HELENA — Through three days of play Missoula Hellgate, Kalispell Flathead, Missoula Sentinel, and Butte all earned berths to the Class AA state tournament next week in Billings.
5W) Missoula Sentinel 49, 6W) Butte 41
After a back and forth first half, the Missoula Sentinel Spartans played a lockdown third quarter that would seal their fate as the third seed from the Western AA in next week's state tournament with a 49-41 win over the Butte Bulldogs.
Down early in the first half, the Bulldogs were able to find their offensive rhythm and take the lead at 12-11 near the beginning of the second quarter on an Emmarie Richards layup, but the Spartans kept their pace and held a 21-19 lead at the half.
In the third quarter, the Spartans were able to break away a little bit and give themselves some wiggle room headed into the fourth quarter after holding the Butte offense to just nine points in the third quarter while scoring 16 to give themselves a nine-point lead.
In the fourth, the Bulldogs were able to pick up the pace offensively, but their defense couldn't hold back the Spartans as they kept pace en route to the victory.
Emily McElmurry led the Spartans with 13 points and four rebounds, while Brooke McGrath led the Bulldogs with 11 points, three rebounds and two assists.
1W) Missoula Hellgate 49, 2W) Kalispell Flathead 20
In the final game of the Western AA divisional tournament, the Missoula Hellgate Knights beat the Kalispell Flathead Bravettes 49-20.
Points were at a premium in the first quarter as the Knights led 4-0 through the first quarter. The Bravettes struggled offensively scoring their first, and only, points of the first half on a Kennedy Moore three-pointer with just over five minutes left in the first half. The Knights cruised to a 17-3 lead at the half.
In the second half, both teams were finally able to take the lid off, but the Knights scored often and held strong on defense en route to the victory.
Alex Covill led the Knights with a game-high 17 points, while Moore put up 11 in the effort from Flathead.
With the victory, the Hellgate Knights earned the top seed from the Western AA in the State AA tournament in Billings on March 10.