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By Jack H. Smith
Three Forks Voice 

Wolves lose heartbreaker at state

Play Thursday at 9 a.m.


Melissa Jenkins/Three Forks Voice

Colter Miller had 19 for the Wolves.

It was a heartbreaker Thursday afternoon for the Three Forks High School basketball team.

Leading 52-35 at the end of the third quarter, the Wolves were outscored 26-9 in the fourth by Poplar and would eventually fall 68-67 in overtime to the Indians in the opening round matchup at the Class B State Tournament in Belgrade.

Three Forks will next play Thursday morning at 9 a.m. against the loser of Big Fork and Big Timber.

Following the game, Wolves head coach Terry Hauser said the team still has a chance to hold up hardware at the state tournament and they have got to get a win tomorrow.

Hauser said once his team took the big lead they turned the ball over too much and hit the panic button down the stretch.

Colter Miller lead the team in scoring with 19, Dustin Dalke had 15, Micaiah Hauser finished with 14, Corey Yecny added 11, Bryce Olson and Zach Pitcher added two and Kaeson Long finished with one.

It was a good opening quarter for the Wolves in front of a raucous pro Three Forks crowd. The Wolves would score the opening points of the quarter on a bucket from Dalke. They would take a 14-7 lead after a Long layup and after a Poplar free throw would extend the lead back to seven (16-9) going into the second after a basket by Hauser who had six in the quarter.

The Indians would storm back in the second and score the first nine of the quarter to take a two-point lead before Pitcher would nail a corner three to once again take the lead 19-18.

After a Poplar basket to regain the lead by one, Yecny scored after grabbing the rebound off his previous miss to put Three Forks back in the lead 21-20. It would be the last points of a half where the Wolves had six players score lead by Hauser with six and Miller with five.

Three Forks would come out on fire in the third quarter. The Wolves would open the quarter on a 22-10 run and take a 40-27 lead on basket by Hauser. Four players scored during the run including two three pointers and a basket from Miller and six points from Dalke. Three Forks would take their biggest lead to date in the game 48-32 on another Dalke layup. After three Poplar points Miller would drain another three and a Hauser bucket would close out the third and give the Wolves a 52-35 going into the final quarter.

The Indians were far from finished and started the fourth on a 13-2 run to cut the lead to four 54-50. After a Miler basket, Poplar would score the next 6 and tie the game at 56.

Tied at 58, the Indians would take their first lead of the second half 60-58 with 1:25 left in the game.

Three Forks senior Bryce Olson connected on one of two free throws to cut the lead to one with 45 second left. Poplar's Kenny Smoker missed the front end of a one on one with 27 seconds left but the Indians pulled down the rebound. Winn Mains hit one of two to push the lead to two. A Miller put back after a rebound would tie the game at 61 with 9.9 seconds left in regulation.

Poplar would miss on their next possession and a Hauser rebound would give Three Forks the ball back with 2.2 seconds remaining. Following a timeout, the Wolves were unable to get off a shot sending what had truly been a back and forth affair into overtime.

The Indians would score the first two of overtime, but Miller once again answered to tie the game at 63 with 2:45 remaining. Poplar would drain a three on their next possession to regain the lead at 66-63. They would increase the lead to 67-63 before Dalke scored to cut it to 67-65 with 11 seconds left. Smoker would drain one of before a Hauser layup with 2 seconds left to cut the lead to 68-67. The Wolves were unable to get the ball back and fell by on


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