Beeters bounce back

Çhinook gets past Box Elder for third place at the 9C tourney


Last updated 2/21/2022 at 8:19am

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Chinook's Toby Niederegger drives the ball during the District 9C boys consolation game at the Havre High gymnasium Friday night in Havre. The Sugarbeeters are once again going back to the Northern C, after beating the Bears 71-60.

As the Chinook Sugarbeeters and Box Elder Bears went into the District 9C boys basketball consolation game Friday night at the Havre High Gymnasium, both teams knew what was on the line. If they wanted to keep their seasons going and advance to the Northern C Divisionals, they needed to win.

Both teams played their hearts out throughout the contest, but it was the Sugarbeeters who clinched a spot in the divisionals as they won, 71-69.

"That was a great game to play in," Chinook head coach Chad Jones said about the contest. "Hats off to coach (Jeremy) MacDonald. Those kids played great all year. They're extremely competitive and they played a great game."

"We just knew we deserved to extend our season," Chinook's Oskar Pula said. "We're just excited for the win and to get to go to Great Falls."

The Sugarbeeters started the night hot as they jumped out to a 13-0 lead in the first quarter. But the Bears were able to weather the storm as they went on a 13-6 run of their own to cut the deficit to 19-13. Jackson Nordboe made a layup to give Chinook a 21-13 lead to end the opening frame.

"They got a tough ball club. A lot of size. They were ready to go," MacDonald said about the first quarter. "We got some momentum going to make a good run at them."

The Bears started the second quarter with an 8-0 run to tie the game up. Tyrus LaMere led the way for the Bears as he scored six points during this stretch. After the Bears tied the game up, Pula scored to give Chinook the lead again. Joe Standing Rock then made a pair of free throws to tie the game, 25-25, with five-and-a-half minutes left in the half.

Nordboe and Toby Niederegger made a pair of buckets to give Chinook a 27-23 lead, but the Bears took momentum with a 12-2 run. LaMere got the run started with a 3-pointer and buckets from Skylar Walker and Standing Rock gave Box Elder a 30-29 lead. A layup from Gabe Saddler and a three from Mathias Blackbird extended the lead to 35-29 with two minutes left in the half.

The Bears were able to take a 39-35 lead into halftime, but the Sugarbeeters started the second half strong. Free throws from Pula and a bucket from Brenden Fetter tied the game up. Niederegger then got a shot to go down to give Chinook the lead again. After LaMere scored to knot things up again, Niederegger made a three and a layup to give Chinook a 46-41 lead.

"Coach made some adjustments. He made it clear to us that we had to win the first few minutes of the first half and the second half," Chinook's Braden Eoff said. "We came out and got it done. Got into a position where we could control the tempo and continue that throughout the game."

The Bears again responded with a run of their own over the next few minutes. After they tied the game, 52-52, with about a minute remaining, Tuarie Stiffarm scored to give Box Elder the lead again. But a Fetter layup tied the game, 54-54, heading to the fourth quarter.

The Sugarbeeters started the fourth on a 6-0 run thanks to four points from Niederegger during the stretch. The Bears continued to fight as they exchanged buckets with the Sugarbeeters through the fourth. With less than 30 seconds remaining, LaMere made a layup and one free throw to cut the deficit to 68-67.

After Pula knocked down a pair of free throws, LaMere got fouled shooting a three and had a chance to tie the game with 14 seconds left. But he missed one of his attempts to cut the deficit to 70-69. Eoff made a free throw to stretch the lead to two but the Bears' last chance fell short.

"We handled the defense perfectly," Jones said about the late-game defense. "They got a lot of great shooters and we just covered that. We hit really hard on our screens and didn't really give them a good opportunity to win that game.

LaMere finished the game with 22 points as he shot 8-for-22 from the field. Standing Rock contributed 12 points while Saddler scored ten points. With the loss, the Bears' season now comes to an end. While he would have liked to have kept things rolling, MacDonald was proud of the season the Box Elder Bears had.

"Really proud of this team. We just came up one basket short two nights in a row," MacDonald said. "Great group of kids. Love coaching them. Hopefully we put in a lot of work this offseason, come back next year and have a better result."

Niederegger led Chinook with 25 points as he shot 10-for-17 from the field. Fetter scored 15 points on 7-for-10 shooting and Pula recorded a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds. After an up and down season, the Sugarbeeters believe they are peaking at the right time to have a chance in divisionals.

"We're really finding a rhythm. We started the season a little slow. Found a good tempo midway through but had a COVID week," Eoff said. "We're getting in that rhythm again. I think we could make a good run at divisionals."

Both Chinook and Box Elder had to win their loser-out games Friday morning to make it to the consolation game. In their loser-out game, the Chinook Sugarbeeters defeated Hays-Lodge Pole, 56-48, to keep their season alive.

The Sugarbeeters started the game strong as they took a 15-7 lead in the first quarter. They kept up the momentum in the second quarter as they built a 32-18 lead heading into halftime. The third quarter remained the same as the Sugarbeeters had a sizable lead heading to the fourth quarter. The Thunderbirds attempted to rally in the fourth to keep their own season alive but it was too late.

Pula had a double-double for Chinook as he recorded 19 points and 19 rebounds. Brenden Fetter also played well with 12 points on 6-for-11 shooting from the field. In his last game of the season, Tyshawn Shambo left it all on the court as he scored 31 points on 12-for-30 shooting from the field.

The Box Elder Bears defeated the defending 9C champions Fort Benton Longhorns, 73-63, to keep the season going. The Bears and Longhorns played competitively early on but the Bears were able to grab an 18-14 lead to end the opening quarter. The Bears and Longhorns continued to exchange scores as Box Elder held a 36-32 lead heading to halftime.

In the third quarter, the Longhorns kept biting at the Bears' heels as Box Elder held a 51-46 lead heading to the fourth. But the Bears exploded on offense in the fourth quarter to pull away for the win. Saddler led Box Elder with 18 points as he shot 7-for-18 from the field. Skylar Walker scored 14 points on 4-for-6 shooting from the field and 6-for-7 shooting from the free-throw line. In his final game of the season, Landis Arganbright led Fort Benton with 21 points as he shot 8-for-12 from the field.

The Chinook Sugarbeeters will begin the Northern C Divisionals in Great Falls on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.

Chinook 56, HLP 48, LO

HLP - 7 11 11 19 - 48

CHI - 15 17 14 10 - 56

HLP - Tyshawn Shambo 31, Cash Messerly 8, Daniel Henry 5, Brandon Castillo 4.

CHI - Oskar Pula 19, Brenden Fetter 12, Braden Eoff 9, Levi Jensen 6, Toby Niederegger 4, Jackson Nordboe 4, Hunter Molyneaux 2.

3-pointers: HLP 3-11 (Cash Messerly 2, Tyshawn Shambo 1), CHI 2-6 (Oskar Pula 2). Fouls: HLP 15, CHI 17. Fouled Out: None.

Box Elder 73, Fort Benton 63, LO

BE - 18 18 15 22 - 73

FB - 14 18 14 17 - 63

BE - Gabe Saddler 18, Skyler Walker 14, Tyrus LaMere 12, Jo Jo Standing Rock 12, Matthias Blackbird 8, Tuarie Stiffarm 4, Tracen Jilot 2, Katipskaw Baker 2, Gyme Kelly III 1.

FB - Landis Arganbright 21, Andrew Ballantyne 13, Brock Grossman 9, Mateo Soccorro 6, Tim Lane 6, Jackson Schmele 3, Jacob Giles 3, Kellan Diekhans 2.

3-pointers: BE 5-25 (Tyrus LaMere 3, Gabe Saddler 1, Matthias Blackbird 1), FB 7-29 (Brock Grossman 3, Andrew Ballantyne 2, Mateo Soccorro 1, Jacob Giles 1). Fouls: BE 18, FB 20. Fouled Out: None.

Chinook 71, Box Elder 69, 3rd

BE - 13 26 15 15 - 69

CHI - 21 14 19 17 - 71

BE - Tyrus LaMere 22, Joe Standing Rock 12, Gabe Saddler 10, Mathias Blackbird 9, Tuarie Stiffarm 5, Skylar Walker 4, King Ragged Robe 3, Tracen Jilot 2, Alex Four Colors 2.

CHI - Toby Niederegger 25, Brenden Fetter 15, Oskar Pula 14, Braden Eoff 8, Levi Jensen 5, Jackson Nordboe 4.

3-pointers: BE 5-23 (Gabe Saddler 2, Tyrus LaMere 1, Mathias Blackbird 1, King Ragged Robe 1), CHI 1-7 (Toby Niederegger 1). Fouls: BE 22, CHI 12. Fouled Out: Skylar Walker, Tyrus LaMere.

2022 Havre Daily District 9C Boys

All-Tournament Team

Blake Harmon, CJI, Braden Mattson, CJI, Kyle Harmon, CJI Bradyon Cline, Big Sandy, Lane Demontiney, Big Sandy, Toby Niederegger, Chinook Oskar Pula, Chinook, Gabe Saddler, Box Elder, Tyrus LaMere, Box Elder, Landis Arganbright, Fort Benton.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Box Elder's Skylar Walker, right, handles the ball during a 9C boys consolation game Saturday at the Havre High gymnasium. The Bears finished fourth.

2022 Havre Daily District 9C Girls

All-Tournament Team

Kyla Momberg, Box Elder, Breanna Bacon, Box Elder, Angela Gopher, Box Elder, , Hallie Neibauer, Chinook, Bree Swanson, Chinook, Ashlee Wang, Fort Benton, Cloe Kalanick, Fort Benton, Alliya Pretty Paint, HLP, Kaytlyn Domire, North Star, Jayla Ramberg, CJI.


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