Darby’s Ryan McCrossin (3) tries to keep the dribble as Superior’s Billy Smith (10) and Zach Benda (22) pester him. Superior topped Darby, 57-37. Jean Schurman photo
If the first weekend is any indication, the teams from the Bitterroot may be the ones to beat in the Southwest A. Both Stevensville and Corvallis opened with strong wins over a couple of tough Northwest A foes. Stevensville topped the defending Class A state champion Columbia Falls Wildcats, 67-48, on Saturday after defeating Bigfork, 64-56, on Friday night. Bigfork placed third at the State B tournament last March. The Schultz brothers, Jared and Josh, led the scoring both nights. Jared had 21 points against Bigfork and 11 points against Columbia Falls. Josh had 14 points on Friday night and then added 15 points against Columbia Falls. Freshman Jesse Sims dropped in 12 points against Bigfork and 18 points against Columbia Falls. Austin Kelling had 10 points against Columbia Falls.
Corvallis notched wins against Whitefish and Frenchtown. The Blue Devils held off a late charge by the Whitefish Bulldogs to win, 78-74. Colby Henderson had a career high 25 points and Beau Maus chipped in 23 points. Riley Bradshaw finished with 16 points. Bradshaw had the hot hand against Frenchtown, dropping in 23 points in the 68-51 point win. Jansen Jessop added 15 points and Henderson had 14 for the Blue Devils.
Hamilton split their games. Hamilton fell to Frenchtown in the battle of the Broncs, 51-43, after Frenchtown got hot in the fourth quarter. Eli Rogers had 11 points to lead the Hamilton Broncs and Brad Palin added nine points. Hamilton defeated Libby, 61-60, after catching on fire in the third period and outscoring the Loggers by 10 points. Palin had 21 points and Seth Mason added 16 more.
Florence notched their first win with a 47-35 victory over Ennis. Paced by Sage Hansen who had 14 points, the Falcons had eight scorers in the game. Chantz Hotsinpiller and Michael Finlay each had seven points and Aaron Ward and Riley Phillips added six points apiece. Whitehall handed the Falcons their first loss of the season. They defeated Florence, 58-42. Ward finished with 16 pints and Finlay added eight points.
Victor and Darby found out that Superior and Charlo are a couple of tough teams at Tip Off Tournament. Charlo defeated Darby, 76-51, on Friday night. Devin Thomas had 21 points for the Tigers. Jeremy Campbell added nine. Saturday, Superior defeated Darby, 57-37. Campbell had 19 points for the Tigers and Thomas dropped in nine more.
Victor lost to Superior Friday night, 48-29. Kyle Ball had 11 points for the Pirates. Saturday, Charlo defeated Victor, 43-36. Charlo outscored the Pirates by seven points in the fourth quarter to seal the win. Ball finished with 20 points.