Pirates fall to Whitefish, split pair at Tip-Off Tourney

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Polson freshman Colton Graham is making an impact, scoring in double figures in all three of the Pirate varsity games this season. Above, he shoots over Tanner Goligoski of Hamilton during a Western A Tip-Off game. (Bob Gunderson/Lake County Leader)

Entering the season, the Polson High School boys’ basketball team is facing high expectations as returning Class Northwest A District champs.

The Pirates got a chance to face one of the teams they will be meeting to defend their Northwest Class A title last weekend in the Missoula Tip-Off Tournament.

Whitefish, one of the tallest teams in the MHSA Class A Northwest A District, avenged last season’s losses to the Pirates when they defeated them 64-56 in the season-opening victory.

Pirates coach Randy Kelley had stated in previous interviews that Whitefish, one of the younger teams last season, would be more formidable this year. Kelley was correct in his assessment.

The Bulldogs’ Lee Walburn, who stands at 6 feet, 8 inches tall, dominated in the paint, scoring 22 points. Dillon Bottner chipped in with 14 points.

The two Whitefish players combined to account for a total of 36 of the Bulldogs’ 68 points.

Polson countered with an offensive attack of its own.

The Pirates’ Robin Erickson led the team with 17 points, and freshman sensation Colton Graham also contributed with 13 points.

Polson tops Stevi at Tip-Off Tourney

Polson experienced mixed results at the Missoula Tip-Off Tournament Friday and Saturday.

The Pirates defeated Stevi 67-56 to give them their first victory of the season. Graham led the team in scoring by dropping 17.

Other Pirates players that contributed in double digits were Trevor Schultz, who finished with 12, and Kordell Walker with 12.

The three Pirates that scored in double digits accounted for 41 of the Pirates’ 67 points against Stevi in their 11-point victory over the Yellowjackets.

Pirates struggle vs. Hamilton

The Hamilton Broncs carved their niche by capturing the Montana High School Association football title.

They proved they also have a formidable basketball team that features an arsenal of offensive firepower.

The Broncs had four players that scored in double-digits. Tanner Goligoski scored 23 points, Carson Rostad with 16, Hunter Omlid had 13, and Trey Searle finished with 10.

The Broncs forced the Pirates to play left-handed sort of speaking to win.

Only two Pirates scored in double digits, including Graham, who finished with a team-high 11 points, and Kordell Walker with 10.

Other players that contributed in the loss included Micah Askan, who finished with eight points, and Bo Kelley with six.

The Pirates will now travel to Corvallis on Thursday at 7 p.m. at Corvallis High School.

Before the break, the Pirates will have two more games before they head into the New Year where they will travel to play Frenchtown and Browning on Dec. 20 and Dec. 22. After that, the Pirates won’t play again until Jan. 3 when they travel to face their arch rival Ronan.

Hamilton 75, Polson 49

Polson (1-2), Hamilton (1-1)

Hamilton 11 21 20 23 – 75

Polson 12 8 14 15 – 49

HAMILTON – Tanner Goligoski 23, Carson Rostad 16, Hunter Omlid 13, Trey Searle 10, Josh Dickemore 5, Drew Brackman 4, Cam Rothie 4.

POLSON – Colton Graham 11, Kordell Walker 10, Micah Askan 8, Bo Kelley 6, Robin Erickson 4, Parker Toth 4, Ryker Wenderoth 3, Seth Lake 2, Trevor Schultz 1. (Sa08Dec18)

Polson 67, Stevensville 56

Polson (1-2), Stevi (0-3)

Stevensville 20 24 12 0 – 56

Polson 16 20 2 19 – 67

POLSON – Colton Graham 17, Trevor Schultz 12, Kordell Walker 12, Micah Askan 7, Bo Kelley 6, Trevor Lake 4, Ryker Wenderoth 3, Robin Erickson 2, Connor Lanier 2, Keyan Dalbey 2.

STEVENSVILLE – Colby Meeds 21, Logan Roth 18, Devlin Sherman 6, Tanner Pendergast 6, Gavin Beeton 3, Ivan Yasvac 2, tmS(27r,10a, 5s,7b).

3FGs – P (), S7-13 (Roth 4-7, Pendergast 2-2, Beeton 1-2) (Fr07Dec18)

Whitefish 64, Polson 56

Polson (0-1), Whitefish (1-0)

Whitefish 14 12 18 20 – 64

Polson 14 13 12 17 – 56

POLSON – Robin Erickson 4 9-16 17, Colton Graham 5 0-0 13, Trevor Schultz 3 2-2 9, Bo Kelley 3 0-0 9, Ryker Wenderoth 2 0-0 5, Trevor Lake 0 2-5 2, Keyan Dalbey 1, Parker Toth 0 0-2 0, Micah Askan 0 0-2 0.

WHITEFISH – Lee Walburn 22, Dillon Botner 14, Jayce Cripe 8, Jack Schwaiger 7, Sam Menicke 6, Bodie Smith 4, Justin Conklin 1, Ryan Kemm 1, Danni Davis 1.

3FGs – W2 (Cripe, Walburn), P8 (Graham 3, Kelley 3, Schultz, Wenderoth). (Tu04Dec18)

— John Heglie contributed to this article.

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