Daniel Horton Havre Daily News email@example.com
It is finally that time. Basketball across the Hi-Line is back, and after weeks of practice and preparation, area boys teams flooded the hardwood for their season tip-offs. Big Sandy was the site of the Big Sandy Preseason Tournament, and making their season debuts were the 9C North Star Knights and the Big Sandy Pioneers. On Thursday, the Knights got a 39-26 victory over Augusta, but it wasn’t until the second half when the Knights pulled away and put the game out of reach. It was only a one point lead at half for the Knights, but with the help from leading scorer Kellan Warren’s 19-point performance, the Knights were able to get the win. The Pioneers also got a victory on Thursday, but they didn’t take any chances by keeping things close. The Pioneers led Highwood 33-19 at the half, and came out just as hot in the third quarter. Blake Brumwell led the Pioneers with 20 points, and Ryne LaBuda did his part by adding another 13. With big contributions on the offensive side of the ball, and a tough defensive stand by holding Highwood to only 10 second-half points, the Pioneers were able to get 35-point blowout win to start their season off as a 9C favorite. In 2B play, the Harlem Wildcats lost a close one at home, 66-65 to Wolf Point on Friday. The Wildcats clutched onto a 51-46 lead heading into the fourth quarter, but were outscored 20-14 resulting in their one-point loss. Elias Goes Ahead had 16 points to compliment Isaiah Martin’s 19, but Wolf Point’s three players in double figures proved to be the difference. Friday was also the beginning of the Native American Classic in Havre, where Box Elder and Hays-Lodge Pole both got the season started. The Bears faced the Browning JV squad in their first game of the weekend, and won 62-52. The Bears jumped all over Browning 14-2 in the first quarter and led the rest of the way. Lathine Windy boy led all the scoring with 28 point. HLP wasn’t quite as fortunate in their loss to Heart Butte, 61-56, but the Thunderbirds still put up a good fight and kept things close until the final buzzer. Both teams battled all game, and especially in the fourth quarter as Heart Butte entered with only a sixpoint lead. With just seconds to go, the Thunderbirds trailed by only three points and looked once again to Cole Mc- Cabe who already put 34 points on the scoreboard. But with the pass stolen, the game ended with a layup going the other way. Also on Friday, Rocky Boy was hosting Kainai and Chinook was playing Dutton-Brady. It was a 77-28 blowout win for the Stars in Havre, and they dominated every aspect of the game. The defense only allowed double digit scoring in one quarter, with 11 points coming in the second. And on offense, Glen Doney led the way with 16 points, while Jerod Parker and Mike Sangrey Jr. Chipped in with double digit scoring of their own. It was a pretty convincing win for the Chinook Sugarbeeters also, as they rolled past Dutton-Brady 53-34. The Beeters led 28-15 at half, and just kept pouring it on. The Beeters put up 25 more in the second half, and only allowed 19, never giving the Diamond Backs the opportunity get into the game. Saturday’s action brought a closing to the Native American Classic. The Thunderbirds rebounded from a close loss on Friday, and defeated the Browning JV squad 49-40. This time around, Arden Flansberg led the scoring with 15 points for the Thunderbirds, but McCabe still made his presence felt by putting 12 more points on the board. The Bears recorded their second win of the weekend by outplaying Heart Butte, 68-56. The Bears trailed 27-23 at half, but were able to turn things around with the help of Windy Boy’s 24 points and Cody Nault's 16. And also receiving their second win of the weekend were the Rocky Boy Stars, as they went on to steamroll Two Eagle River 75-32 in Havre. The Stars outscored the Eagles by 17 points in the first quarter alone, and just kept piling it on. Parker’s 13 points, Sangrey Jr’s 14 and Doney’s 12 led the stars, and contributed to what turned out to be a 43-point deficit that the Eagles couldn’t overcome. Rounding off the opening week for the District 9C came in Big Sandy. The Pioneers got a dominating win on Thursday, and followed it up with a 63-38 victory over Hinsdale. The Pioneers opened up the game with a 21-10 first quarter run, and by doing that, they put the game out of reach for the rest of the night. Corbin Pearson accounted for 24 points, while Blake Brumwell put up 16 and Taylor Ophus added 11 in the Pioneers' 15-point victory. Most of Saturday's action at the Big Sandy tournament was cancelled due to the winter storm that hit the area this weekend.