BILLINGS — Only one undefeated Class B boys basketball team will remain after Friday’s Southern B semifinal round.
Big Timber and Colstrip, the only two undefeated teams left in Class B entering the weekend, both kept their records perfect after first-round wins at the Southern B divisional Thursday, setting up an unbeaten semifinal Friday night inside Rimrock Auto Arena.
Big Timber began the day with a 43-32 win over Joliet in which the J-Hawks shot just 19.1 percent from the field. The Herders led 21-15 after the first half but increased the lead to 11 late in the third quarter thanks to seven points from point guard Kell Schwers. Schwers finished with a game-high 16.
Joliet’s Ry Olson hit a 3-pointer right before the third-quarter buzzer to bring the J-Hawks back within eight. Joliet would climb as close as four but could not make shots down the stretch. Olson finished with a team-high 13 but shot just 3 of 21 from the field.
Blake Finn added 12 points and nine rebounds for Big Timber.
Colstrip had a much tougher time with Red Lodge. The Colts jumped out to a 17-point first-half lead, only to see the Rams come back to take a one-point lead in the fourth quarter. But the Colts found a second wind just in time, scoring 13 of the game’s final 17 points for a 66-58 win.
The key sequence came with less than two minutes to go. Down three, Red Lodge missed two layups, Colstrip finally grabbed the rebound, and Kellen Big Head scored to put the Colts up 62-57. Red Lodge didn’t make another field goal.
Big Head scored 18, while Kobee Big Back led Colstrip with 20. JT Baer added 12 points and 16 rebounds.
Kaden Mystol led the Rams with 17, while Corby Mann chipped in a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Colstrip and Big Timber will meet in Friday’s first boys semifinal, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Red Lodge and Joliet drop into loser-out play.