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Montana Class A High School Boys Basketball Tournament
Polson’s Louis Mohr, left and Tim Rausch defend Butte Central’s Zach Kasperick during the second half of a State A boys’ basketball tournament semifinal game on Friday night in Butte. Polson beat Butte Central 56-50 in overtime to advance to the championship. Photo by Walter Hinick/Montana Standard

BUTTE - After more than a decade, the Polson boys' basketball team is back in the State A championship game.

The Pirates edged Butte Central 56-50 in overtime at the Butte Civic Center Friday night for a spot in Saturday night's title tilt.

Junior Louis Mohr scored seven points in the extra session to lead Polson. He finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds.

The Pirates, who moved to 14-9, will play Laurel for the title at 8 p.m.

The Locomotives (20-3) charged into the championship game with a 72-54 victory over Browning in the semis.

Laurel hadn't made the State A title game since 1991 and hasn't won it since 1972.

Polson's last championship appearance was back in 1998, a 67-58 win over Billings Central.

The Maroons will face Columbia Falls in the first loser-out game Saturday at 9:30 a.m.

The Wildcats bounced back from a double-overtime loss to Laurel Thursday by defeating Dillon 53-43 in a rematch of last season's title game.

Billings Central used a late run to secure a tight 57-55 victory over Corvallis in the other consolation game.

The Rams will play Browning at 11 a.m.

Polson 56, Butte Central 50, OT

Mohr began the overtime with a put-back of his own miss to give the Pirates a 47-45 lead.

Then he assisted on the next score and followed that by converting a three-point play with 1:35 left. His 16-foot jumper with 27 seconds remaining iced the game, putting the Pirates on top 54-50.

"He's the kind of guy when the game's on the line he wants the ball," Polson coach Brad Pluff told the Montana Standard after the game.

Kyle Bagnell added 10 points and seven boards in the win.

Jonathan Richards poured in 25 points and snagged seven rebounds to lead the Maroons.

Semifinal

Polson 11 9 15 10 11 - 56

Butte C. 10 8 15 12 5 - 50

POLSON - Vince DiGiallonardo 3-7 0-0 7, Kyle Bagnell 4-12 0-1 10, Tim Rausch 0-12 6-6 , Louis Mohr 8-14 4-4 20, Tyler Krell 3-4 1-2 7, Sheldon Fisher 1-4 0-0 3, Derrick Rathe 1-2 0-0 3. Totals 20-55 11-13 56.

BUTTE CENTRAL - Andy Ritter 3-14 3-3 11, Colin Hollow 0-3 0-2 0, Aschan Richards 0-4 2-2 2, Sean Ferriter 0-2 2-2 2, Jonathan Richards 8-22 7-7 25, Phil Antonioli 1-2 1-3 3, Zach Kasperick 2-4 3-7 7. Totals 14-51 18-26 50.

3-point goals - Polson 5-14 (Bagnell 2-5, DiGiallonardo 1-4, S. Fisher 1-1, Rathe 1-1, Rausch 0-2, Mohr 0-1), Butte Central 4-26 (J. Richards 2-12, Ritter 2-11, Hollow 0-3). Rebounds - Polson 43 (Mohr 11, Rausch 8), Butte Central 35 (A. Richards 9). Assists - Polson 7 (Rausch 4), Butte Central 3 (three with 1). Steals - Polson 6 (Bagnell 2), Butte Central 6 (Ritter 3). Turnovers - Polson 17, Butte Central 17. Total fouls - Polson 23, Butte Central 16. Fouled out - Krell, Rathe, Ferriter. Technicals - DiGiallonardo.

Laurel 72, Browning 54

David Swecker hit four 3-pointers and scored 23 points to lead the Locomotives into the final.

Sean Condon added 19 points and nine boards in the paint and Quinn McGrath tallied 15 points for Laurel, which shot a blistering 71 percent in the second half.

Lyle St. Goddard scored 25 points for Browning. The Indians' leading scorer, 6-foot-4 Cody Edwards, fouled out and was limited to five points.

Semifinal

Laurel 23 15 15 19 - 72

Browning 14 15 12 13 - 54

LAUREL - Jake Miller 0-2 0-1 0, Quinn McGrath 4-5 7-8 15, Jake McKinney 4-8 5-8 13, David Swecker 8-15 3-4 23, Sean Condon 9-11 1-5 19, Brian Flotkoetter 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 26-43 16-26 71.

BROWNING - Lyle St. Goddard 9-15 0-0 23, Chuck Pappan 4-8 2-2 13, Derek DesRosier 0-2 0-0 0, Jeff St. Goddard 2-9 0-0 4, Cody Edwards 2-4 1-2 5, Giles Eagle Feathers 2-2 2-4 6, Charles Old Chief 1-2 0-0 2, Cliff Ollinger 0-0 1-2 1. Totals 20-42 6-10 54.

3-point goals - Laurel 4-13 (Swecker 4-10, McKenney 0-2, Miller 0-1), Browning 8-20 (L. St. Goddard 5-10, Pappan 3-6, J. St. Goddard 0-2, DesRosier 0-1). Rebounds - Laurel 9 (Condon 9), Browning 24 (Edwards 5). Assists - Laurel 9 (McKinney 6), Browning 5 (Davis 3). Steals - Laurel 8 (McKinney 5), Browning 5 (Eagle Feathers 2). Turnovers - Laurel 9, Browning 19. Total fouls - Laurel 10, Browning 23. Fouled out - Edwards.

Columbia Falls 53, Dillon 43

Senior Mitchell Wassam pumped in 16 points as the Wildcats tripped the Beavers in a loser-out contest.

Kaleb Johnson added 12 points and Kyle Howell 11 for Columbia Falls.

The Wildcats, who avenged last year's title-game loss to the Beavers, also received 15 rebounds from Johnson.

Trevor Rehm tallied a game-high 22 points to go with 11 rebounds for Dillon, which ended its season at 17-5.

Loser out

Dillon 9 5 15 14 - 43

C. Falls 9 12 17 15 - 53

DILLON - Garrett Banning 0-2 1-2 1, Wes Knox 3-9 0-0 7, Toby Shepherd 0-4 0-0 0, Pete Walde 1-3 0-0 3, Trevor Rehm 8-15 6-10 22, Will Stoker 2-8 4-6 10, J.T. Linder 0-1 0-0 0, Monte Folsom 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 14-45 11-18 43.

COLUMBIA FALLS - Kyle Howell 3-7 3-4 11, Austin Barth 2-2 3-5 7, Mitchell Wassam 6-11 4-6 16, Kaleb Johnson 5-9 2-4 12, Michael Williams 1-2 0-0 2, Nick Emerson 0-5 2-2 2, Tim Spencer 1-1 1-2 3. Totals 18-37 15-23 53.

3-point goals - Dillon 4-15 (Knox 1-3, Walde 1-2, Stoker 2-5), Columbia Falls 2-9 (Howell 2-5). Rebounds - Dillon 30 (Rehm 11), Columbia Falls 30 (Johnson 15). Assists - Dillon 8 (Banning 3, Stoker 3), Columbia Falls 8 (Howell 2, Barth 2, Wassam 2, Emerson 2). Steals - Dillon 10 (Banning 3), Columbia Falls 4 (Howell 2). Turnovers - Dillon 22, Columbia Falls 23. Total fouls - Dillon 16, Columbia Falls 15. Fouled out - Walde.

 

Billings Central 57, Corvallis 55

Kevin O'Brien had 24 points and the Rams rallied from five down with under four minutes left to stay alive in the elimination game.

The Rams' 6-foot-6 Connor Cunningham and Connor Novakovich combined for 20 points and 27 rebounds as Central easily won the war on the boards.

Sophomore Riley Bradshaw tossed in 22 points and senior Drew Zeiler added 12 points for Corvallis, which closed its season with a 14-8 mark.

Loser out

Corvallis 14 14 11 16 - 55

Billings C. 11 11 13 22 - 57

CORVALLIS - Drew Zeiler 4-8 2-2 12, Tyler Tintzman 2-5 2-3 6, Rodee Anderson 3-14 1-2 8, Riley Bradshaw 9-18 1-1 22, Joel Connolly 0-1 2-4 2, Colby Henderson 2-2 0-0 5. Totals 20-48 8-12 55.

BILLINGS CENTRAL - Kevin O'Brien 5-10 9-13 24, Connor Cunningham 3-8 2-2 8, Cole Cattelan 0-4 2-4 2, Jacob Stanton 1-4 5-11 8, Connor Novakovich 4-14 3-7 12, Ryan Burke 0-2 0-0 0, John Heger 1-3 0-0 3. Totals 14-45 21-37 57.

3-point goals - Corvallis 7-22 (Zeiler 2-3, Anderson 1-9, Bradshaw 3-7, Henderson 1-1), Billings Central 8-22 (O'Brien 5-10, Stanton 1-3, Novakovich 1-1, Heger 1-3). Rebounds - Corvallis (Connolly 8), Billings Central 46 (Cunningham 16, Novakovich 11). Assists - Corvallis 6 (Bradshaw 3), Billings Central 10 (Novakovich 4). Steals - Corvallis (Tintzman 3, Connolly 3), Billings Central 5 (Stanton 2, Cunningham 2). Turnovers - Corvallis 14, Billings Central 24. Total fouls - Corvallis 24, Billings Central 21. Fouled out - Tintzman, Bradshaw, Cattelan.

 

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