HAMILTON — When Hamilton's Tanner Goligoski made his seventh 3-pointer in the first half, the Bronc crowd bellowed in disbelief.

Then Goligoski hit another. 

And another.

In all, the 5-foot-9 junior finished 9 for 10 from behind the arc in a 67-39 win against Bitterroot Valley rival Corvallis. It was a shooting display that somewhat overshadowed the Hamilton sweep of the Blue Devils. The Hamilton girls won a battle of early unbeaten team in the opening act, 55-31.

Goligoski was the main event.

"That was pretty special what he did tonight," Hamilton coach Travis Blome said of Goligoski. "He's a great shooter, we know he can do stuff, but that — I've never seen anything like that one."

Goligoski, the younger brother of University of Montana Lady Griz star Taylor Goligoski, had three 3-pointers under his belt less than five minutes into the game. The last of the trio in the first-quarter barrage probably should have been worth four, as it came from roughly 30 feet out. 

The rules only allow for three, though, and the Broncs led the Blue Devils 11-6. Goligoski's third trey was the catalyst that sparked a 10-0 run to close the quarter.

"He was smokin' hot; he was hitting 'em deep with kids in his face, it was pretty impressive — and pretty frustrating," Corvallis coach Zane Warnken said. "Then it just got out of control and they started running.

"They're talented; everyone can pass, everyone can shoot."

To illustrate that point, Goligoski didn't score again in the run. Carson Rostad, who finished with eight points, had a pair in the run; as did Cam Rothie and Hunter Omlid. Omlid's basket came in transition after a beautiful bounce pass from Bridger Bauder set the table.

On the Omlid bucket, Hamilton led 18-6 at the first intermission.

Then Goligoski really heated up.

The guard drilled a 3-pointer on Hamilton's first possession of the second quarter, putting the Broncs ahead 21-8. His fifth 3-pointer stretched the lead, 27-10 and his sixth showed he was near unstoppable. 

Goligoski hit No. 6 despite being fouled. It hardly mattered he missed the free throw and the four-point play — his home crowd was in a frenzy.

"It was just unreal. It's a pretty awesome experience to be in that kind of zone and to have my teammates supporting me through it all," Goligoski said. His sixth trey gave the Broncs a 32-10 lead.

Two possessions later he hit No. 7, and the next time down he connected on his eighth. He had shot the ball eight times from downtown at that point, and he nailed them all.

"... I even had one of the Corvallis guys come up to me and say, 'That was unbelievable,'" Goligoski said

He missed on his ninth attempt, which genuinely came as a surprise to the home crowd.

It hardly mattered, though. The Broncs were on a 24-4 run that ultimately led to a 42-15 halftime lead. Goligoski had five 3-pointers in the frame.

For good measure, Goligoski added one more triple and a pair of layups in the second half to finish with a game-high 31 points. His first-half performance had him encroaching on state-record territory, though Matt Luetke's 13 3-pointers for Ronan in 2000 still awaits to be broken.

Goligoski and the rest of the starting five came out with 5:12 remaining in the game to an appreciative crowd and a 66-33 lead.

As big as the hoop was for Goligoski and Co., the Blue Devils just couldn't match their pace. Zach Jessop led Corvallis with eight points, while Kobe Jessop and Garrett Brown added another seven apiece.

"They're a real tough matchup for anybody. You gotta be able to hit shots to stay with a good team like that and we didn't," Warnken said.


In the girls' game, Hamilton did less damage from behind the arc and more with a high-pressure defense that turned into transition points for the Broncs.

Senior Tessa Della Silva led Hamilton with 14 points, and was a spark plug with her speed. The all-state soccer player hit a runner midway through the fourth quarter to build a 46-22 lead. Della Silva then stole the ball on the next possession, let loose another running shot while fading away and she connected.

The Bronc also drew the foul, finished the 3-point play and gave Hamilton a 49-22 advantage.

"They played real well; their guards were quick," Corvallis coach Andy Knapp said. "They kind of just out-executed us tonight."

The big win for the Hamilton girls came in a marquee early season Southwest A conference matchup that saw both teams undefeated before the contest. The Broncs emerged, though, in convincing fashion to improve to 4-0.

"We were really excited because it's the first time we've beat them in four years," said senior captain Tristy Searle, who finished with nine points. "We've been preparing for them all week and we felt we were ready."

Corvallis, which was led by 6-foot-3 sophomore Isabel Evans and her game-high 15 points, fell to 3-1.

Kyle Houghtaling can be reached by email at kyle.houghtaling@missoulian.com or on Twitter @khotel.

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