Subscribe for 33¢ / day
basketball stockimage

BUTTE -- Both sides had already locked up their spots in the State A boys' basketball tournament, but that didn't keep Polson and Dillon from leaving it all on the court Saturday in the Western A Divisional title game.

Polson forced overtime with a dramatic buzzer-beating layup from Julian Jones, but the Southwest A champion Beavers were too much in the extra period. Dillon captured the first super-divisional title -- the Southwest and Northwest were rolled into one this year -- by downing SWA No. 1 seed Polson, 71-67.

Butte Central and Hamilton will join the Pirates and Beavers at state next week in Missoula. The Maroons outlasted the Broncs in the third-place matchup, 45-42, to finalize the seeding with the top four teams from the division extending their season.

The State A tournament begins Thursday at the University of Montana's Dahlberg Arena.


Dillon 71, Polson 67 (OT)

Guarding a 55-53 lead with 6.5 seconds remaining, Dillon missed a pair of free throws that could have sealed the win. Instead, Polson (16-5) grabbed the rebound and Jones went coast to coast for a layup as time expired to force OT.

Jones, who finished with 26 points, also hit a deep 3-pointer with 9 seconds remaining in regulation that cut Dillon's lead to two in time for the dramatics.

The teams traded baskets in OT until Dillon (19-2) put the game away with free throws. The Beavers were 20 of 26 at the line for the game, 18 of 24 in the second half.

Nate Simkins led Dillon with 25 points and teammate Troy Anderson had 20, including a perfect 10-for-10 game on free throws. Polson's Matthew Rensvold also scored 20 to go with 11 rebounds.


Butte Central 45, Hamilton 42

The Maroons outscored Hamilton 21-13 in the final quarter to knock off the Broncs for third place in the division.

Carter Kearns hit a 3-pointer that brought Hamilton to within 44-42 with 11 seconds remaining, but the Broncs couldn't get off a potential game-tying shot on their next possession.

Kearns led Hamilton (12-10) with 15 points and Hunter Omlid added eight.

Butte Central (13-9), which shot 17 of 21 on free throws to ice the game, was led by Cole Harper's 18 points. 


Hamilton 61, Whitefish 43

The Broncs' big-scoring trio paced Hamilton to a consolation bracket victory over Whitefish.

Omlid dropped 17 points while Ky Burch and Kearns were right behind with 15 apiece as Hamilton shot 55 percent from the floor for the game and earned a sate berth by making it to the third-place game.

Whitefish, which ends the season at 7-14, got a game-high 21 points from Derek Kastella.


Butte Central 57, Corvallis 42

Central stormed the court with a 15-1 advantage in the first quarter and never looked back in eliminating Corvallis.

The Blue Devils, whose season ended at 8-14, still got 21 points from Chase Jessop, who was 10 of 12 on free throws.

The Maroons, who qualified for the state tournament by advancing to the day's third-place matchup, were led by the 17 of Tanner Kump and Nate McGree's double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds.