BILLINGS – Billings West took all its frustrations of its only loss of the season out on Butte Saturday, beating the Bulldogs, 65-32, to reclaim first place in the Eastern AA conference.
The Bears used an 18-0 first half run to establish a 33-16 lead at halftime. But they really turned it on in the third quarter, thanks to stifling half-court pressure defense. Willa Albrecht came up with back-to-back steals that she took coast-to-coast for layups. TyLee Manuel did the same moments later for two of her game-high 25 points. West outscored Butte 20-3 in the quarter to take a 34-point lead.
The lead ballooned to 40 in the fourth after Shea Dolan drove in for a layup, stole the ensuing inbounds pass and scored again. A running clock bled the final quarter away quickly.
Aspen Lovshin scored 14 to lead Butte, but the rest of the team managed just 18.
West has now won seven straight games since losing to Butte, 48-46, on Jan. 19. The win moves the Bears atop the Eastern AA at 9-1 with two regular season games remaining. Butte falls to 8-2.