Red Lodge girls 57, Townsend 46
Jill Purcell scored 23 points on 16 shots to help lead Red Lodge to a 57-46 win over Townsend in the final first-round game of the Southern B girls basketball divisional tournament.
The Rams got out to an early lead, which grew to 33-15 in the second half. Townsend cut the lead to single digits during the third quarter, but never could completely close the gap.
The Bulldogs shot only 29.6 percent for the game compared to 43.8 percent for the Rams. Rylee Kane added 10 points and seven assists for Red Lodge, and Purcell also grabbed 11 rebounds to record a double-double.
Jacy Thompson led Townsend with 18 points, a game-high 13 rebounds and five assists.
Red Lodge advances to Friday's semifinal round with an 8 p.m. game against Forsyth. Townsend will play a loser-out game with Columbus at 1:30 p.m.
Forsyth girls 49, Columbus 31
Ruby Kallenbach scored 14 points and Kaylee Zard 12 as Forsyth pulled away from Columbus 49-31 in the first round at the Southern B girls basketball divisional tournament.
The Dogies forced 28 turnovers and held Columbus to 27 percent shooting. They led by as many as 28 points.
It was a balanced effort offensively for Forsyth, as seven different players found the scoring column. Nobody scored more than six points for Columbus.
Forsyth advances to the semifinal round for an 8 p.m. game Friday. The Dogies will play the Red Lodge-Townsend winner.
Columbus will play a loser-out game at 1:30 p.m. against the Red Lodge-Townsend loser.
Huntley Project boys 50, Whitehall 43
Huntley Project overcame a 26-14 halftime deficit to beat Whitehall 50-43 in a first-round game at the Southern B boys basketball divisional tournament.
The Red Devils outscored the Trojans 22-5 in the third quarter to grab the lead. Michael Harris scored 15 points, and Tanner Oblender and Chase Mitchell each added 10.
Whitehall only converted 7 of 22 shots in the second half. Nathaniel Reed led the Trojans with 13 points.
With the win, Huntley Project advances to the semifinal round for a game against District 4B foe Joliet. That game is scheduled for 5 p.m. Friday.
Whitehall will play Forsyth in a loser-out game at 10:30 a.m. Friday.
Joliet boys 50, Forsyth 40
Brock Beede had a monster double-double of 22 points and 18 rebounds to help Joliet upend Forsyth 50-40 in the first round of the Southern B boys basketball divisional tournament.
The Dogies entered the tournament as District 3B's top seed with only one loss on the season. But Forsyth only shot 14 of 65 (21.5 percent), despite forcing 24 Joliet turnovers.
The J-Hawks shot 19 of 42 and had a 50-36 edge rebounding. Terryn Bermes also recorded a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds.
Riley Keefer led Forsyth with 14 points. The Dogies will play the loser of the Huntley Project-Whitehall at 10:30 a.m. on Friday.
Joliet awaits the Huntley Project-Whitehall winner in a Friday semifinal game at 5 p.m. (Edit: The original post said Joliet would play at 3:30. The J-Hawks do indeed play at 5 p.m.)
Colstrip girls 53, Manhattan 51
Kile Denny's layup with three seconds remaining lifted Colstrip to a 53-51 win over Manhattan in the first round of the Southern B girls basketball divisional tournament.
Denny, who finished the game with 16 points, received a long pass from teammate Brina Hull and calmly made the uncontested layup. The Fillies forced a turnover when Manhattan attempted to run down the clock and attempt regulation's final shot.
Hull led the the Fillies with 19 points, eight rebounds and three assists. Brooke Jones scored 19 points for Manhattan, which was the top seed out of District 5B.
The Tigers will play Baker in a loser-out game Friday at noon. Colstrip will play Shepherd at 6:30 Friday in a semifinal game.
Shepherd girls 54, Baker 46
Janie McRae and Emily Millard each recorded double-doubles for Shepherd as the Fillies beat Baker 54-46 in a first-round game at the Southern B girls basketball divisional tournament.
McRae led the way with 23 points on 11-of-14 shooting to go with 15 rebounds. Millard scored 13 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.
Baker only trailed 15-12 after the first quarter but only managed to score eight points in the second and third quarters combined. Shepherd led by as many as 21 points.
The Spartans, led by 16 points from Paitton Herbst and 11 from Solenn Jacobsen, outscored the Fillies 26-15 in the fourth quarter. It wasn't enough, though, as Baker falls into loser-out play.
Shepherd will play in a Friday semifinal game at 6:30 p.m. against the winner of the Manhattan-Colstrip game.
Jefferson boys 65, Colstrip 51
Trase LeTexier scored 23 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to help lead Jefferson past Colstrip 65-51 in a first-round game at the Southern B divisional boys basketball tournament.
The Panthers used a 10-0 run in the middle of the second quarter to overcome an early deficit and take a 29-28 lead into halftime. They outscored Colstrip 36-23 in the second half to pull away for the win.
LeTexier, a sophomore, was 9-of-12 shooting and drew seven Colstrip fouls. He also blocked three shots. Scotty Ferguson and Sam Fletcher each added 10 points for the Panthers, who will play Columbus in a semifinal game at 3:30 p.m. on Friday.
Keyshawn Sandcrane led Colstrip with 19 points and nine rebounds. The Colts will play Lame Deer in a loser-out game Friday.
Columbus boys 74, Lame Deer 45
Kiefer McKay scored 17 points and Kade Osborne 15 as Columbus ran past Lame Deer 74-45 in a first-round game at the Southern B boys basketball divisional tournament.
The Cougars jumped out to a 16-6 lead after the first quarter and never looked back. They shot 50 percent -- better than 60 percent in the first half -- to control the game.
Columbus set the tone defensively, too, forcing Lame Deer into 31 turnovers and only 38.9 percent shooting. Tori Lee Poitra, who has six 30-point games this season for the Morningstars, was held to nine points.
With the loss, Lame Deer falls into the loser-out bracket where it will play the loser of Jefferson-Colstrip at 9 a.m. Friday. Columbus will play in Friday's semifinal round against the Jefferson-Colstrip winner at 3:30 p.m.
We're set up courtside at the combined Southern B divisional basketball tournament at Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark. Thursday's schedule includes eight games, which tipped off at 9 a.m.
On the floor right now are the Columbus and Lame Deer boys. The Cougars are the No. 1 seed out of District 4B, while the Morning Stars are the second seed from the 3B.
Jefferson and Colstrip are scheduled to begin the tournament's second game at 10:30.
We'll provide updates in this space throughout the day, so continue checking back as the Southern B determines its state tournament representatives (four boys and four girls teams).