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Three Forks drops Southern B opener to Lodge Grass

In a back-and-forth game that featured plenty of runs by both teams, the Three Forks High School Boys’ Basketball team opened the Southern B Divisional Tournament at the Metra in Billings on February 28 with a 74-66 loss to Lodge Grass.

Three Forks would come storming back after falling behind 10-0 with 5:45 left in the opening quarter.

After tying the game at 14-14 with two Colten Hayder free throws with 15.5 seconds left in the first, Caleb Van Vleet would get a rebound off a free throw, and his put back at the buzzer gave the Wolves a 16-14 lead going into the second.

Three Forks would stretch the lead to 21-14 before the Indians went a run of their own to go up 28-25 midway through the quarter. The Wolves would pull within 32-31 on a Shane Williams bucket with 12 seconds in the quarter before Lodge Grass would drain a three with time running out to give them a 35-31 halftime lead.

“We held our composure well in the first quarter. We kept that going into the second, but we let them hit a few threes, and we started turning the ball over,” Head Coach Terry Hauser said.

Like the opening quarter, the Indians were hot to start the third and quickly pushed the lead to 43-33. Three Forks would pull to within 50-45 on two Van Vleet free throws late in the quarter before Lodge Grass again hit a three in the closing moments of the quarter to push the lead to 53-45 at the end of three.

It was a positive start to the fourth quarter for the Wolves, who pulled to within 55-52 after a Dylan Swenson bucket and ensuing free throw with 5:40 left in the regulation.

The Indians would answer right back, building a 66-55 lead with 3:21 remaining.

Three Forks was led in scoring by Williams, who had a game-high 19 points. Swenson finished with 17, and Kanon Reichman was also in double figures with 10. Hunter Feddes finished with nine, Van Vleet finished with eight, and Hayder added three points.

“We had over 20 turnovers and shot 17 of 30 from the free throw line. You can’t beat good teams doing that,” Hauser said.

The Wolves will next play on Friday, March 1, at 10:30 a.m. against the winner of tomorrow’s matchup between Jefferson High School (Boulder) and Park City.

“It’s back to the drawing board. We are still in it. We’ve got to prepare tomorrow and try to get to Saturday,” Hauser said.

 
 
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