WESTERN B DIVISIONAL: Bigfork boys survive close call against Anaconda, stay undefeated

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Libby's Ryggs Johnston goes up for two of his 12 points against Ronan at the Western Divisional Tournament in Butte Friday. (Jeremy Weber photo)

RONAN — The Bigfork boys were rarely threatened this season as they rolled through a dominant regular season with an undefeated record.

They received their toughest test yet on Friday afternoon — and passed it.

The Vikings overcame a feisty Anaconda squad to escape with a 58-57 win in double overtime of the Western B divisional tournament semifinals at the Ronan Event Center.

“Anaconda played great,” Bigfork head coach Sam Tudor said. “They brought out the best in us.”

Bigfork faced its first halftime deficit of the season after a sluggish second quarter in which it was outscored 18-4. It charged back in the third, besting Anaconda 23-15 in the period behind eight points each from Logan Gilliard and Beau Santistevan.

Gilliard led Bigfork with 21 points in the contest, while Santistevan finished with 12. Colton Reichenbach poured in 14.

The two teams tussled to a 56-all tie after the first overtime. Bigfork limited Anaconda to a single point in the second extra period to remain unscathed.

Braxton Hill scored a game-high 24 points for Anaconda, including nine in the third quarter. Tudor credited guard Randy Stultz for containing Hill when it mattered.

“(Hill is) one of the finer players in the state at any class,” Tudor said. “Randy scored three points tonight, but his defense was phenomonal.”

Bigfork took down Anaconda 55-44 on the road back in December.

The Vikings will face Missoula Loyola in the Western B championship game today at 6:30 p.m. The Rams beat Florence-Carlton 53-45 in their semifinal matchup.

Bigfork faced Loyola twice in the regular season and won both times, but Tudor guaranteed his team would take no team lightly after Friday’s close call.

“We’ll have our guard up,” he said, “and be ready to go.”

Bigfork 14 4 23 9 6 2 — 58

Anaconda 8 18 15 9 6 1 — 57

Bigfork: Anders Epperly 8, Colton Reichenbach 14, Randy Stultz 3, Logan Gilliard 21, Beau Santisteven 12.

Anaconda: Kyler Gochanour 2, Michael Galle 7, Brayden Sawyer 5, Braxton Hill 24, Trent Mikalatos 9, Zeke Buck 10.

Deer Lodge 55, Eureka 41

RONAN — Eureka’s second-half comeback wasn’t enough to overcome a disastrous first quarter in a season-ending loss to Deer Lodge in loser-out play.

The Lions fell behind 19-4 in the first eight minutes of play and trailed 33-14 at the half. They outscored Deer Lodge 27-22 in the second half.

Jake Kindel took scoring honors for Eureka with 11 points. Cory Chaney had 11.

Dyllon McDermid led three Deer Lodge scorers in double figures with 16 points.

Deer Lodge 19 14 11 11 — 55

Eureka 4 10 15 12 — 41

Deer Lodge: Judd Applegate 14, Greydon Nicholson 11, Dyllon McDermid 16, Zack Havener 1, Ozzie King 5, Dalton Pauley 6, Tristan Smith 2.

Eureka: Corbin Hurst 2, Quade Anderson 7, Cory Chaney 10, Colton Cooper 7, Alex Lowe 4, Jake Kindel 11.

Thompson Falls 68, Troy 29

RONAN — Thompson Falls rolled over Troy from start to finish in a loser-out game.

The Blue Hawks raced out to a 23-8 lead after one quarter and took a 41-20 advantage to the locker room at halftime.

Thompson Falls outscored Troy 27-9 in the second half.

Danny Hoisington paced 11 Blue Hawk scorers with 15 points.

Dylan Cummings scored a team-high 11 for Troy.

Troy 8 12 4 5 — 29

Thompson Falls 23 18 16 11 — 68

TROY: Ricki Fisher 1, Logan Milde 2, Dylan Cummings 11, AJ Faur 6, Hunter Leighty 6, Alex Freund 3.

THOMPSON FALLS: Ryan Schraeder 2, Dylan Beckman 6, Bennett King 3, Danny Hoisington 15, Grant Lundberg 8, Payton Frields 4, Trey Fisher 2, Michael Johnson 7, Kade Pardee 2, Nate Thibeault 9, Jake Long 10.

Missoula Loyola 53,

Florence-Carlton 45

RONAN — Missoula Loyola overcame a halftime deficit to down Florence-Carlton in the semifinals.

Trailing 29-21 at the intermission, Loyola doubled up Florence-Carlton 32-16 in its second-half rally.

Joey McElroy led the charge in the final two quarters, scoring all 15 of his points after halftime. Jack Lincoln recorded 13 points for Loyola, and Jacob Hollenback tallied 12.

Marcus Zeiler scored a game-high 24 points for Florence-Carlton, which will play Deer Lodge in a loser-out game today at 9 a.m.

Loyola will square off with Bigfork for the third time this season at 6:30 p.m. today with the Western B title at stake. The Vikings won the first two meetings.

Loyola 12 9 15 17 — 53

Florence-Carlton 13 16 6 10 — 45

MISSOULA LOYOLA: Jack Lincoln 13, Scotty Twite 7, Jacob Hollenback 12, Charles Burns 6, Joey McElroy 15.

FLORENCE-CARLTON: Tyce Pederson 4, Marcus Zeiler 24, Brendon Bailey 2, Jacob Round 2, Parker Hotspiller 7, Brent Stroppel 4, Dillon Christopherson 2.


Eureka 50,

Thompson Falls 48

RONAN — Eureka survived a furious rally by Thompson Falls to advance in loser-out play.

Sienna Utter dropped 10 of her game-high 16 points in an explosive first quarter in which the Lions staked claim to a 17-8 lead. They extended their advantage in the second period to take a 33-19 halftime lead.

Eureka saw it evaporate in the fourth quarter, which Thompson Falls won 16-3.

Erynn Thier contributed 14 points for Eureka, which defeated Thompson Falls 50-42 earlier this season.

The Lions face the loser of Bigfork and Missoula Loyola today at 10:40 a.m. in another loser-out contest. The result of that semifinal was not available by press deadline.

Thompson Falls 8 11 13 16 — 48

Eureka 17 16 14 3 — 50

THOMPSON FALLS: Maya Stiles 6, Sarah Detlaff 4, Riley Wilson 9, Belle Cooper 11, Haley Morgan 3, Jody Detlaff 8, Megan Baxter 7.

EUREKA: Megan Hanson 4, Liz Pacella 3, Maggie Graves 4, Karlee Frost 2, Sienna Utter 16, Cassie Hammock 7, Erynn Thier 14.

Anaconda 48, Troy 43

RONAN — A fourth-quarter rally by Anaconda doomed Troy in loser-out play.

Trailing 30-28 after three quarters, the Copperheads outscored Troy 20-13 in the final eight minutes.

Allie Coldwell posted a game-high 15 points for Troy, which saw its season end. Kaitlyn Downey chipped in 14.

Anaconda 6 12 10 20 — 48

Troy 8 13 9 13 — 43

Anaconda: Claire Miller 4, Lindsey Seitzinger 8, Sydney Peterson 13, Megan Reich 5, Arieona Matson 1, Logan Stetzner 7, Johanna Forsberg 10

Troy: Annie Day 4, Allie Coldwell 15, Kaitlyn Downey 14, Grace Dolan 2, Katelynn Tallmadge 6, Montana Rice 2.

Deer Lodge 36,

Florence-Carlton 32

RONAN — Deer Lodge emerged victorious from a defensive slugfest with top-seeded Florence-Carlton in the semifinals.

The Wardens led the contest wire-to-wire, grabbing a 10-7 lead after eight minutes and never relenting. They led Florence-Carlton 19-16 at halftime.

Darcy Walker led the victors with 12 points.

Danielle Zahn posted 15 for the the Falcons in a losing effort.

Deer Lodge advanced to the title game, where it will face the winner of Bigfork-Missoula Loyola today at 8:30 p.m. The result of that game was not available by print deadline.

Florence-Carlton plays Anaconda at 10:40 a.m. today in a loser-out game.

Deer Lodge 10 9 8 9 — 36

Florence-Carlton 7 9 5 11 — 32

Deer Lodge: Darcy Walker 12, Josee Applegate 4, Riley Gray 5, Rachael Nicholson 2, Kamryn Scully 6, Ariel Clark 4.

Florence-CARLTON: Joey Janetski 3, Brooklyn Newbury 1, Rilee Mangun 5, McKenna Liles 8, Danielle Zahn 15.

Bigfork vs. Missoula Loyola

Results not available by press deadline.

Late Thursday

Missoula Loyola 49,

Troy 29

RONAN — Missoula Loyola limited Troy to single digits in every quarter to down the Trojans in first-round action late Thursday night.

Troy led 8-6 after eight minutes of play before Loyola exploded for 19 points in the second quarter to take a 25-14 lead at halftime.

The Breakers outscored the Trojans 24-15 in the second half to pull away.

Allie Coldwell scored 12 points to lead Troy.

Tessa Burke poured in a game-high 20 for Loyola.

Troy 8 6 8 7 — 29

Loyola 6 19 13 11 — 49

TROY: Annie Day 2, Allie Coldwell 12, Kaitlyn Downey 6, Grace Dolan 1, Katelynn Tallmadge 4, Montana Rice 4.

MISSOULA LOYOLA: Brooke Twite 2, Sam Clevenger 7, Kelsey Esh 5, Ashton Libel 1, Sydney Koppang 4, Tessa Burke 20, McKenna Round 1, Kylie Esh 4, Laney Denning 5.

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