Billings West boys claim third place in AA

Billings West boys claim third place in AA

Cade Tyson scored 23 points and Jesse Owens notched 18 as Billings West won the third-place trophy of the state Class AA boys’ basketball tournament with a 53-40 victory over Great Falls High Saturday in the Butte Civic Center.

The Golden Bears closed the game with a 12-0 run to put the trophy on ice. Great Falls High had wiped out most of a 41-33 deficit from the end the third quarter with a 7-0 spree of its own. Keegan Bistodeau ignited it with a 3-point basket, then stole the ball in the backcourt and drove for a hoop. Drew Wyman’s basket on a rebound 27 seconds later pulled the Bison to within 41-40 of the lead with 6 minutes, 31 seconds still to play.

Tyson righted the Golden Bears with a spin-move drive for a basket and Owens took over with a 6-0 surge of his own. He nailed two free throws, then tallied on successive acrobatic drives to the hoop and West owned a 49-40 advantage with 1:56 on the clock.

Tyson finished off the scoring with four foul shots, interrupted to two on each side of a delay caused by technical fouls called against Bistodeau and Golden Bear Josh Erbacher after an anger flare-up. It wasn’t physical.

The third-place finish completed a 17-9 season for Billings West.

Great Falls wound up 19-6 and was led by Blake Thelen and Bistodeau with 12 points each. Riley Callery scored 10.

— Bruce Sayler,

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