 69-41. Victor led for a chunk of the first quarter but trailed 33-21 by halftime. The Seeley-Swan lead ballooned to 52-29 by the end of the third quarter. Owen Mercado led the Blackhawks with 21 points. Cordell Turner added 19.
Seeley-Swan’s girls held off five-seed Lincoln for a 37-32 victory in a game that became much closer in the end. The top-seed Blackhawks built up a 31-11 lead early in the third quarter behind stifling full-court pressure defense. But once Seeley-Swan let up the pressure, Lincoln started to make a comeback. The Lynx slowly crawled back, creating a few tense moments in the final two minutes. But they never climbed closer than eight points behind the Blackhawks, until a buzzer-beating 3-pointer at the end of the game. Terra Bertsch was the only Seeley-Swan player in double figures with 11 points.
The final game of the afternoon provided the only upset. Three-seed Darby took down the two-seed Alberton-Superior girls, 40-33. The Mountain Cats had beaten the Tigers in both regular season meetings and jumped out to a 12-9 lead after one quarter. But Darby tied it up 16-16 at halftime, and then built a 24-19 lead after three quarters. The Tigers then held off any attempt at an Alberton-Superior comeback to earn a spot in the championship. Casey Ehmann led the upset with 13 points, including seven in the fourth quarter.
The Darby and Seeley-Swan boys will start the championship night at 6:45 p.m. Saturday. The girls will follow with an 8:30 tipoff.
In Saturday morning loser-out games, the Victor and Lincoln boys collide at 10:00 a.m. The Valley Christian and Alberton-Superior boys play at the same time. The winners meet in a consolation clash at 3:15 p.m.
The Victor and Alberton/Superior girls also square off in a loser-out at 11:45 a.m. At the same time, Valley Christian battles Lincoln. The winners play in the consolation at 5:00 p.m.