FRENCHTOWN — Seeley-Swan had the upper hand during the regular season, but Alberton-Superior won the game that mattered most on Monday night.
The Mountain Cats upset the Blackhawks 56-44 in a District 13C challenge game. Alberton-Superior now advances to the Western C divisional tournament starting Thursday in Butte.
Seeley-Swan was the No. 2 seed in the 13C bracket, while Alberton-Superior came in as the fourth seed. Seeley-Swan had won its two previous meetings during the regular season, 69-49 and 55-27. But the Blackhawks could never get comfortable in the third and final clash.
Alberton-Superior led 25-20 at halftime. The Mountain Cats didn’t pull away to a double-digit lead until the final minutes, but they also never let the Blackhawks make a run. The Mountain Cats led by at least five throughout the second half.
Alberton-Superior kept the Blackhawks at bay with a very balanced attack. Bryan Mask led the way with 15 points, Carson Callison added 13, and Aaron Waddle scored 12. All three players are sophomores. Senior Michael Spence also reached double figures with 11 points.
Seeley-Swan sophomore Owen Mercado tallied a game-high 17 points. Chance Johnson scored 15, including 11 in the second half to try and bring the Blackhawks back.
Alberton-Superior will now aim for a much bigger upset. It opens the Western C divisional tournament against undefeated, top-ranked Manhattan Christian at 5 p.m. on Thursday in Butte.