The prep hoops season can finally end.
The boys at the Southwest Montana All-Star Classic provided the proper punctuation for a great season Tuesday night, delighting the crowd at the Montana Tech HPER Complex with 221 total points in a game.
The final two belonged to Nate Bolstad. The Butte Central junior scored in the paint with 17 seconds left to give the Big Sky team a 111-110 victory in the thriller that somehow even outperformed the billing “Classic.”
Treasure State got off three shots before Drummond’s Nate Bignell grabbed a rebound and ran out the clock in front of a crowd that filled up more than 80 percent of the arena.
The lead was only the second of the half for the Big Sky team. BC senior Brady Tippett drove for a bucket with 45 seconds left for a 109-108 for Big Sky’s first lead since late in the second quarter.
Whitehall star Casey McLean, a senior, quickly answered with the final two of his game-high 32 points to put Treasure State back on top. That lead, though, didn’t last long.
The teams were tied 52 at halftime thanks to a buzzer-beater 3-pointer by Treasure State’s Dalton Bullock, a senior from Ennis.
Whatever the Treasure State team did at halftime worked.
Maybe it was watching a stellar performance by the Dynamic Dance Team or seeing Dillon freshman Alex Rouse win the girls’ 3-point contest. Or maybe the team just responded to the enthusiasm of the Butte Central cheerleaders, who cheered the Big Sky girls to victory. (Butte High’s cheerleaders cheered for the Treasure State girls and Big Sky boys.)
Whatever it was, the Treasure State stars busted out of the long break by outscoring Big Sky 22-5 to take a 74-57 lead.
Just when the game looked to get out of hand, though, Big Sky chipped away.
Bolstad scored to start a 9-0 run. Then Butte High junior Peter Granger hit a buzzer-beating jumper as time expired to cut the lead to 83-79 after three quarters.
Treasure State gain looked to put the game away with 1 13-2 run to take a 98-85 win.
But Dallas Cook, a Butte High junior, hit scored inside and then hit a 3-poiter to ignite an 11-2 run.
BC’s Kale Guldseth hit a 3-pointer and Granger and Bolstad took turns with inside hoops to keep the pressure on Treasure State. Finally, Big Sky busted through.
Granger scored 16 points to lead Big Sky’s balanced attack. Tippett, Bignell and Twin Bridges’ C.J. Cox each tallied 15, and Bolstad tossed in 14. Cook scored nine, fellow Butte High junior Cory Farstveet scored eight, while Guldseth and Deer Lodge’s Rod Hunter scored five.
Also for Big Sky, Deer Lodge’s Andrew Pierson scored four, Philipsburg’s Taybor Goff netted three and Twin Bridges’ Cole Miotke scored two.
Bullock and Dillon’s Troy Scott tossed in 15 and Dillon’s Boyd Jenne netted 13. Ennis junior Connor Sullivan scored seven, while Dillon’s Caleb Gillis, Anaconda’s Jade Green and Whitehall’s Bryce Murphy each scored six.
Also for Treasure State, Harrison’s Garrett Petersen and Jefferson High freshman Trase Letexier scored four and Anaconda’s Jackson Wagner tossed in two.
Lima’s Dee Mayer also played. Letexier replaced Dillon’s Ben Folsom, who broke his hand the week before the Southwestern A Divisional tournament.
The All-Star Classic was put on by the Butte Chamber of Commerce. Mike Richardson, Shane Jorgensen, Dan Pilon, Greg Lemelin, John Jory and Tim Flynn of the Dillon pool volunteered their time to referee the games.
TREASURE STATE — Trase Letexier 2 0-0 4, Boyd Jenne 5 1-1 13, Troy Scott 6 1-1 15, Caleb Gillis 3 0-0 6, Jade Green 3 0-0 6, Jackson Wagner 1 0-0 2, Casey McLean 11 7-8 32, Bryce Murphy 2 0-0 6, Dee Mayer 0 0-0 0, Dalton Bullock 5 0-0 15, Connor Sullivan 3 1-2 7, Garrett Peterson 2 0-0 4. Totals 43 10-12 110.
BIG SKY — Brady Tippett 6 3-5 15, Nate Bolstad 6 0-0 15, Kale Guldseth 2 0-0 5, Dallas Cook 4 0-0 9, Peter Granger 8 0-0 16, Cory Farstveet 3 0-0 8, Cole Miotke 1 0-0 2, C.J. Cox 6 0-0 15, Mac Bignell 6 3-5 15, Taybor Goff 1 0-0 3, Andrew Pierson 2 0-0 4, Rod Hunter 2 1-2 5. Totals 47 4-7 111.
Treasure State 24 28 31 27 — 110
Big Sky 24 28 27 32 — 111
3-point goals — Treasure State14 (Bullock 5, McLean 3, Jenne 2, Scott 2, Murphy 2), Big Sky 10 (Cox 3, Bolstad 2, Farstveet 2, Guldseth, Cook, Goff). Fouls — Treasure State 8, Big Sky 11. Fouled out — none.