Tough triple game trounce
After the cancellation of a Big Timber boys basketball game due to extreme weather conditions in early December, the Herders suited up for their Class 5B southern conference make-up against unbeaten Townsend on Tuesday. The final result came down to the wire before the visiting Bulldogs narrowly defeated Big Timber 43-40.
Blake Finn scored a team-high 12 points and grabbed four rebounds while Casey Gunlikson added six points, seven rebounds, three deflections and two steals for Big Timber (3-5, 1-2).
The Herders’ offense made 9-of-17 shots in the paint, outscoring the Bulldogs 22-14 near the rim.
The Herders jumped out to an 8-4 first quarter lead, but Townsend responded before halftime, outscoring Big Timber 14-7 in the second period to lead at halftime 18-15.
At the start of the second half, the Bulldogs kept their foot on the gas, scoring 18 points led by Payden Anderson. Anderson finished with a game-high 13 points and three rebounds for Townsend.
The Herders kept pace with the Bulldogs throughout the entire game and took a 40-39 lead with a minute remaining in the final period.
A turnover allowed the Bulldogs to tie the game. The Herders got the ball back with 30 seconds left on the clock, but another turnover allowed Townsend to capitalize with a three-pointer.
Down by three with seconds left, the Herders had one more chance to score the equalizer but couldn’t make the shot.
At the time, Townsend (8-3, 3-2) was one of two unbeaten teams in Class B.
“We played pretty good defense against them the whole game,” head coach Dan Smart said. “We just needed to cut down on the mistakes at the end of the game.”
Kell Schwers had seven points and Cody Hathaway added five points and seven rebounds for the Herders.
— Manhattan —
Big Timber started the night humming in the Jan. 13 matchup against Manhattan, but lagged after the break, falling to the Tigers 45-28.
At the onset, both teams feverishly exchanged baskets in a tense first-half duel. The Tigers held a slim 21-19 margin over the Herders at halftime, foretelling what could have been a close finish.
But Manhattan (1-7, 1-2) outscored Big Timber 24-9 in the second half, maintaining a devastating 45 percent from the field en route to a 45-28 win on Friday night.
Big Timber’s numbers on defense were impressive with 12 deflections, 10 steals and 16 boards for the night. However, it wasn’t enough to stop Manhattan’s Garrett Duncan and Nathan VanDyke, who combined for 15 points for the Tigers.
Kell Schwers led with eight points, three rebounds, four steals and two deflections. Ethan Bullock contributed seven points and three rebounds, while Blake Finn added five points and four rebounds for the Herders.
By Jordan P. Ingram / Yellowstone Newspapers