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BILLINGS - The rematch was worth the wait, but hardly worth the hype.

Great Falls C.M. Russell drilled top-ranked Billings West 71-41 in the championship game of the State AA boys' basketball tournament on Saturday night at MetraPark. The Rustlers won their second straight title and sixth since 2000 with the second-most lopsided victory in Class AA boys' history.

The final game of the 2009-10 basketball season was the first championship game rematch in the AA boys' ranks in more than 50 years. Missoula County avenged its title game loss from the previous year with a 52-49 victory over Butte in 1959.

This year's final just didn't want to stay that close.

CMR, which finished with a 21-3 record, built a double-digit lead in the first quarter and continued to add to their lead in each quarter. Bozeman beat Kalispell Flathead 74-43 in 2003 in the only AA boys' final to have a wider margin of victory.

The third-ranked Rustlers finished with 10 players in the scoring column. Both coaches started subbing with roughly four minutes left to play in the rematch and CMR holding a 61-36 lead.

The Bears, who lost 57-51 in last year's title game, finished with a 20-3 record.

Second-ranked Billings Senior won the boys' consolation crown with a 51-46 victory over No. 5 Helena Capital. That game was a rematch, too, but from Thursday's opening round. The Bruins won that game 59-52 in overtime.

"Twenty wins? Are you kidding me? Twenty wins is tough to get in high school basketball in Montana," said Senior coach Jim Stergar, whose club finished with a 20-5 record. "Teams always talk about reaching their potential and we reached way beyond our potential."

The Broncs advanced to the consolation game with a 54-42 victory over Missoula Sentinel in a morning loser-out game. Capital beat Billings Skyview 55-37 to keep its trophy hopes alive.

The Spartans carried over their shooting struggles from the previous night when they lost to CMR in the semifinals. Sentinel shot 27 percent from the floor in the second half on 4-of-15 shooting. The Spartans had a four-minute span in the fourth quarter when they did not make a basket.

"As our frustration level goes, we go," Sentinel coach Craig Matosich said. "When we get frustrated we tighten up and the ball doesn't fall for us."

CMR 71, West 41

Senior forward Jordan Harper scored nine of his team-high 15 points in the second half as the Rustlers defended their title with a blowout win over the Bears.

Senior center Josh Huestis added 12 points and 16 rebounds for CMR, which thoroughly dominated the boards, 53-25. Juniors Kurtis Parsons and Jake Bleskin chipped in nine points apiece. Parsons was second on the team with nine rebounds. Harper had four assists.

Payton Skawinski had six of his eight points in the second quarter. He scored a layup right before the first half buzzer sounded to give his team a 39-23 advantage. The play was set up by one of Huestis' four blocked shots.

West got off to a rocky start, making just 7 of 30 shots (23 percent) in the first half.

The Rustlers made 15 of 32 attempts from the floor and were much more balanced in the first half. Huestis led the way with eight points and nine rebounds. CMR corralled 32 rebounds in the first half, compared to 11 for the Bears.

A 16-0 run got the Rustlers going in the first quarter. Huestis and Harper each scored six points in that span. Bleskin capped the run at 17-5 with two free throws after a frustrated West player was called for a technical foul.

Senior Brian Muller paced the Bears with 15 points on 3 of 16 shooting. He was 7 of 8 from the line.

West 9 14 7 11 - 41

CMR 19 20 13 19 - 71

WEST - Derek Dennehy 3-7 1-2 8, Brian Muller 3-16 7-8 15, Chase Vinger 0-3 0-0 0, Daine Muller 1-8 2-2 4, Jacob Hellyer 3-15 0-0 6, Parker Swenson 1-2 1-1 4, Ty Gilmore 0-1 0-0 0, Brady Muller 0-0 3-4 3, Danny Robinson 0-1 0-0 0, Sesar Bonilla 0-0 1-2 1, Danny Robison 0-1 0-0 0, Joel Feneis 0-1 0-2 0. Totals 11-55 15-21 41.

CMR - Jake Bleskin 3-5 3-4 9, Payton Skawinski 4-7 0-0 8, Jordan Harper 5-13 4-5 15, Josh Huestis 5-11 2-4 12, Russ Morin 2-3 3-6 7, Kurtis Parsons 4-8 1-1 9, Greg Oswood 1-4 3-4 5, Bryan Graupmann 1-1 0-0 2, Alex Martinez 1-2 0-0 2, Jade Klette 1-1 0-0 2, Tyler Stanich 0-0 0-0 0, Gavin Hagfors 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-55 16-24 71.

3-point goals - West 4-26 (Muller 2-10, Swenson 1-2, Dennehy 1-4), CMR 1-9 (Harper 1-4). Total fouls - West 21, CMR 22. Fouled out - Hellyer. Technicals - West: Robinson, CMR: Parsons. Rebounds - West 25 (Vinger 5, D. Muller 5, Hellyer 5), CMR 53 (Huestis 16, Parsons 9). Assists - West 5, CMR 10 (Harper 4). Turnovers - West 13, CMR 18.

Senior 51, Capital 46

Senior guard Dillon Ness scored 15 points and grabbed six rebounds to lead the Broncs over the Bruins in the consolation match.

Ness hit three 3-pointers in the game's final 10 minutes as Senior rallied from a five-point deficit in the second half. His final trey at the 2:11 mark broke a 42-42 tie and gave the Broncs the lead for good. Classmates Kerry Heard and Danny Desin chipped in 12 points apiece as Senior claimed its first trophy at state since winning it all in 1996.

Capital's Matt Miller scored 20 points to lead his team. He scored to bring the Bruins within one, 45-44, with two minutes left, but the Broncs scored six out of the next eight to put the game away.

"Matt had a chance to celebrate and I had a chance to celebrate," said Stergar, who is Miller's uncle. "I was just glad mine came in the second (game)."

Josh Dirks added 10 points and six boards for Capital, which ended with a 15-10 mark.

Senior 10 11 9 21 - 51

Capital 11 12 9 14 - 46

SENIOR - Kerry Heard 2-6 8-10 12, Scotty Owens 3-3 0-0 6, Chad Newell 2-3 0-0 4, Danny Desin 5-12 2-3 12, Dillon Ness 5-12 1-2 15, Jeff Aders 0-0 0-0 0, Chase Boyd 0-0 0-0 0, Cooper Kouwenhoven 0-0 0-0 0, Johnny Nielsen 1-5 0-0 2. Totals 18-41 11-15 51.

CAPITAL - Quinn Chamberlain 0-1 0-0 0, Matt Miller 9-18 0-1 20, Josh Dirks 5-11 0-1 10, Slaten Long 0-0 0-0 0, Trey Spirlin 3-8 0-0 6, Beau Berg 0-0 0-0 0, Tommy Peterson 4-4 0-0 8, Chris Morrison 1-2 0-0 2, AJ Wilson 0-2 0-2 0. Totals 22-47 0-4 46.

3-point goals - Senior 4-16 (Ness 4-9), Capital 2-11 (Miller 2-6). Total fouls - Senior 12, Capital 17. Fouled out - none. Rebounds - Senior 28 (Ness 6), Capital 27 (Dirks 6). Assists - Senior 10 (Owens 6), Capital 12 (Wilson 4). Turnovers - Senior 8, Capital 9.

Senior 54, Sentinel 42

Seniors Kerry Heard and Danny Desin provided most of the punch as the Broncs knocked out the Spartans in a chippy loser-out game at Skyview High School.

Heard led his team with 20 points - including an 11-of-14 effort from the foul line - and six rebounds. He had 11 points in the second quarter when Senior rallied from a 13-6 first-quarter deficit to take a 26-23 lead into the break.

Desin scored 12 of his 17 points after halftime, including eight in the fourth quarter.

"They attacked us in spots evidently they felt they could attack," Matosich said. "Different guys step up at different times and Desin had his turn."

Desin scored back-to-back baskets to cap an 11-0 run by the Broncs midway through the final frame. His drive and lay-up with 3:30 left put Senior up 50-38. Sentinel senior point guard Kendal Maier sank two free throws to stop the run at 3:02, but the Spartans didn't snap their four-minute cold streak until a basket by Zack Wagenmann with 1:56 to play.

Sophomore Riley King hit a 3-pointer with more than six minutes left in the fourth quarter to draw Sentinel to within 39-38. That's when Senior went on its run.

"We fought hard," Matosich said. "But we've got to toughen up at those times, and we didn't deal with it."

The Broncs and Spartans traded technical fouls in the third quarter as players on both teams jawed at the referees after getting whistled for fouls.

Maier, who finished with 20 points, made his awarded freebies and a 3-pointer as Sentinel closed the quarter on a 7-2 run to trail by a basket, 37-35.

Wagenmann added seven points and four rebounds for the Spartans, who were outboarded 32-18. Sentinel, which finished the season with a 14-9 record, ended the game shooting 31 percent.

Loser out

Sentinel 13 10 12 7 - 42

Senior 6 20 11 17 - 54

SENTINEL - Zack Wagenmann 3-5 1-2 7, Kendal Maier 5-13 8-9 20, Ben Roberts 0-1 4-6 4, Trevor Olson 2-3 0-0 5, Riley King 1-10 0-0 3, Robby King 0-1 0-0 0, Zach Murphy 0-0 0-0 0, Connor Woodill 0-3 2-4 2, Nathan Jewett 0-0 0-0 0, Brad Corntassel 0-0 0-0 0, Alec Bray 0-0 0-0 0, Fischer Worden 0-0 1-2 1. Totals 11-36 16-23 42.

SENIOR - Kerry Heard 4-11 11-14 20, Scotty Owens 2-4 0-0 4, Chad Newell 2-3 0-0 4, Danny Desin 7-8 3-4 17, Dillon Ness 3-9 0-0 9, Cooper Kouwenhoven 0-0 0-0 0, Johnny Nielsen 0-0 0-1 0. Totals 18-35 4-11 54.

3-point goals - Sentinel 4-18 (Maier 2-8, Olson 1-2, Ri. King 1-7), Senior 4-11 (Ness 3-6, Heard 1-5). Total fouls - Sentinel 17, Senior 21. Fouled out - Kouwenhoven. Technicals - Sentinel: Roberts, Senior: Kouwenhoven. Rebounds - Sentinel 18 (Wagenmann 4), Senior 32 (Heard 6). Assists - Sentinel 7 (Maier 2, Ri. King 2), Senior 13 (Owens 5). Turnovers - Sentinel 8, Senior 14.

Capital 55, Skyview 37

Senior guard Matt Miller scored 16 points to lead a trio of Capital players in double figures as the Bruins beat the Falcons to advance to the consolation final.

Josh Dirks added 15 points and nine rebounds and Trey Spirlin had 14 points for Capital, which went on an 18-0 run bridging halftime to grab command of the game. Skyview led 15-10 on two Connor Smyle free throws at 5:45 of the second quarter.

Miller's put-back put the Bruins up 22-15 at half, and Dirks hit to make it 28-15 at 4:50 of the third.

Rylan Shaw snapped the Skyview drought with a basket at the 4:35 mark. The Falcons came no closer than 11 from there.

Dirks had 11 of his 15 the second half. Miller scored 10 of his 16 after halftime. Spirlin had 10 of his 14 after halftime. Capital advanced to its third straight consolation game. The Bruins were third last year after losing to CMR in 2008.

Loser out

Skyview 11 4 7 15 - 37

Capital 6 16 14 19 - 55

BILLINGS SKYVIEW - Jake O'Brien 1-9 0-0 3, Rylan Shaw 3-13 4-7 10, Danny Little 1-4 0-0 2, Connor Smyle 1-12 3-6 6, Dallin Stott 2-3 0-1 4, Matt Fuhrman 0-1 0-0 0, Josh Benjamin 3-7 0-0 6, Haakon Nordrum 3-3 0-1 6, Matt Davis 0-2 0-2 0, Tommy Little 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 14-54 7-17 37.

HELENA CAPITAL- Trey Spirlin 5-12 4-6 14, Slaten Long 0-2 0-0 0, Josh Dirks 7-13 0-4 15, Quinn Chamberlain 1-3 0-0 0, Matt Miller 7-9 1-4 16, Beau Berg 0-1 0-0 0, Tommy Ptgerson 1-5 0-0 2, Chris Morris 1-3 2-2 5, A.J. Wilson 0-2 1-2 1, Levi Dawes 0-0 0-0 0, Caleb Kidder 0-2 0-0 0, Gunnar Brekke 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-52 8-18 37.

3-point goals - Skyview 2-20 (Smyle 1-9, O'Brien 1-5, Benjamin 0-2, Shaw 0-4), Capital 3-5 (Morrison 1-1, Miller 1-1, Dirks 1-1, Long 0-2). Total fouls - Skyview 22, Capital 16. Fouled out - O'Brien, Nordrum. Rebounds - Skyview 37 (Stott 6, D. Little 6), Capital 44 (Dirks 9). Assists - Skyview 5 (Stott 2), Capital 17 (Long 4, Miller 4). Blocks - Skyview 7 (D.Little 5, T.Little, Davis), Capital 2 (Miller, Long). Steals - Skyview 14 (Smyle 3), Capital 8 (Long 3). Turnovers - Skyview 19, Capital 20.

 

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