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Beeters edged by Warriors in a classic, Knights win first Northern C game in 12 years


February 23, 2018

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Chinook's Brendan Edwards, right, looks to shoot during a Northern C boys semifinal against Heart Butte Thursday night inside the Four Seasons Arena in Great Falls. The Sugarbeeters lost a heartbreaker to the undefeated Warriors. Chinook's hopes of reaching the Class C state tournament are still alive, however, but the Beeters will need to win three straight games from today through Saturday night.

GREAT FALLS - The crazy thing about sports, is that sometimes you can play your best game and still fall short, which is exactly what happened to the Chinook Sugarbeeters. They were great, Heart Butte was just better.

In an epic game at the Four Seasons Arena in Great Falls, Heart Butte won a thriller over Chinook 64-60 in the semifinals of the Northern C Divisional Tournament Thursday night. Shylon Spoonhunter made two free throws with just a few seconds left to put the game out of reach.

"I am extremely proud of this team," Chinook head coach Mike Seymour said. "We played our best game of the year. It was a great game and if we could have had a few more breaks go our way, the result might have been different."

From the opening tip, the game was a battle of dynamic duos. Heart Butte had Riley and Shylon Spoonhunter, while Chinook boasted Cord Schneider and Isaac Bell. Schneider scored 11 points in the first half as the Beeters grabbed a 17-11 lead at the end of the first quarter. However, in the second, after Chinook led 23-13, the Warriors and Riley Spoonhunter in particular caught fire. Heart Butte closed the half on a 14-5 run, cutting the Chinook lead to 28-27.

In the third quarter, Riley Spoonhunter continued to dominate. He scored 11 points in the stanza, including a 3-pointer that helped the Warriors build a 47-41 lead going into the fourth quarter. Yet, Chinook, which had one loss coming in, wasn't going away. Not by a long shot.

Riley Spoonhunter scored a couple of quick buckets in the fourth to push the Warriors advantage to 53-45. But a 5-0 run that featured a triple from Isaac Bell, got the Beeters back within three. Shylon Spoonhunter got in the on the act, scoring to put Heart Butte up six. Yet, Chinook kept fighting and got hoops from Riley Kellam and Brendan Edwards to get the Beeters within two.

In the final minutes, Chinook had multiple chances to tie or take the lead, but couldn't convert, in fact, it didn't get a shot as both possessions ended in turnovers. And in the end, the Beeters simply ran out of time.

Riley Spoonhunter put forth a dazzling performance that included 35 points, on 16-of-25 shooting from the field. He also grabbed four rebounds and had five steals. Shylon Spoonhunter also contributed with 18 points. For the Beeters, Schneider led the way with 21 points and nine boards. Bell added 20 points of his own, as well as nine rebounds.

Chinook (20-2), still has a chance of reaching the state tournament. The Beeters will need to win two games Friday to take third and then hope Heart Butte wins the Northern C title, which would give the Beeters a chance to challenge. But first, Chinook must knock off 9C rival North Star for the fourth time this season. The two teams will meet this morning in Great Falls for a berth in the third-place game.

"I told our kids, we are far from done," Seymour said. "We are planning on being there tomorrow night for the consolation and Saturday night for a challenge game. We are also going to be Heart Butte fans right now, but first, we have to take care of our own business."

North Star 47, DGS 44

The North Star Knights started out the season with a goal of reaching the Northern C Divisional Tournament. But after doing that, the Knights reached another Thursday at the Four Seasons Arena in Great Falls. And that goal, was simply staying alive for another day.

The Knights took on Denton-Geyser-Stanford in loser-out action Thursday at the Four Seasons Arena and it took every ounce of energy and determination to grind out a 47-44 victory. It also took a heads up play and a clutch bucket from senior Dane Miller.

With the score tied 44-44 and less than a minute to play, North Star had the ball. The Knights called a play to get the ball to Dylan Miller, but Dane Miller ended up with it and after a fake, he saw an opening to the basket and took it. He scored to put the Knights up two. Then, with less than 30 seconds remaining, North Star got multiple stops, preventing DGS from making a tying 3-pointer, which would have sent the game to overtime.

"It was fun, it was a little different," Dane Miller said. "Usually I pass it to Dylan. We ran a set play and the kid just kind of jumped and I just ran with it and figured we could get some points."

"I was so happy for him," North Star head coach Walynn Burgess said. "I could see him smiling all the way down the court."

While Miller's go-ahead score was huge, the Knights erased a five-point deficit entering the fourth quarter thanks to defense and an extraordinary effort from Dylan Miller. First, he converted a 3-point play to get the Knights within two. Shortly after, he got the hoop and tied the game at 39-39, with 4:37 left in regulation. DGS connected on a 3-pointer after Miller hit a free throw to go up by two, but the senior guard wouldn't go away, scoring two more times to tie the score at 44-44 and setting the stage for his brother's game-winner.

In all, Miller scored 24 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, dished out three assists and notched two steals. Devon Miller also added 10 points and five rebounds. Riley Donaldson and Rhet Woodhall score 15 and 12 points, respectively.

"I just wanted to play better than I did (Wednesday). Treyton Pickering had a block party and I was invited," Dylan Miller joked after Pickering blocked nine shots against the Knights Wednesday.. "But honestly, I just knew I didn't want to be done playing this year. So I knew I needed to step up."

Thanks to the win, the Knights (18-5) are still alive in the Northern C. They will play Chinook today for a berth into the consolation game tonight. It will also be a rematch of last week's 9C championship game, won by Chinook, which is 3-0 against the Knights this season.

"I just told our guys (before the fourth quarter), this is what we work for," Burgess said. "This is why we play all those tournaments, this is why we do all the stuff we do over the summer. I just knew we were the team to do it. These guys never give up, they never quit. You got a bunch of farm boys that just won't stop grinding and I just appreciate that they have the resiliency to keep fighting."

Longhorns split with W-G-R, Belt

Fort Benton came to the Northern C Divisional as an underdog and despite getting knocked out on the second day of the tournament, the Longhorns came away with two things: a win at divisionals and some valuable experience for the future.

Before taking out Belt Thursday afternoon at the Four Seasons Arena in Great Falls, Fort Benton played the morning game at the Northern C for the second straight, but this time, the Longhorns came out on top, defeating Winnett-Grass Range 54-40. Garrett Diekhans led the way with 21 points, Andy Giles added 13 and Hayden Diekhans finished with 11.

"I was really proud of my boys," Fort Benton head coach Tyler Pasha said. "We started out a little slow. We started off in a zone and they shot us out of it. But for us to come here and get a win and get some experience, that was great for us. We will be back, we need to do some work in the summer, but this will be a good experience to build on for us."

However, after notching their first win at divisionals in a number of year, the Longhorns didn't have enough to overcome Belt, which won a hard-fought game 59-51. Garrett Diekhans had another 20-point game in defeat. Andy Giles pitched in with 14 and Hayden Diekhans contributed with eight. Fort Benton wrapped up the season with a record of 13-12.

Fort Benton 54, Winnett-Grass Range 40, LO

Fort Benton 9 12 9 24 - 54

Winnett-Grass Range 15 6 9 10 - 40

Fort Benton - Damon Bird 2, Hayden Diekhans 11, Max Lane 1, Logan Giles 5, Andy Giles 13, Garrett Diekhans 21, Jace Pimperton 1. Totals: 18 12-17.

Winnett-Grass Range - Zane Stahl 12, Derrik Zimmerman 2, Jacob Jessen 4, Charlie Keith 11, Caleb Hess 4, Chris Maetsche 2, Cameron Wollman 5. Totals; 18 4-8.

3-pointers: H. Diekhans, L. Giles, A. Giles 3, G. Diekhans. Fouls: Fort Benton 12, Winnett-Grass Range 12. Fouled out: Stahl.

North Star 47, DGS 44, LO

North Star 10 15 9 13 - 47

DGS 13 10 15 5 - 44

North Star - Dylan Miller 24, Dane Miller 2, Caden Rettig 4, Payne Ditmar 2, Devon Miller 10, Thomas Nerat 5. Totals 19 7-14.

DGS - Kordell Carpenter 6, Rhet Woodhall 12, Clay Hill 5, Riley Donaldson 15, Jake Solomon 6. Totals 18 4-5.

3-pointers – Rettig, Nerat; Woodhall, Hill, Donaldson 2. Fouls – North Star 9, DGS 18.

Belt 59, Fort Benton 51, LO

FB 14 11 15 11 - 51

Belt 18 20 8 13 - 59

Fort Benton - Damon Bird 7, Hayden Diekhans 8, Max Lane 2, Andy Giles 14, Garrett Diekhans 20. Totals: 19-38 5-7 51.

Belt - Keegan Stroop 9, Brendan Wing 16, Trey Hennes 14, Hunter Vogl 5, Antonio Heaton 2, Trey Heitzman 9, Kaimen Evans 4. Totals: 22-48 8-14 59.

3-Pointers: A. Giles 4, H. Diekhans, G. Diekhans, D. Bird 2, Wing 4, Stroop 3. Fouls: Fort Benton 17, Belt 10. Fouled out -- none.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

North Star's Devon Miller goes between DGS defenders during a Northern C boys loser-out game Thursday in Great Falls. The Knights beat the Bearcats, setting up a 9C championship game rematch with rival Chinook today.

Heart Butte 64, Chinook 60, SF

Heart Butte 11 16 29 17 - 64

Chinook 17 11 13 19 - 60

Chinook - Isaac Bell 20, Riley Kellam 9, Brendan Edwards 10, Cord Schneider 21. Totals: 23-51 11-19 60.

Heart Butte - Shylon Spoonhunter 18, Riley Spoonhunter 35, Charlie Tailfeathers 7, Anthony Aimsback 4. Totals: 28-60 4-10 64.

3-Pointers: Bell 2, Schneider, Shylon Spoonhunter 2, Riley Spoonhunter, Charlie Tailfeathers. Fouls: Heart Butte 17, Chinook 13. Fouled out -- none.


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