BILLINGS — Big Timber had to do it the hard way, but the Sheepherders are headed back to the State B tournament for the first time since 2016.
After losing their first game of the season to Colstrip in Friday’s Southern B boys basketball divisional semifinals, the Herders beat Lodge Grass Saturday morning and then overcame a three-point halftime deficit to beat Huntley Project, 51-43, Saturday night to claim the South’s final berth to state.
Big Timber started fast, jumping out to a 15-10 lead after the first quarter. But Huntley Project responded with an 18-10 second quarter to take a 28-25 lead at halftime. The Herders responded out of the break, scoring 15 of the first 21 points in the third to take a lead they’d never give up.
Four Herders scored in double figures, led by Ethan Bullock with 13 and nine rebounds. Casey Gunlikson, Blake Finn, and Kell Schwers combined for 32 from the guard spots. Noah Bouchard led the Red Devils with 15 points, while Isaiah Bouchard added 12 and 10 rebounds.
Big Timber will be the South’s No. 3 seed at the State B tournament, which runs March 6-8, a Wednesday-Friday this year, at Belgrade.