Western A Tourney Games

Girls’ Championship
Bigfork 41, Frenchtown 29

The stop up to Class A has been a successful one this season for reigning state Class B high school girls’ basketball champion Bigfork.
Saturday night saw the Valkyries avenge their only loss of the season by upending defending Western A Divisional champion Frenchtown 41-29 in the championship game of this year’s divisional tournament at the Butte Civic Center.
Bigfork opened a 17-14 halftime lead with an explosive third quarter, outscoring the Broncs 14-3 for a 31-17 bulge heading into the last quarter.
Braeden Gunlock led the win with 17 points and Ava Davey scored 11. Bigfork will take a 20-1 record into the state Class A tournament, March 7-9 in the Butte Civic Center.
Sadie Smith had 12 points and 14 rebounds for Frenchtown, which will also go to the state Class A tourney and now owns a 19-2 record for the season.
The Broncs edged the Vals 40-37 in December.

Third Place
Dillon 49, Browning 38
A 12-0 run in the fourth quarter sparked Dillon to a 49-38 win over Browning Saturday in the consolation final of the Western A Divisional high school girls’ basketball tournament at the Butte Civic Center.
Browning held a 31-29 edge entering the fourth quarter before Kenleigh Graham netted a free throw for the Beavers at the beginning of the frame. Halle Fitzgerald followed with a 3-pointer from the top of the key and Dillon had the lead, 33-31, for good. Josie Robbins then caged a 3-ball for a 36-31 spread and Dillon continued its spree with a fastbreak layin by Sydney Petersen, a basket-and-one by Graham.
Browning interrupted it with an inside bucket by Jerel White Grass. The margin was 41-33, but Dillon tacked on consecutive 3-pointers by Petersen and Fitzgerald for the 44-33 lead that was insurmountable.
Graham led the Beavers with 13 points and Petersen finished with 12. Fitzgerald canned three 3-pointers.
The teams were tie 22-all at halftime.
Dillon will take a 17-4 record to the state Class A tournament, set to be held in two weeks, also at the Butte Civic Center.
Browning will go to state with a 15-7 ledger. The Indians were led Saturday by White Grass with nine points and Sugar Spoonhunter with eight.

Third Place
Dillon 63, Columbia Falls 59
Carter Curnow gave Dillon the lead with two late first-quarter jump shots and then capped off the Beavers’ 63-57 win with seven seconds left in the game.
The victory over Columbia Falls earned Dillon third place Saturday in the Western A Divisional high school boys’ basketball tournament at the Butte Civic Center. It also avenged a 51-49 defeat the Beavers suffered against the Wildcats during Thursday’s first round of the tournament.
Curnow’s 10-foot jumper put Dillon ahead 14-13 and his halfcourt buzzer shot on his team’s next possession made it 17-13 lead. The Beavers never trailed again, but Columbia Falls stayed close the whole rest of the way.
Kyler Engellant led Dillon with 24 points and seven rebounds while Carter finished with 19 points and Cohen Hartman scored 10. The Beavers advance to the state Class A tournament, to be held in the Butte Civic Center in two weeks, with a 16-5 record.
Columbia Falls is 13-7 and will also go on to the state tournament. Cody Schweikert led the Wildcats with a game-high 20 points. Jace Hill tallied 14 for the Wildcats.
Columbia Falls had closed to within 58-57 with 1:07 left in the game. However, Engellant looped in a short hook shot and Curnow made three of four free throws down the stretch.