LAUREL – On a night when the Laurel Locomotives celebrated their inaugural Athletic Hall of Fame inductions, their girls basketball team celebrated an Eastern A regular-season championship.
The Locomotives earned a season sweep over Billings Central with a 40-38 win Thursday night. They finish 9-1 and 14-4 overall. Central claims third in the league at 7-3, 14-4.
In a low-scoring first quarter, Laurel was actually held without a field goal and trailed 5-3 into the second quarter. Shooting struggles continued for both teams as the Rams built a 16-9 halftime lead.
Central quickly bolted to a 20-11 lead in the third quarter before Laurel sophomore Grace Timm connected on a clutch 3-pointer to stop the bleeding. Timm finished with nine points, all of them from outside the 3-point line in the second half.
The Locomotives closed the third on a 14-4 run to lead 25-24. Freshman Mya Hansen scored eight in the quarter and led everybody with 22 points.
The teams traded baskets and leads in the fourth quarter, but Hansen helped ice it with free throws down the stretch.
Olivia Moten-Schell led Central with 15 points. Solei Elletson scored eight.
At halftime, the Locomotives inducted former Laurel coaches and teachers Patti Miller, Don Peterson and Tom Sprigler into the school’s first-ever Hall of Fame class with a ceremony at center court.
The Eastern A super-divisional opens Wednesday at Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark in Billings.