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With a State Tournament birth on the line, head coach Tom Reynolds gets the gang together during a late timeout Saturday night during consolation action against Rocky Boy.

The Shelby Coyotes qualified for the State Class B Boys Basketball Tournament last week, finishing third at the Northern B Divisional Tournament. Shelby advances to the state tourney, and will face the one seed from the south on Thursday, March 10 at 6:30 p.m. in Bozeman at the Brick Breden Fieldhouse. The Southern B Divisional is being held this weekend.

The Coyotes compiled a 3-1 record last weekend, defeating Glasgow 51-28, losing to Malta, 46-42, defeating Poplar 66-57 and finally, Rocky Boy 59-50.

Shelby played tournament host Glasgow to open the tournament last Thursday, and held a 10-7 lead at the end of the first quarter. Glasgow tried to slow the game down, but the Coyote defense created turnovers and sped the game up in the second quarter. Shelby outscored the Scotties 17-3 in that quarter.

The Coyotes continued the pressure in the third quarter, extending their lead by outscoring Glasgow 18-9, heading in to the fourth quarter, 45-19. Shelby went on to claim the 51-28 victory.

Taylor Parsons led the Coyotes with 15 points, Rhett Reynolds put in 13 points, grabbed 13 rebounds, and had several blocks and altered shots. Kyle McDermott put in 10 points, Kolby Lohr added eight, and Trenton Emerson dropped in five, and picked up four steals. Randon Richman dished out a team-high four assists.

Friday the Coyotes played the Malta Mustangs in semi-final action but came up short. The game started very slow with Shelby taking a 6-5 advantage. Malta outscored the Coyotes in the second quarter, 14-8, giving them a 19-13 advantage at the half. Shelby’s combination of poor passing and shooting allowed Malta the victory.

Reynolds led Shelby with 20 points and 16 rebounds and four blocks. Emerson added 12 points, Parsons dropped in five, Richman had three, and Lohr added two.

Shelby faced Poplar Saturday morning and  quickly grabbed an 8-0 lead in the first quarter and held a 18-13 advantage at the end of the first quarter. Shelby outscored Poplar 8-2 in the second, taking a 26-15 lead into the locker room.

The offense picked up from both teams in the second half. Poplar scored 42, and Shelby dropped in 40 to keep control of the game and their state tournament chances alive, winning 66-57.

Reynolds led Shelby with 23 points, and 18 rebounds. McDermott pumped in 16, Emmerson added 10, Parsons chipped in seven, Richman put in six, and Lohr had four.

Saturday evening the Coyotes faced a familiar District 1B foe, the Rocky Boy Stars. Shelby got off to a hot start, leading 20-9 at the end of the first quarter, and led 31-24 at the half.

Rocky Boy made some runs at the Coyotes, but Shelby answered every test to claim the win 59-50 and aa trip to the state tournament.

Reynolds again led Shelby with 28 points and 13 rebounds, Emerson added 10 points, McDermott dropped in eight, Lohr added five, and Parsons and Richman each put in four.

“It was a weekend where the Shelby Coyotes grew as a team,” said head coach Tom Reynolds. “Glasgow came out and tried to slow it down on us. I thought we stuck to our game plan and made things go our way. Friday night that goofy ball just wouldn’t go in the hole, but we still had a chance as we worked our tails off on defense.”

Reynolds praised his team’s performance, adding, “I can’t say enough about the grit of this team. When you play the late game, have to get up and play Saturday morning and then a quick turnaround to play that night, it shows a lot of character and mental toughness.”

For more area sports coverage of last week’s action, pick up a copy or subscribe to the Shelby Promoter at http://www.cutbankpioneerpress.com/site/services/

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