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Ok, before I get any further, I've got to share this with you. During halftime of the Senior-West game, fans witnessed a very close eating contest. Each school put up two seniors as their champions: representing the Broncs was Corey "Mad Dog" Raymond and Josh "Pretty Boy" Wilkenson; Max "The Number One Stunna" and Justin "The Hefty Snowflake" Schmitt stepped up to the table for the Black and Gold.

The result? Take a look for yourself.

Senior-West Wing Eating Contest

Ok, with that out of the way, we got to see some outstanding basketball games in Billings. West took care of business against Senior (without really looking their best...more on that in a minute), and Central validated its recent placement at the top of the Class A AP poll with a very impressive win at home over Laurel.

A recap video and some observations from both games awaits, after the jump.

Hoops Thursday Recap - Jan. 22

  • Watching the Locos-Rams game, I felt like I was watching a title fight between two boxers. Both sides exchanged one blow after another, but it was Joel Barndt's 3-pointer with 3:13 left that delivered the knockout punch. It gave the Rams a 46-43 lead, and Central locked down defensively to keep Laurel from scoring down the stretch. Previously, I had some concerns on the toughness of the Rams; until today, they really hadn't been tested much, and I wondered how they would respond in the final minutes of a close game. Consider those concerns gone: every time Laurel threatened, Central had an answer, and this win really clears the way from them to close out the East.
  • I only got to see the first half of the Senior-West game, but I was impressed with the atmosphere and the crowd. I'm pretty sure it would have been hard to replicate that kind of energy at MetraPark, so count me among those happy to see these rivalry games return to each school's gym.
  • Regarding the game itself, I'm not terribly surprised at the result, but I was surprised at the final score of 89-66. West entered this game averaging a hair over 60 points a game, tops in AA, so scoring 89 isn't out of the question, but for a team that prides itself on its defense, 66 points is a lot surrender to a middle-of the pack Senior offense. Like I said, I wasn't there for the second-half, so maybe late free throws and giving JV players some garbage time inflated the score some, but it's something to keep an eye on.

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