Pirates climb seeding ladder, finish second at Divisional

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  • ROBIN ERICKSON of Polson hits one of his acrobatic shots against Browning in Saturday’s championship game of the NWA District Tournament in Whitefish. (Bob Gunderson/Lake County Leader)

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    POLSON’S BOYS’ team earned second place in the Northwest A District Tournament held last week in Whitefish. The Pirates were to face Dillon in the first round of the Western A Divisional Tournament on Thursday, Feb. 21 in Hamilton. (Bob Gunderson/Lake County Leader)

  • ROBIN ERICKSON of Polson hits one of his acrobatic shots against Browning in Saturday’s championship game of the NWA District Tournament in Whitefish. (Bob Gunderson/Lake County Leader)

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    POLSON’S BOYS’ team earned second place in the Northwest A District Tournament held last week in Whitefish. The Pirates were to face Dillon in the first round of the Western A Divisional Tournament on Thursday, Feb. 21 in Hamilton. (Bob Gunderson/Lake County Leader)

At the Northwest A Conference tournament in Whitefish, the Polson Pirates secured a seat at the table of the Western A Divisional by winning their first two games to qualify for the championship. In their opening round against Columbia Falls, the Pirates jumped out early in the first frame and then played the Wildcats relatively even the rest of the way. Colton Graham and Robin Erickson combined for almost two dozen. The Pirates dialed the operator long distance and completed the call on a half dozen triples from beyond the arc.

In their semifinal match against Whitefish, a team they had struggled against during the regular season, coach Randy Kelley felt that “we ran our motion offense as well as we have all year...We were patient and we hit shots ... we’ve been struggling with for over a month.” The Pirates place a trio in double figures while their sharp shooters connected on another half-dozen triples from beyond the arc.

The win vaulted the Pirates into the championship against the top five ranked Browning Indians, who high octane offense is still in the process of being solved. The Pirates placed a pair in double figures, but big numbers generated by their opponent created a chasm that would be difficult to span. The second quarter was played relatively even and may show some signs that the team can run with the Indians should they meet up again. Polson advances to the Western A Divisional in Butte, where they will face (3SW) Dillon (15-7) at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday.

Browning 78, Polson 50

Polson (9-12), Browning (19-1)

Polson 3 23 12 12 – 50

Browning 19 24 20 15 – 78

BROWNING – Deion Mad Plume 27, Tyree Whitcomb 14, Derek Sharp 10, Ethan RunningCrane 7, Latrell Bullchild 6, Riley Spoonhunter 5, CJ Smith 3, Brant Bremner 2, Trevon Fisher 2, John Deroche 2.

POLSON – Robin Erickson 4 5-8 14(5r,1s), Colton Graham 4 2-4 11(2r,2s), *Micah Askan 2 4-4 9(4r,1a,1s), Ryker Wenderoth 1 3-4 5(1r,1b), Trevor Schultz 2 1-2 5(5r,1a), Keyan Dalbey 2, *Trevor Lake 2(3r), Parker Toth 1(2r), *Gunnar Grisak 1(1b).

3FGs – P3-14 (Askan 1-2, Erickson 1-2, Graham 1-5), B 10-23 (MadPlume 5-8, Sharp 2-4, E.RunningCrane 1-2, Whitcomb 1-3, Spoonhunter 1-4)

(Sa16Feb19gm15nwa) bottom

asterisk (*) denotes stat variant(s) where sideline specs differ from media coverage: Micah Askan, Trevor Lake, Gunnar Grisak not cited among individual scorer posting (w/o = P38p)

Polson 57, Whitefish 40

Polson (9-11), Whitefish (13-6)

Polson 10 19 20 8 – 57

Whitefish 10 10 9 11 – 40

POLSON – Micah Askan 6 0-0 15, Trevor Schultz 4 6-6 15, Colton Graham 5 1-3 11, Robin Erickson 2 2-2 7, Ryker Wenderoth 1 2-4 4, Bo Kelley 3, Parker Toth 2.

WHITEFISH – Lee Walburn 17, Dillon Botner 9, Justin Conklin 6, Jack Schwaiger 3, Ryan Kemm 2, Bodie Smith 2, Jayce Cripe 1.

3FGs – P6 (Askan 3, Erickson, Schultz, Kelley), W3 (Conklin 2, Walburn). (Fr15Feb19gm7nwa)

Polson 58, C-Falls 49

Polson (8-11), C-Falls (3-16)

Polson 11 15 14 18 – 58

C-Falls 4 16 13 16 – 49

POLSON – Colton Graham 7 2-3 18, Robin Erickson 4 5-9 15, Micah Askan 4 1-3 9, Ryker Wenderoth 1 2-4 5, Bo Kelley 2 0-0 5, Keyan Dalbey 1 0-3 2, Parker Toth 2, Trevor Schultz 2.

COLUMBIA FALLS – Drew Morgan 11, Dillon Shipp 11, Logan Bechtel 9, Sam Hovde 9, Danny Henjum 7, Zach Fletcher 1, Dillon Wanner 1.

3FGs – P6 (Erickson 2, Graham 2, Kelley, Wenderoth), CF4 (Shipp 2, Morgan, Bechtel). (Th14Feb19gm3nwa)

(Kelley)

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