BILLINGS — Megan Benton had 18 kills and 16 digs and Shauna Stene added 14 kills and 12 digs as fourth-ranked Billings West overcame Belgrade 12-25, 26-24, 15-25, 25-17, 15-12 in an Eastern AA playoff match Thursday night at the West gym.
The Golden Bears, the No. 2 seed in the Eastern AA, advanced to next week’s state tournament with the win. Belgrade, the No. 7 seed, finished its first season in AA at 5-18.
West was behind 11-9 in the fourth set before breaking away from a 12-12 tie to win the final three points of the match, which lasted nearly 2 ½ hours. West coach Monica Grimsrud said a dig from Jill Smith set up a kill by Madi Ramsey for a 14-12 lead, and Stene put down the match-winning point on a kill.
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“The game was climatic,” West coach Monica Grimsrud said. “The younger players stepped up in the crucial last few moments.”
Molly Nault led four Bears (22-7) in double figures for digs, finishing with 25. Taylor Graham had 31 assists.
Belgrade was led by Hazel Eaton, who had 13 kills and 16 digs. Tycelee Bowler finished with 21 digs and Delanee Hicks led with 26 assists.