Montana teams escape Sheridan, Wyo. with another Montana-Wyoming sweep

SHERIDAN, Wyo. — It’s another sweep for the Montana teams in the annual Montana-Wyoming all-star basketball series.

Barely.

After the Montana girls ran away with an 89-46 win, the Montana boys escaped Sheridan with a 95-94 win Saturday.

Like Friday, the Treasure State all-stars led by double digits in the second half. And, like Friday, Wyoming rallied in the fourth quarter to tie the game. Montana eked out a 103-100 win on Friday and things were even closer Saturday. With his team trailing by four points, Wyoming’s Trase Olsen buried a corner 3-pointer, drawing apparent contact from Montana’s Caleb Bellach. The officials didn’t call a foul, though, leaving the court to a smattering of boos from the Cowboy State faithful.

For bits of Saturday’s game, it looked as if the Montana all-stars would cruise to their 16th consecutive win in the series. They led by as many as 14 points in the second quarter and 12 points — 73-61 — going to the fourth quarter. Wyoming ultimately tied the game at 75, but Montana made just enough plays down the stretch to seal the win.

Bellach, who had a key stretch of eight consecutive Montana points in the second quarter, including an emphatic one-handed dunk, had a game-high 22 points. Michael Haverfield had 12 points, Jaden Graham 11 and Brody Grebe 10.

Tristan Bower led Wyoming with 18 points, while Olsen and Treyton Paxton each had 16.

In the night’s earlier game, Montana’s girls used a monster second half to put away Wyoming after a sluggish start.

The Treasure State all-stars trailed by as many as nine points in the first quarter, making just one basket in the first five-plus minutes of the game, but limited Wyoming to five points in the third quarter en route to the 89-46 win.

Kyle Olson drilled a straightaway 3-pointer in the opening minutes, and it looked like Montana would pick up where it left off after winning Friday’s game, 84-66, at Alterowitz Gymnasium in Billings. After Olson’s 3, though, Montana went ice cold from the floor as Wyoming opened up its lead.

Montana finally settled and ultimately pulled even at 26-26 on a long TyRaa Manuel jumper. She then gave Montana a 30-29 lead, and the Treasure Staters would never look back. They took a 33-29 lead into halftime and then put the clamps on in the second.

Montana got hot in the second half, getting multiple 3s from Shayla Montague and Manuel. TyLee Manuel scored a fast-break layup to end the third and give Montana a 59-34 lead. The fourth quarter saw more of the same, as Montana cruised to its seventh consecutive win in the series to take a 33-13 all-time lead.

Olson led five Montanans in double figures with 17 points. TyRaa Manuel (15 points), Montague (12), MacKenzie Dethman (11) and TyLee Manuel (10) also finished in double digits.

Alex Trosper, Kammie Ragsdale, Jennifer Aadland and Hailey Anderson each had eight points for Wyoming in the loss.

Slim Kimmel

Slim Kimmel

Slim Kimmel is a Winnett native and has been with the MTN Sports team since 2016.
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