Area boys teams ready for postseason
Stars, Hawks, Wildcats looking to advance out of district tournaments
February 19, 2014
Regular season basketball is over for the majority of the prep teams in Montana, meaning the time for district basketball is now.
And while state is ultimately the most important weekend of the season for most teams, those same teams hoping for a state title must first get out of districts and into divisionals. That is what the 10C Chester/J-I Hawks will attempt to do in Conrad, the 2B Harlem Wildcats will attempt to do in Malta, and what the 1B Rocky Boy Stars will attempt to do in Cut Bank this weekend.
The Hawks wrapped up a very successful regular season with a nonleague win over Chinook. But more importantly, the Hawks finished the 10C schedule with a 9-1 record and as the No. 2 seed behind 9-1 Power.
The Hawks have quite a few talented athletes leading the way this season, including Dell Harmon, Tim Stokes, Steven May, Sion Norick and Justin May. Without any letups, the Hawks should easily get out of the first round and into Friday’s semifinal matchup at 3 p.m. C/J-I will open the tournament against No. 7 seed, and winless in district play, Heart Butte today at 4. If the Hawks can get through game one, they will face the winner of the Simms/Sunburst matchup. And if the Hawks get upset, they play in a loser-out game Friday at 10 a.m.
Chester/J-I will battle Heart Butte, Simms, Sunburst, Valier, Dutton Brady, and Power for a 10C title. It would be a big step forward for the Hawks to advance to the Northern C in Great Falls after going 0-2 at the 10C tournament a season ago.
In 1B action, the Rocky Boy Stars are looking to achieve back-to-back district titles.
The Stars had their share of roadblocks this season, but overall, turned in another solid regular season. In a powerful regular season finale, the Stars overcame a head coaching change to defeat the Class A Havre Blue Ponies 101-71 in Rocky Boy last Saturday. And after two wins to end the regular season, including that dominant performance over the Ponies, the Stars enter the 1B with a 10-8 overall record and as the No. 5 seed.
Rocky Boy will face Conrad at 1 p.m. Thursday, the first step to reclaiming the district title. Choteau is the top seed at the 1B, with Fairfield, Conrad, Cut Bank and Shelby all pretty evenly matched.
"It will be a tough tournament,” newly appointed head coach Jerome Gopher said. “But we have a lot of confidence right now. We're playing well, and I think we can continue that going forward"
The Stars are led by a different player almost every night. Bubby Gopher has had several huge outings, including one 30-point game this season. Isiah Murie, Desmond Parker, Lance Parker, Junior Day Child, Cecil Lafromboise, and Skylar Parisian give the Stars a high-paced offensive and defensive attack. The Stars can press teams for 32 minutes on defense, as well as score from all over the floor on offense. They may not boast the best record in the 1B right now, but they could be the team to beat this weekend.
With teams like Malta, Wolf Point, Plentywood, Poplar and Glasgow in the mix, the Harlem Wildcats know the 2B tournament in Malta is going to be a difficult one.
The Wildcats, though, are hoping to avoid an 0-2 postseason like the one they had last year, losing to Glasgow and Plentywood. But this year, the Wildcats don’t necessarily have an easier task ahead of them after finishing in the middle of the pack. The fourth-place Wildcats (4-6, 6-12) will face fifth-place Wolf Point Thursday at 2:30 p.m.
Wolf Point handed the Wildcats a tough loss to end the regular season, defeating the Wildcats 49-44 in overtime in Harlem. This weekend’s matchup should be tight again. The Wildcats will need the likes of Stanley Irvine, Jordan Snow, Isiah Laurence and Tirstin Gone to step up, not only against the Wolves but against whomever else they face as well.
The top four teams from 1B and the top four teams from the 2B all advance to next week’s Northern B Divisional in Glasgow.
1B at Cut Bank
(4 teams advance)
1 p.m. - Rocky Boy vs. Conrad, first round
2:30 p.m. - Cut Bank vs. Shelby, first round
6:30 p.m. - Rocky Boy-Conrad winner vs. Choteau, semifinal
8 p.m. - Cut Bank-Shelby winner vs. Fairfield, semifinal
2B at Malta
(4 teams advance)
2:30 p.m. - Harlem vs. Wolf Point, first round
8 p.m. - Plentywood vs. Poplar, first round
2:30 p.m. - Harlem-Wolf Point winner vs. Glasgow, semifinal
8 p.m. - Plentywood-Poplar winner vs. Malta, semifinal
10C at Conrad
(2 teams advance)
4 p.m. - Chester/J-I vs. Heart Butte, 4 p.m.
5:30 p.m. - Simms vs. Sunburst, first round
7 p.m. - Valier vs. Dutton-Brady, first round
10 a.m. - C/J-I-Heart Butte loser vs. Simms-Sunburst loser, loser-out
3 p.m. - C/J-I/Heart Butte winner vs. Simms-Sunburst winner, semifinal
4:30 p.m. - Valier-Dutton winner vs. Power, semifinal.