The Hellgate Lance (Missoula, Montana) 1964-current, March 25, 1981, Image 9

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:: . · LANCE. W....._.,, Mlrdl25. 1111 - 9 Knights bow to West, CMRat state tournament By Mason Mitchell Assistant Features Editor It was Sentinel's tum to feel dejected as the nets were cut after a hard-fought Class \AA\ Tournament. Only this was the state Class \AA\ Tournament and Hellgate was not the team doing the cutting . Instead it was the defending state champions, Billings West, who received the honors after defeating the Spartans 64-59 in the finals. - Where was Hellgate? In the stands watching the ceremony. How did they get there? By losing to the first and third place finishers in the state Class \AA\ Tournament. Hellgate's first loss, 43-37, came to the Billings West Bears in the opening round of the tournament. West was led to victory by 6'2\ senior, forward Jeff Bal- lard, who achieved both the games scoring (21) and rebound- ing (10) honors. .. , ,.,.._. .... - f 24 points and added nine re- -. bounds to lead his team to a 67- - Hellgate's senior guard Gary Steubs was the only one close to . Ballard in scoring with 14 points. Senior Ralph Ashmore led Hell- gate in rebounding with eight. The game started out slowly with Billings leading 6-5 at the end of the first quarter. Then Ballard scored 12 points in the second quarter to help his team create a 24-17 haHtime lead. Hellgate was never able to come back to take the lead and only outscored the Bears by one point in the second baH. However, the Knights did close to within three points of the Bears with under two minutes to go in the fourth quar- ter. Billings junior guard Cavin Noddings also played an instru- mental role for the Bears by sinking five of six attempts from the field to finish with 10 points. Hellgate suffered it's second tournament loss to the third place finisher, C.M. Russell, in a loser out game on Friday. CMR's 6'2\ senior forward Car- men C-ampagna had a game high 64 win over the Knights. Cam- pagna finished the tournament with an impressive total of 84 points, just seven points behind • Kalispell's star, Jeff Epperly, who finished with 91 points. Hellgate's junior forward Eric Sprunk was close behind Cam- pagna for Friday's game scoring honors with 22 points. He also finished with a game high of 13 rebounds. Junior Jim Huggins added 12 points, senior Gary Steubs had 11, and senior Mike Callaghan also finished with 11 points for the Knights. Looking at the statistics, you would think that Hellgate should have won: Rebounds - CMR 21, Hellgate 32; Assists - CMR 8, Hellgate 14; Fouls- CMR 19, Hellgate 16. That is until you look at the key statistic for the game, Turnovers - CMR 10, Hellgate 20. Hellgate was outscored by six points in the first quarter, mostly due to turnovers caused by CMR's press. But after the first quarter was over, Hellgate played a good game. They we~e only outscored by two points in the second quarter and then turned it around to outscore the Rustlers by five in the second baH. The game came right down to the wire with a jump ball called with nine seconds left and Hell- gate down by two points. How- ever, CMR's Jeff Palmer, who finished the game with 19 points, was fouled while going after a loose ball and sank one of his free throws to make the final score 67-64 and Hellgate the first team out of the tournament. The eight teams that partici· pated in the tournament were C.M. Russell, Billings West, Hel- Capital, and Bozeman from Eastern Division and Kali- Hellgate, Sentinel and Big the Western Division. West captured first, , CMR third, and -~•\'\\''-'''\1 finished in fourth The consolation game between CMR and Kalispell was a grudge : match because Kalispell had ' upset the Rustlers in the open- . ing game of the tournament, 77- 63. This time the result was turned around with CMR defeat- ing Kalispell 72-58. The game started out to be a close one with a haHtime score of 33-29, with Kalispell in the lead. But in the second baH it was all CMR's show with the Rustlers outscorin~ the Braves by eight points in the third quar- ter and 11 points in the fourth quarter to make the final score 72-58. CMR outrebounded Kalispell 42-35 and also had eight steals to the Braves four. Following the consolation game was the state Class \AA\ championship confrontation be- . tween Billings West and Sen- tinel. - Billings prevailed with the help ol Ballards' 21 points and 10 rebounds to make a final score of 64-59. Ballard finished the tournament with a total of 61 points in the three games. The key statistic for the game was the number of rebounds, Ralph Ashmore. this issue's To · p Teen is also the month's with Billings outrebounding Sen~ tinel 42 to 26. The tallest player that Sentinel had\ on the floor was 6'2\ Bob McCauley com- , pared to Billings' 6'11' Matt . Leuthold. However Billings' 6'3\ Tom Hennessy was the games leading rebounder with 17 . . Sentinel's Darryl Luoma, the coach's son, took the games scoring honors with 22 points. Luoma finished the tournament with a tota.l of 64 points in three games. Sentinel's Scott Moe finished the game with seven points, five rebounds, five assists, and a game high of four steals. Moe was the key to Sentinel's full court press which h~lped to cause many of Billings' 19 tum- overs . Other Spartans in double fig- ures were Junior Scott Persha with 10 points and senior Bob McCauley witn 16 points . Other Bears in double figures were senior Brent Bolin with 10 and senior Tom Hennessy with 15. At the end of the first quarter the score was tied at 14. Then Billings went on to outscore the Spartans by five points in each of the next two quarters, giving the Bears a 10-point lead going into the fourth quarter. With under two minutes to go in the game the Bears were only ahead by one. Luoma stole the ball only to have it stolen fron, him by Hennessy, who was then fouled by Moe . Hennessy made his two freethrows to put Bil- lings ahead by three with little time remaining. Sentinel brought the ball down the floor rapidly and worked it into McCauley, who missed his attempt. The ball was rebound- ed by Hennessy and he was fouled. He missed his free throw , which was rebounded by Bal- lard. Ballard took a short jumper that was off the mark, but again got the rebound. This time he was fouled and went on to make his freethrows to mal ~ the final score 64-59. This was the Bears' second state title vic- tory in a row. First National Montana Bank First National Bank's TOP TEEN Elk Teen of the month, and a Boys' State Delegate. He has lettered both in basketball and track for two years. Ralph enjoys playing racquetball, water skiing and scuba diving. He plans to attend college after graduating. Missoula. MT 59801 Front and Higgins 721-4200 Ralph Ashmore I

The Hellgate Lance (Missoula, Montana), 25 March 1981, located at <http://montananewspapers.org/lccn/TheHellgateLance/1981-03-25/ed-1/seq-9/>, image provided by MONTANA NEWSPAPERS, Montana Historical Society, Helena, Montana.