Three Forks wins tournament opener
February 24, 2021
While it may have taken the Three Forks High School boys basketball team a little while to get the lead in Tuesday night's 5B District opening round home game against Big Timber, once they did, they never let their foot off the gas in a 57-40 home victory.
Trailing for the first three-plus quarters, the Wolves took their first lead on the game on an Owen Long layup with 2:55 left in the third and outscored the visiting Herders 30-14 in the final 11 minutes.
With the win, the fourth-seeded Wolves advance to the semifinals and a Thursday matchup at top-seeded Manhattan. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.
Following the game, Head Coach Terry Hauser said his team might have been a little nervous, was not getting rebounds, and could not get out in transition.
He added he does not remember his team being down at half this season and coming back to get the victory and praised his team for handling the adversity.
It was a low-scoring first half, with Big Timber taking a 13-10 at the end of the first quarter and a 22-16 halftime lead. Three Forks did not lead in the opening half but did pull even at 15 on a second-quarter three-pointer from Mayson Shively.
The Wolves outscored the Herders 16-6 in the third and 25-12 in the fourth.
Long led a balanced Three Forks scoring attack with 16, Jacob Buchignani had 15, and Austin Allen was also in double figures with 14. Shively added eight, and Shane Williams finished with four.
Looking towards Thursday, Hauser knows his team cannot start slow again.
"We come out flat like that we will be in trouble,' he said.
The Wolves opened up last week's action Friday, February 19, with a hard-fought 66-62 loss at Jefferson.
Owen Long had a huge night for Three Forks with 33 points. Austin Allen added 13, Jacob Buchignani finished with six, and Mayson Shively added four. Devon Potts, Collin Stone, and Ayden Warren each had two points.
Head Coach Terry Hauser said despite the loss, his team turned the switch in Boulder.
"I know we lost, but I felt we came together as a family. We are playing selfless basketball at the right time," he said.
Three Forks ended their regular season Saturday with a 72-57 home win over Whitehall. Tied 12-12 at the end of the first, the Wolves would outscore Whitehall 27-8 in the second quarter to take a 39-20 halftime lead.
Hauser said the team came out a little flat, which can happen after a tough game the night before, and he had to talk to them about effort.
"There is never an excuse not to give effort. That is something we talk about a lot. Control the things you can control, and number one is effort. There is never a reason not to play hard. I'm really proud of the way we responded and played in the second quarter," he said.
Long led the team with 26, Allen had 18, Buchignani was also in double figures with 10, and Shively added 8.