Friday, March 24, 2023

Hoop Champs: Winners posted from state basketball tourneys

by Brandon Hansen / For The Leader
| March 16, 2023 12:00 AM

With the basketball season winding to a close last weekend, here’s the roundup of state champs:

BOYS CLASS A: Lewiston won its first Class A State Title since 1979, downing Dillon 54-47 in Bozeman on Saturday. They finished the season a perfect 24-0 in a very talented Class A field and avenged a championship game loss last year when they lost to Butte Central at the buzzer.

The 2023 championship title was tied 39-39 in the fourth quarter before Lewiston pulled away. Fischer Brown scored 11 of his 25 points in the final stanza to help lift his team.

GIRLS CLASS A: Senior Yelena Miller scored 20 points as Havre defeated Hardin 74-57 in Bozeman for its third straight Class A State Title. Havre finished the year 20-4 and increased the number of state titles they won since 2018 to five.

BOYS CLASS B: On Saturday, Missoula Loyola defeated Malta 65-55 behind Reynolds Johnston’s 22 points in the Class B State Championship Game in Great Falls. Missoula Loyola overcame an early 10-0 deficit and improved their record to 24-1, scoring over 1,750 points during the year.

Bigfork defeated Red Lodge 45-36 for third place, led by Isak Epperly’s 14 points.

GIRLS CLASS B: The Valkyries, Bigfork’s girls basketball team, wrapped up a 26-0 season by defeating Big Timber 49-37 in the Class B State Championship Game in Great Falls. Braeden Gunlock led the team with 22 points and 11 rebounds. It's the final year for Bigfork in Class B, as they will move up to Class A next year.

BOYS CLASS C: On Saturday, Manhattan Christian defeated Big Sandy 74-65 in the Class C State Championship Game in Billings. It was their second straight and fourth overall. Senior Seth Amunrud scored 29 points and hauled in 11 rebounds during the win, improving their record to 26-1 on the year.

GIRLS CLASS C: The Saco-Whitewater-Hinsdale Mavericks defeated Twin Bridges 59-26 in the Class C State Championship Game in Billings on Saturday, finishing a 26-0 season. The Mavericks had outscored their opponents by 915 points during the season and first two games of the state tournament. The closest game they had in the state tournament was a 27-point victory.

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