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State B boys' basketball: Florence earns date in semifinals

State B boys' basketball: Florence earns date in semifinals

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Class B Basketball Tournament

Fairfield’s Bryan Durocher tries to get a shot off while playing Manhattan on Thursday during the State B basketball tournament at the Brick Breeden Fieldhouse in Bozeman. Manhattan won 51-37.

BOZEMAN – The Florence boys’ basketball team is back in familiar territory.

The Falcons won a first-round game at the State B tournament on Thursday to advance to the semifinals for a third straight season.

Florence beat eighth-ranked Lodge Grass 76-66 in the first game of the day at Brick Breeden Fieldhouse.

The No. 9 Falcons led wire-to-wire, but went on a 14-0 burst in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach.

Florence, which struggled at the line in last week’s divisional title loss to Deer Lodge, made good on its free throws down the stretch, hitting 19 of 24 attempts for the game.

The Falcons (20-4) face No. 5 Malta (21-3) in Friday’s first semifinal at 6:30 p.m. The Mustangs beat Whitehall 51-47 in their opener.

Deer Lodge, the Western B champion, fell 74-64 to No. 2 Shepherd in Thursday’s late game.

The Wardens (13-11) meet No. 3 Fairfield in a loser-out game at 2 p.m. on Thursday.

The other semifinal pits Shepherd versus top-ranked Manhattan at 8 p.m. The Tigers beat Fairfield 51-37.

Shepherd 74, Deer Lodge 64

Devon Mitchell led the Mustangs with 20 points, but his teammates were very much involved in their first-round win over the Wardens.

Austin Bies was next on Shepherd’s squad with 18 points, including an 8-of-11 effort at the line. Ty Ferguson added 12 points, including three treys, and Tanner Opus tallied 11 points and 11 rebounds.

The Mustangs used a 21-8 surge in the second quarter to rally from a 25-18 first-quarter deficit.

Hayden Benjamin had 15 points with a pair of 3-pointers to lead the way for Deer Lodge.

Rodney Hunter (14) and Jesse Vasquez (13) also reached double figures for the Wardens.

Deer Lodge 25 8 13 18 – 64

Shepherd 18 21 19 16 – 74

DEER LODGE – Jesse Vasquez 5-10 2-3 13, Hayden Benjamin 5-12 3-3 15, Rodney Hunter 7-13 0-2 14, Robert Stone 2-5 3-8 7, Reno Ward 1-4 0-0 2, Derek Walker 1-1 0-0 3, Logan Doiron 0-1 0-2 0, Tristen Clark 1-3 2-2 4, Malik Parham 3-5 0-0 6. Totals: 25-54 10-20 64.

SHEPHERD – Andrew Barkhuff 2-3 0-0 5, Ty Ferguson 4-8 1-4 12, Devon Mitchell 6-12 6-8 20, Tanner Ophus 4-10 2-3 11, Austin Bies 5-13 8-11 18, Calvin Kading 2-3 0-0 4, Tyler Fourstar 2-2 0-0 4. Totals: 25-52 17-28 74.

3-pointers – DL 4-15 (Benjamin 2-7, Walker 1-1, Vasquez 1-5); Shep 7-21 (Ferguson 3-7, Mitchell 2-4, Barkhuff 1-1, Ophus 1-3). Rebounds – DL 36 (Stone 9, Hunter 8); Shep 31 (Ophus 11, Mitchell 7). Assists – DL 8 (Stone 4); Shep 13 (Bies 6, Mitchell 3). Steals – DL 10 (Vasquez 3); Shep 6 (Bies 3). Blocks – DL 1 (Stone); Shep 6 (Ophus 6).

Manhattan 51, Fairfield 37

Tanner Hupka was a force for the Tigers as he collected 28 points and 11 rebounds in an opening-round victory over the Eagles.

Hupka was 12 of 21 from the field and 4 of 4 from the line. Teammate Quinn McQueary added 17 points and 11 boards as Manhattan won the rebounding battle, 38-23.

Fairfield 10 16 5 6 – 37

Manhattan 15 9 8 19 – 51

FAIRFIELD – Collin Allen 4-13 0-0 9, Trace Brady 3-12 0-0 7, Taylor Johnson 1-3 0-0 2,3, Chad Barrett 3-3 0-0 6, Bo Harris 0-6 2-4 2, Nick Drishinski 0-3 0-0 0, Bryan Durocher 3-10 2-2 10. Totals 14-50 4-6 37.

MANHATTAN – Braedon Niemi 0-1 0-0 0, Nathan Vanderby 0-0 0-0 0, Quinn McQueary 5-11 7-8 17, Gavin DeJong 0-1 0-0 0, Cale Howells 3-4 0-1 6, Mark Nunez 0-4 0-0 0, Tanner Hupka 12-21 4-4 28. Totals 20-42 11-13 51.

3-point goals – Fairfield 5-22 (Durocher 2-8, Allen 1-4, Johnson 1-1, Brady 1-8),Manhattan 0-2. Total fouls – Fairfield 15, Manhattan 10. Fouled out – Allen. Rebounds – Fairfield 23 (Brady 6), Manhattan 38 (Hupka 11). Turnovers – Fairfield 13, Manhattan 17. Assists – Fairfield 8 (Brady 3), Manhattan 11 (DeJong 4).

Malta 51, Whitehall 47

Zach Handley’s 15 points led a trio of players in double figures as Malta topped Whitehall in first-round action.

Also, Kendall Denham tallied 14 for the Mustangs and Tucker Schye had 13.

Handley, who had 11 rebounds, connected on 6 of 11 shots from the floor to help Malta shoot 46 percent from the floor as a team.

Keaton Corr led the Trojans with 14 points and three assists.

Malta 11 6 17 17 – 51

Whitehall 13 11 13 10 – 47

MALTA – Zach Handley 6-11 1-4 15, Kyle Boos 2-8 0-0 4, Tucker Schye 5-9 3-3 13, Kendall Denham 5-9 3-3 14, Landon Costin 0-3 0-0 0, Jake Bushman 1-2 1-1 3, Kaden Bedwell 1-1 0-0 2, Spencer Vanwichen 0-1 0-1 0. Totals: 20-44 8-12 51.

WHITEHALL – Dawson Patritti 3-4 4-4 11, Keaton Corr 6-8 0-0 14, Layne Simon 4-16 2-3 10, Casey McLean 3-10 1-2 9, Sean McCarthy 1-2 0-0 3, Bryce Murphy 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 17-41 7-9 47.

3-point goals: Mal 3-12 (Handley 2-4, Denham 1-4, Costin 0-3, Vanwichen 0-1), Whi 6-15 (Patritti 1-2, Corr 2-4, McLean 2-6, McCarthy 1-2, Murphy 0-1). Rebounds: Mal 28 (Handley 11), Whi 25 (Simon 7, McLean 6). Fouls: Mal 15, Whi 13. Fouled out: none.

Florence 76, Lodge Grass 66

Junior guard Aaron Ward put in a season-high 27 points, including a 9-of-9 effort from the line, as the Falcons beat the Indians in the tourney opener.

Ward, who was one of the players who struggled at the line last week, also corralled a game-best 12 rebounds as Florence outrebounded Lodge Grass 39-19.

The Falcons’ Ryne Baerlocher chipped in 17 points, including three 3-pointers, and Mike Finlay added 13.

Finlay was 7 of 9 at the free-throw line in addition to grabbing eight boards.

Darren Singer had 20 points to pace the Indians, who were 12 of 34 from 3-point range.

Singer and Trey Dust each hit four 3-pointers in the game. Dust finished with 16 points.

Florence 14 14 18 30 – 76

Lodge Grass 11 15 19 21 – 66

FLORENCE – Sage Hansen 0-3 0-0 0, Ryne Baerlocher 7-11 0-2 17, Chantz Hotsinpiller 3-7 3-4 9, Mike Finlay 3-7 7-9 13, Aaron Ward 9-14 9-9 27, Riley Phillips 3-5 0-0 6, Rhett Baerlocher 0-0 0-0 0, Bradley Schaff 2-4 0-0 4. Totals: 27-51 19-24 76.

LODGE GRASS – Justin Dust 6-15 0-0 15, Percy Jefferson 5-10 0-0 11, Trey Dust 6-13 0-0 16, Darren Singer 7-12 2-5 20, Martin Spotted Horse 1-2 0-0 2, Simon Bulltail 1-1 0-0 2, Jalen Covers Up 0-2 0-0 0. Gabe Dust 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 26-56 2-5 66.

3-point goals: Flor 3-7 (Hansen 0-1, R. Baerlocher 3-4, Hotsinpiller 0-1, Ward 0-1), LG 12-34 (J. Dustin 3-12, Jefferson 1-5, T. Dust 4-10, Singer 4-6, Covers Up 0-1). Rebounds: Flor 39 (Ward 12, Finlay 8), LG 19 (Singer 7, J. Dust 6). Fouls: Flor 9, LG 17. Fouled out: none.

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