HOOPS ROUNDUP: Braves topple top-ranked Sentinel

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Behind a quick start, a strong finish and a trio of double-digit scorers, Flathead upset top-ranked Missoula Sentinel 56-48 on Tuesday night in a Western AA boys basketball conference clash at Flathead High School.

“Our guys just played really hard,” Flathead head coach Ross Gustafson said.

The Braves, whose only previous conference wins came against cellar dwellers Missoula Big Sky and Helena High, picked up their biggest win of the season behind a career-high 21 points from Dawson Smith on 9 of 12 shooting. Similarly efficient Sam Elliott added 15 points, while Tyler Johnson contributed 10.

“They left him open, and I think that really got his confidence going,” Gustafson said of Smith.

The Braves jumped out to a 19-10 lead after the first quarter, but Sentinel chipped away at it to tie the game at 36 heading into the fourth quarter.

Flathead won the final period 20-12 thanks in large part to an 8 of 10 shooting mark in the quarter.

Flathead limited the state’s leading scorer, Sentinel’s Sam Beighle, to a season-low two points on 1 of 10 shooting. Gustafson gave much of the credit for that feat to Anthony Jones, who guarded Beighle for the majority of the night.

Next up for the Braves is its crosstown matchup against Glacier at 8 p.m. on Thursday at Flathead High School.

Sentinel 10 14 12 12 — 48

Flathead 19 9 8 20 — 56

SENTINEL: Beighle 1 0-0 2, G. Deshazer 6 0-0 16, B. Deshazer 3 0-1 7, Dewaters 2 0-0 5, A. Germer 1 0-0 2, N. Kermer 3 0-0 6, T. Kolb 4 2-2 10.

FLATHEAD: Eric Seaman 2 0-1 4, Tyler Johnson 4 0-0 10, Sam Elliott 7 1-2 15, Anthony Jones 3 0-1 6, Dawson Smith 9 2-2 21.

Bigfork 72, Eureka 36

EUREKA — Bigfork raced out of the gate to put away Eureka early in a District 7B battle.

The Vikings led 52-19 at halftime.

Beau Santistevan led Bigfork with 19 points.

Quade Anderson paced Eureka with nine points.

Bigfork 30 22 12 8 — 72

Eureka 11 8 7 10 — 36

BIGFORK: Anders Epperly 9, Clayton Reichenbach 4, Colton Reichenbach 5, Luke Schmit 4, Randy Stultz 2, Logan Taylor 7, Chase Chappuis 5, Eli Hines 4, Brady Thorness 2, Logan Gilliard 11, Beau Santistevan 19.

EUREKA: AJ Pacella 6, Quade Anderson 9, Cory Chaney 4, Colton Cooper 5, Alex Lowe 6, Jake Kindel 6.

Ronan 73, Whitefish 65, OT

RONAN — Whitefish forced overtime after a wild fourth quarter but fell to Ronan in the extra period in a Northwest A conference matchup.

The Bulldogs outscored the Indians 31-28 in the back-and-forth fourth quarter but were outscored 11-3 in the extra period.

Dillon Botner scored 19 to lead Whitefish, while Lee Walburn added 12.

Whitefish 13 12 6 31 3 — 65

Ronan 6 13 15 28 11 — 73

Whitefish: Alex Keuylian 5, Jack Schwaiger 3, Brendyn Peacock 3, Mark Anderson 7, Sam Menicke 2, Ryan Kemm 14, Lee Walburn 12, Dillon Botner 19.

Ronan: Zeke Misa 26, Nate Dennis 5, Bubba Bush 4, Dallas Durheim 6, Jacob Gatch 2, Anthony Camel 30.

Columbia Falls 51,

Polson 45

POLSON — Columbia Falls edged Polson in a Northwest A contest.

No individual stats were available.

Late Monday

Frenchtown 76,

Whitefish 58

FRENCHTOWN — Whitefish surged to a double-digit halftime lead but faltered offensively in the second half of a loss to Frenchtown in nonconference action.

The Bulldogs, which led 43-30 at intermission, were outscored 46-15 in the final two quarters.

Lee Walburn paced Whitefish with 31 points.

Whitefish 24 19 8 7 — 58

Frenchtown 20 10 28 18 — 76

Whitefish: Lee Walburn 31, Ryan Kemm 8, Mark Anderson 7, Alex Keuylian 6, Dillon Botner 4, Sam Menicke 2.

Frenchtown: Adam Botkin 14, Hank Rugg 12, Cade Baker 12, Jared Cole 11, Zack Baker 10, Ethan Pyron 7, Ty Hoppie 5, Dawson Leishman 5.

Girls

Missoula Sentinel 62,

Flathead 24

MISSOULA — Missoula Sentinel handled Flathead from the outset of a Western AA matchup.

The Bravettes spun their wheels in the first half against top-ranked Sentinel, falling behind 36-8 by halftime.

Clara Vandenbosch led Flathead with seven points.

Flathead 5 3 8 8 — 24

Sentinel 18 18 11 15 — 62

FLATHEAD: Emily Lembke 0 1-2 1, Sadie Wilson 1 0-0 2, Mary Heaton 0 5-8 5, Hannah O’Dell 2 0-0 4, Clara Vandenbosch 3 0-0 7, Jenna Johnson 1 0-0 2, Taylor Henley 1 1-2 3.

SENTINEL: Kylie Frohlich 17, Shelby Schweyen 12, Jordan Schweyen 7, Lauren Bingham 6, Emma Blakely 6, Ashley McElmurry 5, Lexi Deden 4, Grace Stayner 3, Kayla Daily 2.

Columbia Falls 57,

Polson 35

POLSON — Columbia Falls showed off its offensive and defensive capabilities in a Northwest A win over Polson.

After holding the Pirates to just 14 points in the first half, including only four in the first quarter, the WildKats exploded for 28 points in the third quarter to put the game well out of reach.

Hannah Gedlaman led a balanced Columbia Falls scoring effort with 13 points. Ryley Kehr had 11, and Dani Douglas chipped in 10.

Quinn Motichka paced Polson with 13 points.

Columbia Falls 14 5 28 10 — 57

Polson 4 10 11 10 — 35

Columbia Falls: Hannah Gedlaman 13, Ryley Kehr 11, Dani Douglas 10, Trista Cowan 8, Savannah Ellis 4, Lakia Hill 4, Josie Windauer 4, Diana Vasquez 3.

Polson: Quinn Motichka 13, Kaelyn Smith 9, Jaycee Frydenlund 7, Alex Pierre 5, Mahala Buffalo 1.

Bigfork 43, Eureka 38

BIGFORK — Bigfork erased a halftime deficit to down Eureka in a closely contested District 7B battle.

The Lions took a 22-18 lead at the break, but the Valkyries held the visitors to eight points in both the second and third quarters to earn the victory.

Jaime Berg was Bigfork’s lone double-digit scorer with 11 points.

Erynn Thier led Eureka with 11, while Cassie Hammack added 10.

Eureka 6 16 8 8 — 38

Bigfork 15 3 12 13 — 43

EUREKA: Megan Hanson 4, Avory Escobar 3, Sienna Utter 6, Karlee Frost 4, Cassie Hammack 10, Erynn Thier 11.

BIGFORK: Ellie Berreth 5, Shae Anderson 9, Heidi Schneller 2, Jaime Berg 15, Jordan Nelson 3, Rakiah Grende 9.

Ronan 52, Whitefish 39

WHITEFISH — Locked in a tight game at the half, Ronan ran away from Whitefish late to pick up a Northwest A victory.

The Indians outscored the Bulldogs 31-20 in the final two quarters.

Micalann McCrea led Ronan with 20 points.

Marlee Bender took scoring honors for Whitefish with 13.

Ronan 11 10 12 19 — 52

Whitefish 8 11 8 12 — 39

RONAN: Micalann McCrea 20, Gabby Wirz 2, Tiana Viviva 10, Madison Clairmont 4, Regan Clairmont 7, Jaelynn Askan 5, Madeline McCrea 2, Kianna Finley 2.

WHITEFISH: Hope Brown 10, Claire Carloss 2, Kaiah Moore 3, Ashton Ramsey 2, Annisa Brown 4, Payton Kastella 5, Marlee Bender 13.

Late Monday

Whitefish 57,

Frenchtown 40

WHITEFISH — Whitefish turned a close game into a blowout with an explosive second half in a win over Frenchtown on Monday night.

The Bulldogs outscored the Broncs 36-21 in the second half to pull away.

A balanced scoring effort got the job done for Whitefish.

Marlee Bender, Ashton Ramsey and Kaiah Moore all scored 11, and Claire Carloss pitched in 10.

Frenchtown 8 11 10 11 — 40

Whitefish 7 14 17 19 — 57

FRENCHTOWN: Meg Delaney 12, Liv Williams 18, Kylie Willett 8, Haley Arthur 2.

WHITEFISH: Hope Brown 4, Claire Carloss 10, Kaiah Moore 11, Ashton Ramsey 11, Annisa Brown 8, Payton Kastella 2, Marlee Bender 11.

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