BUTTE — District champions earned their trips to divisionals as well as a high seed in the bracket. The KPAX Youth Sports Spotlight shines on a group of Broncs that know a lot about winning, and the trend continues.
Hamilton claimed the Southwest A regular-season crown and then followed it up with a district tournament title. Many of the same guys teamed up on Hamilton’s two-time state runner-up football team or on the wildly successful Bitterroot Red Sox. Plus, the Broncs went undefeated on the basketball court until the state tournament last year. So they had the right combination of experience and talent to take down Butte Central in the final and win the season rubber match over the Maroons in their third meeting.
“I wouldn’t say there is any better feeling,” said head coach Travis Blome after the win. “Every game has been really highly contested. As you can see out there, these two went back and forth, and it’s just really who can make the most plays at the end of the game. Going on, it’s always good. Every tournament you get in you want to win it. We did a good job. You know, the next step is next week at home.”
Hamilton did lose three times in the regular season, including once back before Christmas at Butte Central. The Broncs later got some revenge against the Maroons, and then once again traveled to the Mining City this past weekend and beat Central in the Southwest A district championship.
The Broncs trailed for most of the first three quarters, but their veteran squad showed they know how to come through when it’s tournament time.
“I thought our third-quarter defense was what really set us apart, got us back in the game,” added Blome. “And at the end they made some really big shots. It was just a really great basketball game. Both teams played well. Now onto divisionals next week.”
The Broncs will get a home-court advantage in the next bracket. Hamilton hosts the Western A tournament starting on Thursday. The Hamilton boys will play the final game of the first day against Whitefish at 8 p.m.