In boys Northern C action the Big Sandy Pioneers and Chinook Sugarbeeters have met four times this season. And as history repeated itself once again, the Pioneers knocked off the Beeters in the Northern C challenge game. Saturday at the Four Seasons Arena in Great Falls, the Pioneers defeated the Beeters 70-48. The Beeters landed themselves in the challenge game after dropping the championship to a dominating Power Pirates. The Pioneers, on the other hand, took the long route, winning two straight games in the consolation bracket before defeating Chinook for a third straight win saturday night. The Pioneers made this their fourth straight Class C state tournament in the process. And though it took a couple extra games, this win came in a dominating fashion. Normally the Beeters keep up with the Pioneers dominating size inside with their ability to knock down shots from the perimeter. The Pioneers biggest halftime lead over the Beeters this season was four, but on Saturday night, the Pioneers held a 33-21 lead. A big part of the Pioneers' success came from a big first quarter. They went on a 15-0 run to close out the frame, and led 17-2 after the first eight minutes of play. In the second half the Pioneers continued to dominate. They outscored the Beeters 37-27 and took the Beeters out of their element completely. In the game Chinook netted nine 3-pointers, including four by Taylor Erskine who finished with a team-high 17 points. Lane Schmitt accounted for 13, and Dylan MacLean added seven to the mix. Corbin Pearson had a game-high 25 points for the Pioneers and was joined by the likes of Blake Brumwell with 18 who also brought in 15 rebounds. Taylor Ophus added 13 points, while Trevor Lackner finished with nine. The Pioneers also outscored the Beeters 20-1 from the free-throw-line, and had six blocked shots. Before the Beeters dropped the challenge game to the Pioneers, they also had a tough outing against the Pirates in the championship game on Friday. The Pirates defeated the Beeters 67-39. “The kids would have liked to win today (Friday),” Chinook head coach Chris Daniel said. “But getting here was big in itself. For these kids to get here guarantees them not to walk away empty handed.” The Beeters didn’t look like themselves from the very start of Friday night's Northern C title game. They have shot well from behind the 3-point arc all season, but in the championship they struggled. In the first quarter, the Beeters tried their hand at nine treys, but connected on only two. And after being tied 14-14, they trailed 18-14 after the first quarter. The Pirates then took off to start the second frame. After closing out the first with a 4-0 run they went on an 8-0 run and shut out the Beeters for nearly the first five minutes of the second quarter. The Beeters started 0-of-9 from the field and didn’t get on the board until Clinton Hansen went 2-of-2 on bonus free throws. Chris Haider hit the Beeters only field goal of the quarter, but after Chinook was 0-of-4 from three, the Beeters trailed 30-18 at the half. “I thought the big difference was their (Power) transition to the offensive end,” Daniel said. “They got the rebounds and we never got back.” Daniel also thought his kids panicked after falling behind. They just never found a groove and they struggled to find ways to score. “That’s something we haven’t done all tournament up until today (Friday),” he added. In the second half the Pirates outscored the Beeters 37-21, never letting them climb back into contention. The Beeters also strayed away from the three, putting up only one in the third and five in the fourth quarters. “Their (Power) defensive effort picked up really well in the second half,” Daniel said. “They were on MacLean hard and just stuffed them. They came out and really pressured our perimeter.” On the night, Chinook shot 14 percent form behind the arc. Their offense was led by MacLean with 11 points, but Erskine also landed 10. Haider finished with seven for the Beeters. The Pirates had four kids finish in double figures, including Travis Somerfeld who had a game high 21 points to compliment his career high 20 rebounds. Big Sandy also earned two wins on Friday. First, in loser-out action the Pioneers defeated the Denton Trojans 74- 54. And in the Northern C consolation game, the Pioneers defeated the Belt Huskies 81-60. Facing the Trojans, the Pioneers found themselves locked up in a 16-16 tie after the first eight minutes. But outscoring the Trojans 21-10 in the second quarter, the Pioneers quickly found themselves with a healthy lead. The offensive production and defensive stands continued in the second half. The Pioneers added a 20-point third quarter and a 17-point fourth quarter in the books, and held the Trojans to just 28 second half points. In the 20-point victory Pearson and Brumwell were as dominant as they have been all season long. Brumwell led the way with 25 points, and Pearson added a hardly second-best 24. Ophus also played well, finishing with 12 points. In the consolation matchup, the Pioneers used a strong second half to ensure the win. After leading only 30-26 after the first half, the Pioneers knew they had to make some changes. They came out in the second half in a triangle defense, and it made a world of difference. “We finally had kids to pick up their shooters,” Big Sandy head coach Roy Lackner said. “That made a big difference.” “I wanted that game over with in the first quarter not the third,” Lackner added. “I like to get up by 20 in the first half so we can relax a little.” In the second half, the Pioneers were back to their dominant selves. They controlled the boards and took away any second chance opportunities. They outscored the Trojans 55-30, and leading the way was Pearson with 23 and Brumwell with 19. Ophus also finished with 17. Pearson and Brumwell also combined for 23 rebounds as they gave their seniors hope for a fourth straight state tournament appearance. “This was a big win for us seniors.” Pearson said. “It could have been our last game but we came back.” At the Class C state tournament Big Sandy will play at 2 p.m. Thursday at the Billings Metra. They will face the Southern C champion Northern Cheyenne.
A miraculous run by Big Sandy ends another one by Chinook
Published: Monday, March 1st, 2010
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