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Eastern C boys: Monster 2nd half pushes Scobey past Fairview in title game

Posted at 9:02 PM, Feb 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-24 12:23:46-05

GLASGOW — Deadlocked at 18 at halftime, Scobey outscored the Warriors 34-11 in the second half of the Eastern C boys basketball divisional championship game on its way to a 52-29 victory in Glasgow on Saturday night.

“We started to defend better in that second half,” Scobey head coach Jason Wolfe said. “We got caught in some ball-screen action in the first half that we didn’t switch very well, we didn’t hedge it and they got away on us. (Cody) Asbeck does a good job of putting pressure on us, keeping us on our heels. We made a few adjustments and the kids did a great job putting a little more pressure coming off the screen in the second half.”

Fairview knotted the game at 24-all with 2:30 to go in the third quarter, but then the Spartans got red hot. Jeremy Handy started the run with a turnaround jumper from the baseline. Jayce Tande then buried a deep 3-pointer, and the barrage of triples was only just beginning.

Handy, who hadn’t been a huge contributor in the first two rounds of the tournament, knocked down a 3 from the corner to push the lead to eight in the final minute of the quarter. Just before the third quarter buzzer, Tande hit a stepback 3 from near the logo at midcourt, sending the Scobey faithful into a frenzy.

“(Handy) is a senior, and that’s a big part of it. He understands the game and knows not to panic and put pressure on himself and if he stays patient things will come to him,” Wolfe said of Handy’s performance. “I can’t say enough about Jayce Tande. He came off the bench, hit two big 3s that kind of broke the game open for us. Those were huge.”

“I was just focused,” Handy said. “I was ready for this one, I knew it was a big one. I didn’t want to play (a challenge game) on Monday night, so I thought I’d do it (Saturday).”

The rout continued in the fourth quarter, as Scobey pushed its lead to 48-24 before the Warriors scored again — a 24-0 run in the span of less than seven minutes.

For the first 16 minutes, though, it seemed as if the game would be come down to the final minutes. Fairview built a 9-2 lead in the opening minutes of the game behind Cody Asbeck, who scored 14 of the Warriors’ 18 first-half points. Turnovers, coupled with Scobey star sophomore Caden Handran’s foul trouble, allowed Fairview to keep pace with the Spartans. But Scobey’s ability to go 10-12 deep is what set it apart on Saturday.

“We are deep. … They’re just ready when they’re number’s called. That’s the big thing that we talk about all year, staying ready,” Wolfe said.

As Fairview began to miss shots in the second half, Scobey was able to get out in transition and capitalize, even with some of its biggest point producers on the bench. The Spartans shot 60 percent in the second half and 51 percent for the game, while holding Fairview to 21 percent in the second half and 27.9 percent for the game.

“They went through a stretch there where they hit a lot of shots. I thought we played pretty well up to that point defensively,” Fairview head coach Luke Kloker said. “Offensively, we missed some shots we could have used. They went through a hot streak, we went through a cold streak and it got away from us pretty quick there.”

Handy finished with 16 points for the Spartans, while also tying a game high with five rebounds. Ausytn Fishell added nine points and brother Aidan added seven. Asbeck led Fairview with 18 points.

Both Scobey and Fairview will advance to the State C boys basketball tournament to be held in Billings at Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark Mar. 7-9.