GREAT FALLS — The first day of the Northern C Divisional at Four Seasons Arena lived up to the unofficial branding as one of the most exciting tournaments in the state.
Winnett-Grass Range 49, Sunburst 36
Winnett-Grass Range came in as a three seed from the 8C district while Sunburts the three seed in 10C. The Rams struggled early against the Refiners with their zone pressure but Walker Doman showed why he's an all-state presence in Class C dropping 23 points in a win. They play the Chester-Joplin-Inverness in the quarterfinals.
Heart Butte 55, Chinook 58
In what proved to be the marquee game of the day, the undefeated Heart Butte Warriors out of the 10C came in to take on the third seeded Chinook Sugarbeeters out of the 9C. The game was back and forth with Chinook's Oskar Pula causing problems on both ends of the floor blocking shots, grabbing rebounds and scoring a team-high 19 points. However, Heart Butte's hustle on both ends including their highly productive transition game gave Chinook fits but down three in the closing seconds, Toby Niederegger sealed the game with a steal and a trip to the semifinals against the winner of Roy-Winifred and Big Sandy. Riley Reevis led all scorers with 24 points for Heart Butte.
Geraldine-Highwood 63, Cascade 21
The three seeds from 10C and 8C would battle it out to see who would take on the mighty Box Elder Bears. The Rivals squashed any hope for Cascade in the second quarter going on a 27-0 run to seize the game and a chance at top-ranked Box Elder in the quarterfinals.
Fort Benton 53, Augusta 40
Another three seed from 8C upsetting the one seed from 10C as the defending state champions go toe-to-toe with Augusta to head to the semifinals to take on the winner of Roy-Winifred and Chinook. Casha Corder led all scorers with 15 points for the Longhorns.