By Tiffany L. Rehbein
If the two-time defending State Class C KG KouGars were favored in the preseason, they would appear to be the dark horse at the Northern C divisional at Shelby this weekend.
KG (17-3), the No. 1 seed from the District 9C, will face the second-seeded Winnett Rams (20-2) from the District 7C. They will play at 2 p.m. today.
Four teams, Highwood (19-2), Winnett (20-2), Winifred (19-2), and Heart Butte (20-0), boast better records than the strong KG team.
The KouGars and the Rams did not meet during the regular season.
KG waltzed through the District 9C tournament last weekend at Havre.
They defeated the Box Elder Bears 65-55 in semifinal action, and went on to defeat the Blue Sky Eagles 72-66 in overtime to claim its third-straight conference title.
Winnett defeated Grass Range in a challenge game on Monday to advance to the tournament.
Rocky Boy (12-10) played twice as many games as KG to advance to the tournament.
The Stars defeated Blue Sky 64-51 in a challenge game on Monday to advance.
They will face top-ranked Heart Butte (20-0), who is the only team with a perfect record at the tournament.
The two teams met at the Native American Classic on Dec. 11 at Billings.
Heart Butte won the game, 67-45.
Highwood and Dutton (18-4) will open the tournament today at 12:30 p.m.
When KG and Dutton met during the first game of the year, Dutton came away with a 68-37 win.
Rocky Boy and Highwood played twice this season, with the Mountaineers winning both matchups.