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By Jack H. Smith
Three Forks Voice 

Wolves finish second, headed to divisionals

 

February 20, 2019



For the second consecutive season, the Three Forks High School boys basketball team is headed to the Southern B Divisional Tournament in Billings.

It will be a battle of familiar foes in the first round at the Metra Park Arena when the Wolves take on Lodge Grass Thursday, February 28 at 8 p.m. The two teams met in the finals of the 2018 Divisional Tournament with Wolves picking up a 69-56 win.

Three Forks (15-5) head coach Terry Hauser said his team is very familiar with how Lodge Grass (13-7) plays.

"They play physical and try to get in your head. They go on runs and they really get after you," he said.

In the 12 days between games, Hauser said they will work on dealing with the Lodge Grass press and just work on getting better.

"You just have to get better at what you do," he said.

The Wolves qualified for the tournament with a second-place finish at last week's 5B District Tournament at the Belgrade Events Center.

Three Forks opened the tournament in the semifinals with a 59-41 win over Whitehall and fell in the finals 54-50 in a thrilling overtime matchup against undefeated Big Timber. The loss snapped a nine game winning streak for the Wolves.

Trailing 13-10 at the end of the first quarter, Three Forks came to life in the second quarter outscoring the Herders 15-2 to take a 25-16 lead.

The Wolves would hold on to the lead until the 2:25 mark of the third quarter when a Kell Shcwers three pointer put Big Timber on top 46-44. Payden Lynn who led the team in scoring with 18 points would answer back with a layup to tie the game. Neither team was able to score the rest of the way and the game went into overtime tied at 46.

Three Forks would fall behind four (52-48) with a minute left but was able to cut the lead to two on a basket from Lynn. The Wolves would get a chance to tie or take the lead on their next possession but was unable to score.

Hauser said his team never quit until the final whistle.

Melissa Jenkins

Dustin Dalke locks in on defense against Whitehall.

"We were down four in overtime with minute left and still had a chance to tie it. The kids effort was awesome. We came up with a game plan on defense and how we were going to match up with them and the kids executed it. This is a tough one to swallow. We led three-quarters of the game and they just went on a run and things flowed their way in the end.

Miller added 16 points for Three Forks, Bryce Olson had five, Dustin Dalke and Corey Yecny added four and Zach Pitcher had three points.

In their semifinal matchup against the Trojans, Three Forks was led by a strong performance from junior Dustin Dalke who had a game high 21 points.

Hauser said Dalke hasn't had an off game for the team because he always hits the glass and plays hard.

"He's huge for us because he's the same player every single night," Hauser said.

Miller added 12 and Lynn was also in double figures with 11. Yecny had six, Owen Long finished with three, and Kaeson Long and Micaiah Hauser each had two points for Three Forks.

 

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