GREAT FALLS — Bozeman used hot shooting from beyond the arc to advance the Eastern AA boys championship game. After knocking off Billings Skyview in the semifinals on Saturday, the Hawks will play in Saturday’s championship at 8 p.m. against Billings West, which topped Bozeman Gallatin in the other semifinal matchup.
Gallatin played close to West for three quarters, but the Bears found a second wind in the final eight minutes to get them into the title game with Bozeman. Gallatin will face Billings Senior in the consolation bracket on Saturday. Skyview will play Great Falls CMR.
Bozeman 66, Billings Skyview 46
The Hawks jumped out to a 10-point lead in the first quarter, going up 18-8. But the Falcons picked up the scoring in the second, including a four-point play from Anthony Schacht which cut the lead to four. But the first half belonged to Kellen Harrison. Harrison went 5 for 6 from beyond the arc, totaling 17 points in the first half as Bozeman led 34-26.
That eight-point lead turned into a 21-point lead by the end of the third quarter. The Hawks held Skyview to just nine points while they went off for 22 in the quarter. Even with a large lead, the Hawks refused to take their foot off the gas in the fourth as they ran away.
Harrison finished with a game-high 25 points and six 3-pointers. Kash Embry added another 13 points for the Hawks. Lane Love tallied 12 points for the Falcons.
Billings West 44, Bozeman Gallatin 31
After going a combined 1 of 17 from 3-point range in the first half, West and Gallatin were only separated by six points at the break. West forced Gallatin into six turnovers in the first half, and took care of the ball as they only wound up with three.
The Bears and Raptors played a near even third quarter, but West edged them by one in that span to go up 31-24 as they headed into the fourth.
West’s first double-digit lead came in the final quarter as Billy Carlson drained a 3-pointer. That point differential was enough to push the Bears through to the championship. Cooper Tyson led all scorers with 14, and the team got eight more from A.J. Moser.