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Stars will aim high at Northern B Divisional

 

February 27, 2019

Colin Thompson

Blake Cantrell, right, and the Rocky Boy Stars need two wins at this weekend's Northern B boys divisional tournament to advance to next week's state tournament. The Northern B runs Thursday-Saturday in Shelby.

Getting to the Class B state tournament has become old hat for the Rocky Boy Stars. And that’s what they’ll try and do again this weekend in Shelby.

However, after capturing the District 1B championship two weeks ago, the Stars don’t just want to get to state, they’d love nothing more than to win a Northern B championship on the way there.

Rocky Boy will try to accomplish that at the 2019 Northern B boys tournament, which runs Thursday through Saturday in Shelby. The Stars go in as the top seed and will open the tournament Thursday at 1 p.m. against Malta.

Of course, winning the Northern B is never easy. It’s arguably the hardest of the four Class B boys divisions, and a year ago, the Stars had to win a Monday night challenge game to get to state before finishing the season in third place.

And while 2018 was a great run for the Stars, this winter, things have been a little more difficult for head coach Adam Demontiney’s squad. Rocky Boy graduated four starters off of last year’s state tourney team. 2019 could have been looked at as a rebuilding year, and for a while it was.

But thanks to the steady play of Frankie Bacon and Olin Arkinson, among others, the Stars picked up steam in the second half of the season, and it culminated with their win over Fairfield in the 1B title. Now, after a week off, Rocky Boy will get back to work, and its quest to get back to state starts with Malta, a team the Stars swept during the regular season. Rocky Boy’s half of the draw in Shelby also includes Wolf Point, the runner-up in the 2B and Choteau, the third-place team from the 1B. The Wolves were the 2B regular season champions, and are considered one of the favorites still this week, while Choteau is another team that has come on strong as of late.

On the other side of the draw, Poplar, the 2B champion, will play Shelby. The host Coyotes, of head coach Tom Reynolds, boast a serious roster of talent including Rhett Reynolds and former Havre Blue Pony Tanner Parsons. But the Coyotes have also had an injury-plagued season, and will have their hands full with Poplar. The final first-round game pits Fairfield, the favorite in the Northern B all season, against upstart Glasgow. The winner of that game will meet either Shelby or Poplar in the second semifinal Friday night.

Also at the Northern B, there will be no challenge game this weekend, as the top three teams advance to the Class B state tournament next weekend in Belgrade. Rocky Boy gets the Northern B tournament started with a game against Malta at 1 p.m. Thursday in Shelby. The tournament runs through Saturday night’s consolation game at 6:30 p.m. and the championship game at 8.

 

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