Try 1 month for $5

LAUREL — Mariah Dietrich had seen enough.

Missing 3-point attempts and her team trailing for almost a full three quarters, the junior knew something had to change.

“Stop shooting 3s and take the ball to the basket,” Dietrich said of herself and her team.

Dietrich scored all of her game-high 11 points in the second half, including the game-tying 3-pointer and the go-ahead drive, in Harlowton’s 30-28 victory over Broadview-Lavina for the Southern C Divisional title on Saturday night.

Both teams advance to the Class C State Tournament, March 2-4, at the Belgrade Special Events Center.

The Engineers are returning to the state tournament for the first time since 2014, while the Pirates are making their second consecutive trip.

Melstone finished third with a 57-39 win over Park City. However, with Harlowton’s win, the Broncs do not get the opportunity for a challenge game. Melstone was playing on Saturday night at the divisional tournament for the first time since 1978.

“I was a little worried,” said Dietrich, while cradling the game ball. “We knew we had to step up and start making some shots. I was tired of missing 3s. I knew I had to do something else.

“Broadview-Lavina is a good team. We knew they were going to come right after us.”

It was the fourth meeting between the two programs this month, with the Engineers prevailing in all four.

“I don’t know what it was, we came out a little flat and seemed a little scared,” said Harlowton coach Greg Wasson. “Broadview-Lavina is a great team. Some of that (Harlowton’s struggles) were them. They adjusted well coming into this game and kept us off kilter.”

Chloe Hanser scored all eight of her points in the first half to help the Pirates take a 16-12 lead at halftime.

“We kept them out of the paint in the first half,” said Broadview-Lavina coach Jenny Auer. “It was so close, both teams are so evenly matched. The second half, we weren’t hitting our outside shots.”

The Engineers limited Broadview-Lavina to 18 percent shooting (4 of 22) in the second half.

“We adjusted a few things in the second half,” said Wasson of his team’s defensive alignment. “And we went to small ball and started attacking the basket.”

Harlowton made four free throws in the final 54 seconds to offset 3-pointers by Krista Schott and Emily McKeever.

The Engineers were 0 for 5 from the line before the final minute of the game.

"I really believe the odds were with us at that point," said Wasson. "The kids shoot free throws well."

Krista Schott and Hanser each had eight points for the Pirates. Ally Martin added seven for the Engineers, including a free throw off a big steal with less than a minute to play.

"It didn't turn out the way we wanted but we're going," said Auer.

Melstone put four players in double figures against Park City. Franka Johne led the Broncs with 14 points, while Tylee Manuel and Shayla Hough each had 12 and Gillian Severe 11. Melstone shot 58 percent from the field in the second half. Manuel also had eight rebounds.

Shelby Branstetter led the Panthers with 13 points, while MacKinzie Verke added 11.

Subscribe to Breaking News

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.
0
0
0
0
0

High School Sports, Rodeo Reporter

Sports writer for The Billings Gazette.