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Big performances lead Missoula Hellgate to crosstown sweep over Big Sky

Posted at 10:54 PM, Jan 28, 2020

MISSOULA -- Cam LaRance made his return to Missoula Big Sky High School a splashy one.

LaRance, who starred for the Eagles last year before transferring to Hellgate, scored 20 points on Tuesday evening to lead the Knights to a 76-46 Western AA boys basketball victory over his former school.

Hellgate's girls followed up with a 49-17 win over the Eagles, as well.

No stranger to big games in Big Sky's gym, LaRance delivered big once again as the Knights improved to 10-0 on the season. Last year LaRance averaged 18.1 points per game with Big Sky, second in the AA behind now-teammate Rollie Worster, who led with 20.4.

"I thought it would be more weird than it was," LaRance said. "It was pretty fun playing against all of my old buddies out there."

It didn't take long for Hellgate to take over. The Knights led 22-8 after the end of the first quarter and 42-17 at half. The first half included a massive one-handed dunk from Worster that was called back due to a charge, but Josh Wade added another on a breakaway after a steal.

Abe Johnson added a two-handed dunk over a pair of defenders in the second half as Hellgate continued to run away. Johnson finished with 17 points, while Wade had 12 and Worster finished with nine.

Kade Olson scored 15 points to lead Big Sky.

"I thought we got off to a really great start," Hellgate coach Jeff Hays said. "We played hard and we were aggressive and we were under control. I thought late first half, second half, we got a little careless with the basketball, and I'm hoping those aren't things that filter into Friday night's game."

Tuesday's win sets up both Hellgate teams for a crosstown date with Sentinel on Friday night at Dahlberg Arena in a much-buzzed about game between all four teams who are atop the Class AA this season. The Sentinel boys and girls are both 8-1 overall.

"We didn't play our best game (Tuesday), but we're going to get our stuff together here in the next three days and hopefully play a lot better on Friday night," LaRance said. "The team's coming together and our defense is getting better and better."

In the girls game, Big Sky stayed with Hellgate for most of the first quarter thanks to some impressive baskets from Sabryn Knight.

But after trailing 28-15 at half, Big Sky scored just two second-half points as the Knights locked down defensively and found their offense, as well. Bailee Sayler led Hellgate with 10 points while Alex Covill finished with nine.

Knight led Big Sky with eight.

The Hellgate girls improve to 9-1 while both Big Sky teams fall to 0-11.