Boys and girls basketball season wraps up at districts in Butte

Girls make three game run and boys fall to White Sulphur Springs

Big expectations and a little luck followed the girls and boys Lone Peak basketball teams to Butte last week for a chance to compete in the Class C District Tournament. Both teams needed to win their play-in games to qualify. The boys matched up against White Sulphur Springs and the girls matched up against Lima on Wednesday, Feb. 16.

“The atmosphere in Butte was exciting and electric. This was the first time that we have had districts away from Manhattan Christian and it was exciting to play in a new gym, surrounded by our fans,” wrote junior Kate King.

Senior Carly Wilson noticed the gym and ambiance felt much bigger in Butte than Manhattan Christian. “When we'd go on the court, there was an announcer who would yell our names after every shot and narrate the entire game,” said Wilson.


The Big Horn boys got off to a slow start against the White Sulphur Spring Hornets in their first play-in game. The boys, however, were able to pull it back to within one point at halftime. Consistent free throw shooting from the Hornets sunk Lone Peak’s ship in the third and fourth quarter and put the game out of reach, explained head coach John Hannahs.

Seniors John Chadwell and Tony Brester combined for 16 points while juniors Gus Hammond, Max Romney, and Ben Saad added 44 points. The boys ended their season in a 71-60 loss to White Sulphur Springs. Their record was 3-16.

“Something I learned about basketball this year is how competitive our district is. We had almost 20 games this season and many of those games came down within seven to ten points. One against the Gardiner Bruins even went to overtime. The point is that most teams in our districts are very evenly matched,” said junior Gus Hammond.

Senior Tony Brester, looking back, felt like one of the hardest parts about varsity basketball was the travel. “I think balancing school and sports in Montana was one of the most difficult things I experienced in high school. I remember trying to write papers on long bus rides in the dark,” said Tony Brester.

Senior John Chadwell explained basketball taught him confidence and trust in his individual ability. He recommended the team should change the perpetual routine developed over the last four years of the boys program.


The Lady Bighorns, coming off three wins to wrap up the regular season against Sheridan, Lima, and West Yellowstone, rode their momentum in a win over Lima 51-39 to qualify for the District Tournament.

In their next matchup, the girls faced Shields Valley who had beaten them earlier in the year by about 10 points. “While playing incredible defense and keeping the Rebels from scoring, the ladies were also having trouble finding ways to score, losing in a very close game,” wrote Hannahs. Shields Valley beat Lone Peak 33-24.

For their third game in three days, the girls played against West Yellowstone in a consolation semifinal. The winner would go on to Divisionals. The Lady Big Horns upset West Yellowstone in their final game of the regular season only a week before.

What turned out to be a thrilling game with many lead changes ended in favor of the Wolverines. West Yellowstone won 53-49. Their final record for girls this season was 8-10.

Looking back on the year, Junior Kate King reflected on some of the themes of the season.

“I learned a lot this year, but one thing really sticks out. As a team, we had a theme of unselfishness on and off the court. We always said, if you make the extra pass or set a good screen, it will come back to you. This theme of unselfishness goes beyond basketball. In life, the things that you choose to do or not to do will come back to you one way or another.

Asked if anything should change next year, junior Maddie Cone encouraged more women to step onto the court. “I hope to see more girls come out for basketball next year. This year we received some great contributions from both sophomores and freshmen, but we really need more younger players to support the program moving forward. Joining our basketball team gives you the chance to build friendships unlike any other you will experience in high school. It’s like having a second family,” said Cone.


Ophir middle school girls' basketball team, which is putting together a dominant season, is preparing for the rural district tournament in Monforton. They have two more games against Home School and Anderson next week to wrap up the regular season. Lone Peak High School spring sports are scheduled to start on March 1. Libby Grabow is coaching tennis, James Miranda is coaching track, and Jenny Wilcynski is coaching golf

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