Big Sandy advances, Chinook extends season at Class C State Tournament
Last updated 3/10/2023 at 8:15pm
Both the Class C Boys and Girls Basketball Tournaments got rolling on Thursday in Billings. The Hi-Line was represented in both tournaments as the Chinook girl’s basketball and Big Sandy boy’s basketball teams played well on Thursday. The Chinook girl’s basketball started the day with a 76-61 win over Roberts in a loser-out game. Then in its opening game of the tournament, the Big Sandy boy’s basketball team won, 60-47, in an upset over Lustre Christian.
On Thursday morning, the Chinook Sugarbeeters extended their season with a 76-61 win over Roberts. After the Rockets made a free throw for the first score of the game, the Sugarbeeters got a bucket from Bree Swanson and a 3-pointer from Hallie Neibauer to take a 5-1 lead.
After Roberts scored, a bucket from Alexus Seymour and another three from Neibauer gave Chinook a 10-3 lead. The Rockets responded with a 5-0 run of their own, but Neibauer ended the first with a bucket to give Chinook a 12-8 lead heading to the second.
Chinook started the second with buckets from Neibauer and Swanson to push the lead out to 16-8. After Laynee Holdbrook scored for Roberts, another bucket from Swanson and another three from Neibauer gave Chinook a 21-10 lead.
The Rockets responded with a run to cut their deficit to 24-16. The Sugarbeeters answered back with a pair of scores to give themselves a 28-16 lead. The Rockets responded with a 13-5 run to cut their deficit to 33-29. Both TJ and Taylee Chirrick scored six points for the Rockets during this stretch. But Seymour knocked down a three late in the half to give Chinook a 36-29 lead at the break.
Chinook opened the third with buckets from Seymour and Neibauer to extend the lead to 40-29. After some Roberts free throws, the Sugarbeeters went on an 11-0 run to make it a 51-31 game. Seymour continued to roll with a trio of threes during this stretch.
But the Rockets were not done yet as they went on a 19-4 run to get back in the game. Taylee made the biggest impact with 14 points as she helped the Rockets cut the deficit to 55-50. Thankfully for the Sugarbeeters, they ended the third with some baskets to take a 59-52 lead into the fourth.
The Sugarbeeters opened the fourth on a 6-0 run to take a 65-52 lead. The Rockets were unable to respond as the Chinook defense shut them down. Meanwhile, the Sugarbeeters continued to score to pull away for the win to extend their season.
With the season on the line, Seymour led the Sugarbeeters with 30 points. Neibauer also scored 28 points for Chinook. In the loss, Taylee led the Rockets with 30 points to end her season.
On the boy’s side of the tournament, the Big Sandy Pioneers wrapped up the day with a 60-47 win over Lustre Christian. After the Pioneers took a 4-3 lead to start the game, they then went on a 9-0 run to take a 13-3 lead in the first quarter.
The Lions finally answered back with a three from Clay Reddig, but the Pioneers continued to play well to take a 17-10 lead into the second. The Pioneers then started the second on a 7-2 run to stretch their lead to 24-12. Isaac Pedraza knocked down a three while Braydon Cline made a pair of baskets during the run.
The Lions responded to cut their deficit to 25-17, but the Pioneers got on a roll again with a 7-0 run to build a 32-17 lead. Thankfully for the Lions, Elijah Lenihan and Cayden Klatt knocked down some threes to cut Big Sandy’s lead to 32-23 heading into halftime.
Through most of the third quarter, the Pioneers continued to play well to take a 42-34 lead into the closing moments of the frame. After a three from Klatt, Kody Strutz knocked down a pair of free throws to give Big Sandy a 44-37 lead heading to the fourth.
The Pioneers started the fourth on a 5-0 run to stretch their lead to 49-37. Looking to make a late surge, the Lions went on a 10-4 run to cut their deficit to 53-47 with just under two minutes left. Lenihan led the way with five points during this stretch.
But the Pioneers were able to hold on as they knocked down their free throws and played strong defense to put the game out of reach. Cline finished the game with 28 points while Pedraza added 11 points of his own. Lenihan led the Lions with 15 points while Reddig scored 11.
With the win, the Big Sandy boy’s basketball team will play Broadus in the semifinal tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the First Interstate Arena at Metrapark in Billings. The Chinook girl’s basketball will next face Roy-Winifred in another loser-out game today at 3 p.m. in Billings.
Chinook 76, Roberts 61, LO
CHI - 12 24 23 17 - 76
ROB - 8 21 23 9 - 61
CHI - Alexus Seymour 30, Hallie Neibauer 28, Bree Swanson 8, Hannah Schoen 6, Jenna Liddle 2, Anna Terry 2.
ROB - Taylee Chirrick 30, TJ Chirrick 9, Hailey Croft 8, Laynee Holdbrook 7, Bentley Bertolino 7.
Big Sandy 60, Lustre Christian 47
BS - 17 15 12 16 - 60
LC - 10 13 14 10 - 47
BS - Braydon Cline 28, Isaac Pedraza 11, Lane Demontiney 6, Kody Strutz 6, Wylee Snapp 5, Cooper Taylor 4.
LC - Elijah Lenihan 15, Clay Reddig 11, Cayden Klatt 6, Braden Ewing 5, Jasiah Hambira 4, Johnslee Pierre 4, Byron Ewing 2.