Let the record show that Miles City, which had one player score as many as 12 points in a 58-54 basketball win over Billings Central Friday, put the balance back in the Eastern A.

A week ago the Central Rams were 10-3 and winners of six straight games. Now they’ve lost two straight to fall into a tie atop the league standings with Glendive (which beat Sidney 56-42 Friday). Miles City, meanwhile, is 6-9, including a 2-1 mark since losing some much-needed height – 6-foot-2 Parker Powell broke a finger – eight days ago.

The Cowboys also improved to 2-0 against the Rams (10-5) this season, having beaten them 64-50 on Jan. 4. This time, they overcame missing their first nine shots – Chase Haughian hit their first field goal, grabbing a missed layup by John Swenson and throwing down a follow dunk – with some solid defense and patient offense.

“Last week we didn’t score in the first quarter (in a 57-44 loss at Glendive),” first-year Miles City coach Dan Stanton said. “I don’t know what it us. They responded pretty well this time.

“The tempo was definitely in our favor.”

The Rams seemed on the verge of taking control early. Scott Reid’s steal and layup put Central up 21-13 with 5:47 left in the first half. But then the Cowboys got two 3-pointers from Jake Reyman and another from Nich Ottoy to cut the gap to 27-26 at intermission.

Miles City trailed 37-34 at 4:16 of the third quarter after Travis Blome hit a three for the Rams. Danny Stanley answered with a three for the Cowboys, sparking a 15-3 surge. At one point, Ottoy missed a three but ended up with the bobbled-around rebound, and scored to make it 41-37, Cowboys.

On their next possession, Stanley missed a shot, but again the rebound got tapped around until Shane Schantz shoveled it to Trapper Hight for a 43-37 lead.

In the fourth quarter, Schantz scored two buckets – off an offensive rebound and a loose ball – to make it 49-40. Central didn’t score until under four minutes remained, when Reid made his seventh steal and fed Cooper Warren for a layup.

The Rams were hurt by poor shooting and by 11 second-half turnovers. Another factor had to be shot selection: Facing a 2-3 zone, Central rarely got the ball inside against the smaller Cowboys. When Pat Bailey and Zach Zimmerman did get the ball, they combined to hit six of seven shots.

That wasn’t enough. And Central jacked up 34 of its 52 field goal attempts from behind the 3-point arc.

“We did not get the ball inside like we should have,” Central coach Gene Espeland said. “Our inability to get the ball inside probably cost us the game, because we had a nice lead.”

Reid had a game-high 13 points for Central, which travels to Hardin today. Reyman had 12 points and Swenson – who hit his last three shots from the floor after starting 0-for-7 – added 10 for Miles City, which hosts Billings West tonight.

“They’re a nice ball club, and they handled the ball very well,” Espeland said. “They’re a good ball club to come in here and beat us on our floor. We learned from this, and we’ll go to Hardin tomorrow night and battle hard and have a real good game.”

Miles City 58, Billings Central 54

Miles City 11 15 19 13 58
Billings Central 15 12 13 14 54

Miles City (6-9) – Danny Stanley 3-7 1-4 9, Chris Poucher 2-4 2-4 6, Chase Haughian 3-7 0-0 6, John Swenson 4-10 3-4 12, Jake Reyman 5-8 0-0 12, Ace Berry 0-0 0-0 0, Kevin Boschee 0-0 0-0 0, Nich Ottoy 2-4 0-0 5, Trapper Hight 3-3 0-0 6, Shane Schantz 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 23-45 6-12 58. Three-point goals 6-14 (Reyman 2-3, Stanley 2-4, Ottoy 1-2, Swenson 1-3, Schantz 0-1, Poucher 0-1). Rebounds 29 (Haughian 6). Team rebounds 3. Fouls 14. Steals 13 (Reyman 4). Blocks 2 (Berry, Hight). Turnovers 17.

Billings Central (10-5) – Brennen Weisner 2-10 0-0 6, Dallas Leslie 3-12 2-2 10, Pat Bailey 4-5 0-0 8, Travis Blome 2-7 0-0 6, Cooper Warren 2-3 3-4 7, Zach Zimmerman 2-2 0-0 4, Mitch Wilbert 0-1 0-0 0, Scott Reid 4-12 2-2 13. Totals 19-52 7-8 54. Three-point goals 9-34 (Reid 3-10, Blome 2-7, Weisner 2-7, Leslie 2-9, Wilbert 0-1). Rebounds 27 (Bailey 6). Team rebounds 2. Fouls 13. Technical foul – Leslie. Steals 11 (Reid 7). Blocks 2 (Bailey 2). Turnovers 18.

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