New-look Oredigger men roll in season opener

New-look Oredigger men roll in season opener
Montana Tech's Iman Chatman (24) and Carson Dummer (24) reach for a rebound along with Yellowstone Christian's Joseph Hooker Friday night at the HPER Complex. Tech's Derrius Collins looks on. (Bill Foley photo)

By Bill Foley

The Montana Tech men’s basketball team looked pretty good for openers.

The overhauled Oredigger roster contributed from top to bottom, and Montana Tech never trailed in a 114-56 non-conference victory over Yellowstone Christian College at the HPER Complex. (Stats)

“It’s a good starting point,” second-year Montana Tech coach Adam Hiatt said. “I hope we can build on it.”

The coach, though, wasn’t putting too much stock into the victory. The Centurions, who made a coaching change over the summer, have been taking a beating from other Frontier Conference schools.

Still, a win is a win, the Orediggers will not apologize for wining.

“It’s nice to see it go through and get some confidence, but we’ve got our work cut out for us coming up,” Hiatt said.

Eleven Orediggers scored points in the win, with Dylan Pannabecker’s 16 points leading the way. John Chapman added 15 points, while Nick Fitts tossed in 14 and Trent Molesworth scored 13.

Tech made 68 percent of its shots in the first half — including 11 of 15 from behind the 3-point arc — to build a 66-24 lead.

“We scored more points in the first half than we did in most games last year. It was a different thing,” Hiatt said. “As you can see, we’ve got a lot of guys that can make shots and do some plays.”

The Orediggers stayed hot, shooting 60 percent in the second half, including 6 of 12 from 3-point land.

Chris O’Neill added nine points and seven assists for the Orediggers, who dished out 30 assists as a team. Jake Miles also scored nine points, while Taylor England, Carson Dummer and Derrius Colins each scored eight.

Kale Guldseth and Iman Chatman scored seven for the Orediggers, who also got minutes from Gavin McPherson.

Ben Bighorn scored 18 to lead the Centurions. Alfredo Pena scored 11.

Hiatt said the Orediggers were focused on doing things the right way in the first game.

“Our whole idea was that we wanted to have good sharpness and good energy and focus,” Hiatt said. “For the first half we were pretty focused and dialed in, even though we had some disciple breakdowns, as we call them.”

Tech will play an exhibition at the University of Utah Wednesday in Salt Lake City. The Orediggers will host a tournament next weekend.



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