Thursday’s Hot Ticket

Women’s College Basketball
Montana Western at Montana Tech, 5:30 p.m.
The Orediggers (8-5, 1-0) are looking for their seventh win in eight games when the Bulldogs come to town for the Frontier Conference game. Mandy Machinal has been on fire for the Orediggers, scoring 51 points in two games as the Orediggers bounced back from a loss to go 2-1 at the Las Vegas Shootout over the weekend. Machinal averages a team-leading 15.1 points per game. Kelsey DeWit averages 13.6 points and 7.4 rebounds per game, while Laini Kalumbi, who is also coming off a big weekend, averages 11.4 points. Western is 8-7 and 0-1 under first-year head coach Lindsay Woolley. Sammi Bignell leads the Bulldogs into action, scoring 16.3 points per game. Tech beat Western 72-61 in a non-conference game in Butte in October.

Men’s College Basketball
Montana Western at Montana Tech, 7:30 p.m.

The Orediggers (9-6, 0-1) jump back into Frontier Conference play when they take on the Bulldogs (10-4, 0-1) at the HPER Complex. Adam Greger scored a total of 50 points in two games Saturday and Monday as the Orediggers fell at Northwest Nazarene before winning at the College of Idaho. He averages 19.2 points per game. Bryan Bock averages 12.1 points per game, while Daniel Simon, who hit his stride in late December, averages just under 10. Maazin Butler leads three Bulldogs averaging in double figures with 13.8 points per game. Jordan Overstreet, a 51 percent 3-point shooter, averages 12.0, while Kris Collins scores 10.1. Western received votes in the latest top-25 poll.

Prep Boys’ Basketball
Great Falls High at Butte High, 7:30 p.m.

The Bulldogs open the new year looking to stop a four-game losing streak. The game will be played at the Butte Civic Center. The game is the Eastern AA opener for both teams. Butte High is 1-4 overall after their Dec. 21 loss at Missoula Hellgate. Dallas Cook averages a team-leading 14.4 points per game for the Bulldogs. Peter Granger (13.0) and Brian Smith (10.8) are also averaging in double digits scoring. Great Falls is 3-3 in non-conference play.

Dillon at Butte Central, 7:30 p.m.
When last we saw the Maroons, they were rolling to their third straight win with a 51-41 home victory over Belgrade. Thursday, they welcome the defending Class A State champions for the Southwestern A contest. Brady Tippett averages a team-leading 12.7 points per game for the Maroons. Nate Bolstad, who is coming off a career-high 20-point game, averages 11.8 points. Marcus Ferriter scored 14 points last time out for BC, which is 2-1 in Southwestern A play. Dillon is 4-0 overall and 1-0 in conference play. Boyde Jenne averages 12.3 points to lead the Beavers. Ben Folsom adds 9.0 points per game.

Prep Girls’ Basketball
Butte High at Great Falls High, 7:30 p.m.

Butte High (4-1) was clearly on top of its game last time out, beating Missoula Hellgate 66-22 at the Civic Center. Hattie Thatcher dished out a school-record 14 assists in that win. Natalee Faupel scored 16 points and averages a team-leading 12.2 points per game. Hailey Hoagland averages 11.8 points for the balanced Bulldog attack. Sammy McGree scored a total of 24 points over the last two games. Thursday’s game is the Eastern AA opener. The Bison come out of the break at 5-1.

Prep Wrestling
Billings Skyview at Butte High, 5:30 p.m.

The Bulldogs hit the home mats at the Richardson Gym nearly three weeks after their last competition. Butte High hasn’t wrestled since the 35th Annual Holiday Wrestling Classic, which was Dec. 15 in Great Falls. Levi Renz and Tommy Challeen placed second in their weight divisions in that tournament. Butte High, which was shorthanded because of injury and illness, placed 14th in team standings. Skyview placed third at the Class AA State tournament last February.