Laurel boys fall game short of state berth

The Laurel boys basketball team played in the Eastern/Central A Divisional tournament this weekend at the Metra. They started out the tournament in a thrilling fashion against the visiting Park County Rangers. In a game spanning well over two hours, the boys played their best basketball in the clutch.

Down late in the fourth, the Locomotives had to grind their way back from behind. With 2:18 left, junior Logan Kennedy drew an offensive foul to give the ball back to Laurel while down 40-42. After a missed basket, the Rangers got the ball back and were fouled in the double bonus to give them two free throws, but missed both. A chain of turnovers then occurred, then Park retained possession.

Trying to extend their lead, they looked into the paint to try and score. Kennedy again stepped up with the great defense and drew another charge to give the Locos the ball back. The Locomotives ended regulation with freshman Colter Bales hitting two free throws with 29 seconds left to tie the game. Both teams failed to score again, sending the game to it’s first overtime locked at 42.

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Following are high-game and high-series scores from last week at Fat Cat Lanes in

Rockcreek: Belinda Sheely 185, Joyce Lorash 497

Guys and Gals Women:

Laurie Beruman 208, 532

Guys and Gals Men: Bob

Heiser 248, Blaine Dahle 674 American: Chuck Miller 249, Eric McJunkin 691

Pintoppers: Michele Oak

266, 624

Thursday Mixers Women: Rebecca Stewart 203,

536

Thursday Mixers Men:

Steve Cassity 252, Doug

Andersen 622

National: Al Gradwohl 277, 691

Fat Cat Seniors Women:

Donna Mitchell 190, 517

Fat Cat Seniors Men: Dean Hallen 269, Dennis Roberts 623

Holy Rollers Women: Hellen Brown 197, 513

Holy Rollers Men: Jared

Batalden 206, 551

Youth 11 and under Girls: Sawyer Oak 182, Mia Andersen 407

Youth 11 and under Boys: Kellen Wrzesinski 158,

413

Youth 12 and over Girls:

Kaiya Andersen 192, 369

Youth 12 and over Boys:

Dayne Oak 243, 613

The Locomotives struck first in overtime, off a Deklan Harper layup to put Laurel up 44-42. While both teams were in the double bonus since the middle of the fourth quarter, the rest of the game was mainly a free throw battle. The double bonus is when a team exceeds 10 fouls; meaning any foul on a team results in two free throws for the opposition.

Park County went 2/4 in their first two free throw trips, tying the game up 44-44. No teams scored for the next two minutes until Colter Bales found a nice pass from senior Dante Filpula-Ankney and scored to take a 46-44 lead with 10 seconds. Park then called a timeout, drew up a good play, then scored a game tying, long, mid-range jump shot at the buzzer to send the game to a second overtime knotted at 46.

In the second overtime, the game started in a free throw battle, before Filpula-Ankney of Laurel stepped up and hit a three to put Laurel up 51-47 with three minutes to go. Park followed this up with a three pointer of their own to cut the lead back down to one. A Filpula-Ankney free throw trip and an acrobatic Park layup were the last scores of the overtime with over 1:20 to play. The teams headed to what was eventually the last overtime period tied up at 52.

During the third and final overtime, Laurel took advantage of the two leading scorers for Park fouling out. After a back and forth contest, including a great contested fadeaway shot from Gaje Leischner to take the lead, junior Levi Taylor followed this up by hitting two free throws with 2:31 to give Laurel a three point lead.

Thirty seconds after this, Park hit two free throws of their own to cut it to a one point game. With 18 seconds to play, the Rangers had an opportunity to take the lead at the free throw line but failed to do so, missing both. Junior guard Paul O’Neil sank a pair of free throws with four seconds left to ice the game and help Laurel win the game 61-58.

Laurel 61, Livingston 58

Laurel8 14 2 18 4 6 9 — 61 Park13 9 5 13 4 6 6 — 58

The boys next game was against the top seeded Hardin Bulldogs. A win in this game would’ve put the Locos in the Divisional championship. The first half was full of back and forth scores and was close throughout. Laurel went into halftime down 24-31. Unfortunately they couldn’t claw back in the second half, losing their second game of the tournament 41-61, with Hardin going on to take first place in the tourney against Belgrade.

Laurel 41, Hardin 61

Laurel 11 13 8 9 — 41 Hardin 14 17 18 12— 61

Following the loss, Laurel was set to take on the rival Rams of Billings Catholic. In the greatest rivalry in the state, the winner clinched a state tournament and the loser was out of the divisional tournament with their second loss. The stage was set very well for this game. But, Central got off to a hot start and never looked back. They started off with a 17-6 lead in the first quarter. In the end, Laurel dropped their last game of the season to the Rams 39-64.

Laurel 39, Billings Central 64

Laurel 6 8 8 17— 39 Central 17 15 16 16 — 64

Failing to make state is always a disappointing end to the season, but all in all the Locomotive boys had a great year. They will also be saying goodbye to a few talented seniors. Seniors Dante Filpula-Ankney, Trey Soucy, Deklan Harper, Brett Wagner, and Colt Spencer all played great in their last couple of games. Saying farewell to seniors is never an easy thing to do, but having good players returning next year always makes it easier. Junior Gaje Leischner led the team in scoring with 14.5 points per game and will look to raise the bar next year. Leading rebounder and shot blocker Camden Hill will also be returning next year for the Locomotives. They’ll be looking for revenge and a state tournament berth next year.

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Upcoming Events

Thursday, September 20, 2018
Mondays, 10 a.m., Thursdays, 1 p.m., Laurel Senior Center, 720 S. 4th St.
Thursday, September 20, 2018
Thursdays, 6-6:30 p.m., Old Middle School, Room 102
Friday, September 21, 2018
First & third Thursdays, 6 p.m., at The Crossings, 600 Roundhouse Dr.
Friday, September 21, 2018
First & third Thursdays, 7 p.m.; Laurel Masonic Temple, 9900 Airport Road (except June-August)
Friday, September 21, 2018
Mondays & Fridays, 1 p.m., Laurel Senior Center, 720 S. 4th St.
Saturday, September 22, 2018
First & third Fridays, 7 p.m. at Riverside Hall, at Riverside Park south of Laurel. President: Daisy Henckel 406-591-6969, or www.facebook.com/thelaureljaycees/

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