Diggers-Dawgs set to meet in Frontier semifinals

It is the biggest Montana Tech home basketball of the century.

The Orediggers will take on Montana Western in the semifinals of the Frontier Conference men’s basketball tournament at 7 p.m. Friday at the HPER Complex.

The game will be carried live on KBOW (550 AM, 101.5 FM, kbow550.net or on the KBOW app).

Tech earned the home game by capturing a share of the Frontier Conference title during the regular season. The Bulldogs knocked off the University of Providence 68-62 in the quarterfinals Tuesday in Dillon.

The winner heads to Monday’s title game against Carroll College or MSU-Northern. The Saints and Lights meet in the other semifinal game Friday in Helena. The Tech-Western winner will host Northern if the Lights win. Carroll will stay at home as long as it wins.

Western heads to town at 19-12 overall. The Bulldogs went 7-8 in conference during the regular season.

At 24-6, the Orediggers boast the most wins the school has had in at least the last 40 years. Tech went 13-2 in conference to tie Carroll for the title. The Saints won the tiebreaker thanks to their two home wins over Tech.

The Orediggers went 3-0 against Western in the regular season. That, of course, includes the Jan. 15 forfeit win due to COVID reasons. Tech also beat the Bulldogs 87-75 Dec. 2 in Butte and 76-69 Feb. 3 in Dillon.

Caleb Bellach scored 22 points to lead the Orediggers in the last win over the Bulldogs. Sindou Diallo tossed in 15, and Taylor England and Keeley Bake each scored 10.

In the first meeting, Diallo scored 18, and Bellach and England each scored 15. Derrius Collins tossed in nine, and Drew Huse netted nine.

Max Clark, who missed the game in Butte with an injury, scored 18 points Tuesday as the Bulldogs kept their season alive.

Jamal Stephenson added 13 points for Western. Tanner Haverfield scored 12, and Ky Kouba came off the bench to score 10.