State Roundup: Glacier Girls Bounce Back to Claim Third Place

Columbia Falls boys earn seventh consecutive top-three finish at Class A boys state tournament

By Dillon Tabish

The Glacier Wolfpack came home carrying hardware.

The Wolfpack bounced back after losing in the first round to earn third place at the Class AA girls state basketball tournament in Butte, claiming the program’s first top-three state trophy and best overall record at 20-5.

Taylor Salonen scored 14 points, Brielle Bumgarner added 10 and Glacier beat Billings Senior 45-42 in the third-place game on Saturday.

Tessa Krueger chipped in eight points and Hailee Bennett added seven for the Wolfpack.

Glacier had a hard road to the consolation championship. The girls bounced back after losing to Billings West 53-47 in the opening round and defeated Great Falls CMR, 51-42. Bennett erupted for 21 points against the Rustlers and Bumgarner added nine. Ali Williams chipped in seven and Krueger had six.

Glacier then clashed with Western AA rival Missoula Sentinel, which had won the past three state titles. The Wolfpack trailed 26-12 at halftime and 37-27 entering the fourth before rallying back to win 49-48. Bennett scored 17 points and Krueger added 13 for Glacier.

Helena Capital defeated Bozeman 63-55 in the state championship game.

In the Class AA boys state tournament, Billings Skyview defeated Billings West 62-56 in the championship game. Missoula Hellgate beat Bozeman 70-49 in the consolation championship.

Class A Boys

The Columbia Falls Wildcats rallied back after losing in the first round to earn third place at the Class A state basketball tournament in Bozeman.

The Wildcats capped their season with a 34-30 win over Billings Central, earning the team’s seventh consecutive top-three finish.

Senior Ty Morgan finished his stellar prep career with 14 points and junior Grant Wallace had nine for Columbia Falls (20-4). Senior Grant Stenger chipped in six points and had seven rebounds.

The Wildcats needed a wild overtime win to play for third place.

Morgan scored 17 points, Wallace had 16 and Columbia Falls edged Havre 59-58 in overtime in the consolation bracket. The Wildcats trailed 31-17 at halftime before rallying back with 22 points in the third quarter. Stenger had 13 points and Jayce Fagerland scored 11.

The Wildcats also edged Belgrade 66-64 on Friday after losing to Butte Central 56-51 in the opening round.

Laurel defeated Dillon 61-52 in the state championship game.

Class B

The Bigfork boys and girls came up short in their state tournament bids last weekend in Great Falls.

Undefeated Choteau dropped the Vikings 62-53 in the semifinal round of the boys tournament on Friday. Isaac Martel had 12 points and Josh Sandry scored 10 for Bigfork.

Rocky Boy eliminated Bigfork the following day 83-75. Martel capped his impressive prep career with 19 points, junior Jonathan Landon had 17 and another pair of standout seniors, Sandry and Adam Jordt, had 13 apiece for the Vikes (22-4).

Choteau defeated Missoula Loyola 74-57 in the championship game. Rocky Boy beat Columbus 78-76 in double overtime to claim third place.

In the girls tournament, Colstrip edged Bigfork 55-50 in the opening round. Miranda Campbell had 16 points and Marissa Hiza chipped in 12 for the Valkyries. Lana Berg and Riley Coleman each had eight. The following day, Manhattan eliminated the Vals 54-50. Mattison McAnally and Hiza both scored 13 points and Katie Thomas had 10 for Bigfork (18-6).

Malta defeated Colstrip 46-35 in the girls championship game. Forsyth beat Columbus 39-34 in the third-place game.

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