Wildcats use third quarter surge to beat Trojans in division opener
BUTTE – For all but eight minutes of Drummond’s opening round game against Harrison-Willow Creek they were in control.
But they eight minutes they weren’t in charge made all the difference.
A 22-8 third quarter run by the Wildcats (18-5) lifted them to a 53-47 win over the Trojans (17-5) in the first round of the Class Western Division Tournament Thursday at the Maroon Activities Center (MAC) in Butte.
Harrison-Willow Creek advances to play West Yellowstone Friday at 3:30 p.m. while Drummond falls into the Consolation Bracket to take on Charlo at 9:30 a.m.
The Trojans started fast, taking a 17-9 first quarter lead. Midway into the second they extended their margin to as much as 11 before heading to the locker room up four 25-21 at halftime.
It was the next eight minutes that shifted the momentum in favor of the Wildcats. HWC’s Aarin DeFrance hit three straight three pointers and Campbell Smith added a three, a basket and a free throw to jump out to a 33-25 lead.
“They got really hot and our defense got out of position no matter what defense we played,” said DHS Head Coach Levi Parsons. “We got out of position everywhere, we got beat off the dribble and then they were able to find the open shooter.
“I was a little worried about that third period at halftime because we were gassed in the locker room. We just looked tired and we came out and played that way. I think there were points where the guys’ brains just weren’t engaged in it. But once we got going again, we were able to crawl right back into that lead again.”
Once the Trojans got their heads back in the game, they managed to close the gap to five, 45-40 with 3:03 to play. But as the clock wound down Drummond was forced to foul and Harrison delivered.
According to stats provided by tournament officials, HWC committed just seven turnovers to Drummond’s 11. And the Wildcats capitalized off those additional opportunities, outscoring the Trojans 21-5 off of turnovers.
Colt Parsons led Drummond with 22 points while Scott Parke added 11.
Smith and Joe Cima led HWC with 13 points each.
Drummond – 17/8/8/14 – 47
Harrison-Willow Creek – 9/12/22/10 – 53
Drummond – Rasor 4, Parke 11, Parsons 22, James 2, BeBradshaw 6, Phillips 2
Harrison-Willow Creek – Smith 13, Bacon 7, Hokanson 3, DeFrance 13, Cima 7, Wagner 4, Buus 6