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By Jack H. Smith
Three Forks Voice 

Wolves win 5B Title

 

February 26, 2020

Above, Zach Pitcher and Micaiah Hauser celebrate after winning the 5B District Tournament Title. Voice photos by Melissa Jenkins

The Three Forks High School boys basketball defeated rival Manhattan last Saturday to capture the 5B District Tournament title. Led by an unbelievable 34-point performance from Micaiah Hauser, the Wolves (17-3) defeated the rival Tigers 55-51 at the Belgrade Events Center to claim the championship.

"It's kind of surreal right now. I expected to hold it (championship trophy) up, but when Dustin (Dalke) when down it became a little more questionable, but we handled the adversity and the kids stepped up. Now we get Dustin back for Divisionals and the kids have some more confidence now," said Head Coach Terry Hauser.

Three Forks took a 16-10 lead at end of the first quarter thanks to 10 points from Micaiah Hauser and six from Owen Long.

Hauser continued his strong play in the second quarter with nine more points helping the Wolves to a 30-25 lead.

Coach Hauser said Micaiah knew he needed to score more with Dalke out and he has started to build confidence and getting to the hoop more.

"He's not settling. What a great weekend he had," Hauser said.

Three Forks would stretch the lead to 45-36 going into the fourth with hot shooting from the outside and continued strong player form, Hauser. Zach Pitcher hit two three-pointers, and Owen Long hit a three at the buzzer to up the lead to nine. Hauser had seven more in the quarter to up his total to 25.

Manhattan would cut the lead to 50-47 with three minutes left before the Wolves sealed the game at the free-throw line.

Long added 12, Pitcher had seven, and Austin Allen added two points.

Pitcher said after losing the last two years this win really meant a lot to the team.

The top seed from 5B, Three Forks will next play March 5 at 9 a.m. at the Southern B Divisional Tournament against Colstrip, the third seed from the 3B District.

"It's Divisionals time baby, the Metra is one of the funnest places to play," Hauser said.

SEMIFINALS

In the semifinals Friday, Three Forks overcame a five-point halftime deficit to defeat Big Timber 67-56.

It was a slow start for the Wolves who trailed 11-8 at the end of a first-quarter and 21-16 at half led by Hauser who had 12 going into the break.

With his team scoring just 16 in the first half, Three Forks Head Coach Terry Hauser told his team they were outrebounded 29-15 in the first half.

"I said to them that is all effort, it's pure effort gentleman," he said.

Three Forks stormed back in the third thanks to another strong quarter from Micaiah Hauser and strong inside play from Allen. A Hauser three with 28 seconds left in the quarter put the Wolves up 40-36.

Hauser said to his team at half that he wanted them to take the ball to the hoop.

"I told them to attack, attack, attack. You've got to take open shots if they are available but finish at the rim and get to the free-throw line," he said.

Trenton Nimmick looks to pass in a semifinal win over Big Timber.

The Wolves were strong in fourth and broke open a close game midway through the quarter on a deep three from Owen Long and steal and a layup from Allen to push the lead to double figures at 53-42.

Long finished with 12, Allen was also in double figures with 10 and Zach Pitcher finished with eight. Trenton Nimmick added three points.

Hauser praised the play of Micaiah who he said dislocated his finger, popped it back in, and still went on to have 32 points.

He was also pleased with the balanced scoring the second half.

"We have got to have other guys step up. Someone has to help out with scoring and tonight in the second half we did," he said.

Read more about the upcoming Divisional Tournament in next week's Voice.

 

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