Hellgate boys bounce back for third place in AA

Missoula Hellgate bounced back from its first-round loss with three straight wins to capture the third-place trophy at the state Class AA high school boys’ basketball tournament in the Butte Civic Center.
The Knights completed a 22-2 season on Saturday with a 70-49 cruise past a good Bozeman squad in the consolation final. Earlier Saturday, Hellgate dispatched Helena Capital 58-46 to earn the spot in the game for third place.
Oregon State signee Tres Tinkle poured in 28 points and yanked down 16 rebounds to lead Hellgate, which was never threatened. The Knights romped out to a 19-7 first-quarter lead, using a 14-0 run to take command. Rhett Baerlocher gunned in eight points in the spree and finished with 16 for the game.
The halftime difference was 36-14 before Bozeman started finding the range after intermission.
Aaron Weidenaar led the Hawks with 14 points and Adam Huse tossed in 11. Bozeman finished in fourth place and went 18-8 for the season. The Hawks advanced to the consolation final by topping Great Falls High 79-71 in overtime in the morning loser-out. The rigors of playing a good team in a game that went to OT might have played a part in Bozeman’s slow start in the third-place decider. Great Falls upended Hellgate in the first round and Bozeman fell to Capital in the first round. Both the Knights and the Hawks, therefore, had to battle back through two days of facing elimination to qualify for the consolation final.
Tinkle scored 25 points and had 14 rebounds in the win over Capital. Baerlocher scored 18 points. Capital was led by Keegan Syvrud with 12 points and finished with a 17-7 record.
Weidenaar erupted for 31 points in the Bozeman win over Great Falls. The Hawks were also helped by 15 points from Bennett Hostetler, 12 from Huse and 10 from Trace Bradshaw.
Great Falls leaders were Brendan Howard with 20 points and nine rebounds, Montana Tech signee Lukas Vining with 19 points, Carroll recruit Matthew Wyman with 14 and Jake Wetzel with 13. The Bison finished a 15-9 campaign.



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