Thursday’s Hot Ticket

Prep girls’ hoops playoffs
Butte High at Bozeman, 6 p.m.

It is due or die for the Butte High girls’ basketball team. A win in the Eastern AA playoff game and Butte High (8-12, 3-9) heads to the Class AA State tournament next week in Billings. A loss would mean Butte High misses state for the first time since 2005. Bozeman (9-11, 4-8) swept the season series, winning 66-45 Feb. 4 in Butte and 65-54 Feb. 25 in Bozeman. Caitlin Lonergan scored 31 points the last time against Butte High. The 6-foot-1 sophomore scored 23 the first time out. Averie Collins, a 6-foot junior, averages a double-double (10.2 points, 12.1 rebounds) for the Hawks (team stats), who have a considerable height advantage over the Bulldogs. Senior Sammy McGree averages 18.6 points per game to lead the Bulldogs (team stats). She’s the No. 2 scorer in the Class AA (stats leaders). Senior Mariah Richardson and junior McKaul Ori have had huge games down the stretch for the Bulldogs. Starts Andie Hogan, a senior, and junior Maria Michelotti have been solid all season.

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