MISSOULA — Sam Beighle hit the deck first. Then Elias DeWaters. Then Rollie Worster. Then Gaige DeShazer. All were after a loose ball near mid-court.
Beighle hopped up to grab the still-loose ball as it skirted toward Missoula Sentinel's basket. Missoula Hellgate's Worster followed, fouling Beighle in the process.
With 3:30 left in the game, Worster fouled out. And Beighle yelled as loud as he could in front of the Spartan student section.
"When I knew he was out of the game, we had it," Beighle said after No. 3 Sentinel topped No. 5 Hellgate, 53-40. "We had it. Rollie's one of the best players in the state, if not the best. He carries that team and when he goes out of the game, you can see it on their faces, they all get deflated. He's just an unbelievable player."
The Spartans' win over the Knights was their second on the season, as Sentinel topped Hellgate back in January in the first crosstown match.
This was the first time the Sentinel boys swept Hellgate since 2010, according to Sentinel's coach Jay Jagelski.
"These are emotional games," Jagelski said. "There's a lot at stake. Obviously we're two of the top teams in the state, supposedly, and there's a lot of emotions running high out there, plus it's crosstown."
Beighle finished with 24 points, 22 of which came in the first half.
He scored eight points in the first quarter and 14 in the second.
"I got that first one to go and everything felt good," Beighle said. "Warmups felt good and I hit a few in a row, I felt, 'I just gotta keep getting shots up.' I was just feeling it. It was a tale of two halves, just like last game.
"... I'll take it. It was a great team win."
Beighle wasn't the only one in double digits for the Spartans. Scott Malikie, a junior, scored 10 points.
For Hellgate, Worster ended the night with nine points. Dylan Holst led the Knights with 12 points.
Crosstown games are always full of emotion, but near the end, those emotions began to boil over.
With 56 seconds left on the clock, some pushing and shoving occurred between Sentinel's DeWaters and Hellgate's Bridger Deden. Technicals were called on each of them, as well as Jagelski, who made his way to mid-court.
"I think the boys, both sides, were emotional," Jagelski said. "There was a little disagreement about something and they got T'd up and I was trying to make sure there was no brawl, so I was on the floor, but they thought I was trying to yell at people but I was ... making sure they didn't do anything they'd regret later on."
Beighle, even with the win, was disappointed with how the game ended.
"We didn't hold our composure how we wanted to at the end of that game," Beighle said. "We would have liked to win with a lot more class than we did. In an atmosphere like this, it's just hard to keep it together."
Sentinel travels to play Helena Capital on Tuesday. Hellgate travels to play Kalispell Flathead on Tuesday.
Almost every Spartan who saw the floor scored in the Sentinel girls' 65-34 crosstown win over Hellgate.
Jordyn Schweyen paced Sentinel with 13 points and Kylie Frohlich was right behind with 12 points in No. 1 Sentinel's ninth straight win of the season.
"I felt like the team played well," Sentinel coach Karen Deden said. "They share the ball, they look for each other."
All seven of Sentinel's seniors were involved in someway in their final crosstown game of the year.
In addition to Jordyn's 13 points, she had two rebounds and a steal. Frohlich added eight rebounds and two steals. Grace Stayner had two rebounds and two steals. Cheyenne Deden had a block, a rebound and a steal. Kayla Daily hit a free throw for a point. Lauren Bingham had two points, a rebound and a steal and Emma Krebsbach had two points and a rebound.
"I feel like everyone played hard and knew that it was our crosstown game as seniors, so we tried to have a lot of fun while we did it," Frohlich said.
Sentinel's Shelby Schweyen and Challis Deden missed Thursday's game against Big Sky with various illnesses, but the two came to play in Sentinel's crosstown match against Hellgate on Saturday.
Schweyen scored 10 points and had five rebounds and Deden scored six points and had three rebounds in the game.
"It was good to get them back, but let them rest and get healthy," Frohlich said. "We want them to get ready for the rest of the season."
Kylie Lunday scored 11 points and had seven rebounds for the Knights.
Sentinel hosts No. 2 Helena Capital on Tuesday and Hellgate hosts Kalispell Flathead on Thursday.