BILLINGS – The semifinals are set in the Eastern A girls basketball divisional tournament.
Hardin rolled Livingston 62-20 in Thursday morning’s opener, while Billings Central beat Belgrade 69-50 in the first-round finalé at Rimrock Auto Arena.
The No. 2-seed Bulldogs jumped out to a 14-2 lead after the first quarter and never looked back. Hardin really turned it on after halftime, outscoring Livingston 39-12 over the final two quarters.
Marie Five led all scorers with 14 points, adding seven rebounds, three blocks and two steals. Mashaya Alden scored 11 and Kamber Good Luck added 10 for Hardin, which shot 46.2 percent from the field (24 of 52). Livingston shot just 21.1 percent (8 of 38).
Hardin will play undefeated Havre in the first girls semifinal Friday at 3:30 p.m. The winner clinches a berth to the State A tournament.
Central, meanwhile, led Belgrade by just six at halftime, but outscored the Panthers 19-7 in the third quarter to pull away for the win.
Melissa Hanser, Olivia Moten-Schell, and Isabelle Erickson each scored 13 points, while freshman Solei Elletson added 11. The Rams shot 43.4 percent from the field (23 of 53).
Taylor Christensen led Belgrade with 16 points, but most came after the game was already out of hand.
The Central win sets up another meeting of the oldest rivalry in Yellowstone County between the Rams and Laurel in Friday’s semifinal round. Laurel beat the Rams twice in the regular season, both times by just two points. Tipoff is set for 5 p.m.