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District 13 playoff picture starting to take focus for local teams

GRANITE COUNTY – With just two weeks remaining on the schedule, the basketball postseason is starting to take shape as teams play out their final games.

For starters, the traditional one-site tournament will give way to the same playoff format that was used during the Girls Volleyball season. The higher seeded teams will host the lower in a single elimination format that could include a play-in game for second place if the proper conditions exist. That was one of the options offered by the Montana High School Association (MHSA) as part of their pandemic adjusted postseason format.

Let’s take a look at how the last two weeks looks for our local teams, starting with the ladies…


Girls Basketball Standings

7-0 Seeley Swan

7-1 Granite

5-3 Drummond

3-6 Valley

3-5 Darby

2-6 Victor

0-6 Lincoln


Granite Lady Prospectors

Remaining Opponents: Drummond, Lincoln, Seeley Swan

District Outlook: In his third year, GHS Head Coach Brandon Piazolla has his girls in contention for a District title, or at least a piece of it.

To get at least a share of it the Lady Prospectors must win both of their games this weekend. They must start by beating the Lady Trojans this Thursday in Drummond. The win would clinch at least a second place finish and home games in the first two rounds of the playoffs. The Lady Prospectors claimed a 5-point victory January 15 over Drummond in Philipsburg, 60-55.

But two days later, Granite hosts the first-place Blackhawks. When they last met January 16, Seeley claimed a 62-49 win that has kept them one step ahead of the locals.

Drummond Lady Trojans

Remaining Opponents: Granite, Darby, Valley Christian, Victor

District Outlook: The Lady Trojans currently sit third at 5-3 and look like they will finish no worse than that, assuring them of at least a first-round home game in the postseason.

But there is still an outside chance that Drummond could improve its standing with a win over Granite Thursday which would pull them within a game of their county rival. That victory, combined with a Lady Prospector loss to Seeley two days later could tie the two teams for second place.

After their matchup with Granite Thursday, Drummond hosts 2-6 Victor Saturday.


Boys Basketball Standings

9-0 Valley Christian

6-2 Granite

5-3 Drummond

4-4 Darby

2-5 Seeley Swan

1-7 Victor

0-6 Lincoln


Granite Prospectors

Remaining Opponents: Granite, Darby, Valley Christian, Victor

District Outlook: The Prospectors are 0-2 in a pair of close games with Valley Christian, so they cannot directly affect their upward position in the standings with head-to-head games.

Then there’s Drummond. Granite’s ability to hold onto the second seed and assure themselves of at least two home games in the postseason will come down to beating the county rival Trojans this Friday in Drummond. When last the two squads tangled in Philipsburg, the Prospectors claimed a 60-50 win in an ugly affair that was laced with 55 personal fouls between the two teams. A Granite win virtually assures a second place finish in District 13 play.


Drummond Trojans

Remaining Opponents: Granite, Darby, Valley Christian, Victor

District Outlook: The Trojans are precariously perched in third place in District 13 play.

They host Granite Friday in round two of the county rivalry, having lost the first go-round in Philipsburg 60-50. A win in that game puts them into a tie with the Prospectors. A loss pulls them down into a tie with Darby, who they have beaten once 36-27. The game will be in Darby and a loss there could pull the Trojans down into fourth place, where they would get to play just the playoff opener at home.

The Granite outcome is key as it will dictate the importance of Drummond’s game against Valley Christian Feb. 13 in Drummond. Valley is currently undefeated in the District and ranked among the Top-10 teams in the state, so it’s going to be a tough one for the Trojans regardless.


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