By Tiffany L. Rehbein
The Rocky Boy Stars stifled the Blue Sky Eagles 64-51 during the District 9C challenge game held Monday night at the Havre High School gymnasium.
The Stars (11-5, 12-10) will join the KG KouGars (12-0, 18-2) at the Northern Divisional tournament, beginning on Thursday at Shelby.
Rocky Boy's Jesse Poolaw notched the first two points on free throws thirty seconds into play. The Stars held an 11-7 lead after one quarter. Poolaw finished with six points.
But Blue Sky (8-5, 14-8) exploded for 17 second-quarter points and held Rocky Boy scoreless for more than two minutes. With 1:52 remaining in the half, Blue Sky held a 22-18 lead.
However, the Stars' Mike Morsette nailed a 3-pointer and Kyle MacDonald and Marcus Standing Rock notched one bucket apiece during the final minute of action. The Stars held a 25-24 lead at halftime.
Morsette scored a game-high 16 points, while MacDonald added eight and Standing Rock tallied seven.
During the second half, the Stars, sometimes triple teaming Blue Sky's Tyler Hutchinson, held him to just nine points in the game.
During the regular season, Rocky Boy and Blue Sky split wins and, in both games, Hutchinson was not able to score in double figures.
The Eagles managed just three points during more than five minutes of play in the last stanza.
Darrell Sunchild added 10 points for Rocky Boy and Dustin Sunchild chipped in 10 in the win.
Brent Petrick led Blue Sky with 15 points. David Jurenka added 14 in the loss.
Coming into the game, the Eagles had lost just two games in 11 starts. They went 0-for-12 from beyond the arc and shot just 37 percent from the field in the game.
The Stars shot 47 percent from the field and outscored the Eagles 14-6 on turnover points.
Rocky Boy will meet Heart Butte at 8 p.m. in the opening round of the Northern Divisional. KG will face Winnett, who also won a challenge game last night in the District 7C.
The KouGars will play at 2:30 p.m. at the Shelby High School gymnasium.
11 14 20 19 64
7 17 14 13 51
Rocky Boy MacDonald 4-11 0-1 8; The Boy 1-1 0-0 2;
Lodgepole 1-1 0-0 2; Standing Rock 3-7 1-2 7; DeMontiney 1-3 0-0 3; Morsette 5-11 4-6 16; Poolaw 1-5 4-8 6; Dustin Sunchild 4-7 2-3 10; Darrel Sunchild 4-9 2-4 10; Totals: 24-56 13-24.
Blue Sky Anderson 2-8 2-2 6; Petrick 7-15 1-2 15; Matt McKinley 0-4 0-0 0; David Jurenka 5-12 4-5 14; Schnitzmeier 0-1 0-0 0; Tyler Hutchinson 4-8 1-3 9; LeTray 1-1 0-0 2; Jack McKinley 0-3 3-4 3; Totals: 19-52 13-19.
Total fouls: Rocky Boy 15, Blue Sky 21. Fouled out: Patrick, Matt McKinley. Three-pointers: Morsette 2, DeMontiney 1.