GREAT FALLS — The Belgrade boys basketball team defeated Great Falls High 54-52 on Tuesday behind 16 points from Rylan McCollim. The Panthers had a strong first half that saw them take a 33-14 lead over the Bison at halftime. But the third quarter is where the thrill began.
Applying pressure full court, Great Falls forced multiple turnovers and attacked the basket, putting Belgrade in foul trouble. Within the first three minutes of the second half, the Bison had scored 15 points and cut the lead down to six. Capping off their large third quarter was Evan Brown sinking a mid-range jumper to tie the game at 40-40 heading into the fourth quarter.
The final frame saw multiple lead changes, but the largest lead within the final eight minutes was only four points. With less than 30 seconds left, Braden Clyde sunk two free throws to put the Panthers ahead 54-50. But wasting no time, Ashton Platt raced down the floor and scored a layup to cut it back down to two.
Following a timeout, Belgrade attempted a full court pass which was deflected and stolen. The Bison only had time for a half-court prayer but it was no good.
Evan Brown put up 20 points for the Bison in their comeback attempt.
The win was the first conference victory of the season for Belgrade.