The Cut Bank boys basketball team split its games this past weekend with a 60-58 loss to Rocky Boy and a 76-63 win against Choteau to move their season record to 1-2.
The Rocky Boys Stars visited the Wolves on Jan. 7 in what turned out to be a very exciting finish. It didn’t look that way early, however, as fouls and turnovers led the Wolves to a 13-point deficit early. The Stars pushed the lead to 18 mid-way through the third quarter before Cut Bank would dig in defensively. “We got punched in the mouth early in this one,” said coach Josh Larson. “Once we started playing better defensively, things started turning around for us”.
Cut Bank began the fourth quarter strong defensively and with that Dawson Vasboe found his rhythm from the outside. A Vasboe 3-pointer with just over two minutes left gave Cut Bank their first lead of the game. The young Wolves had multiple chances to put the game away late in the fourth quarter, but had a few costly turnovers late in the game. Rocky Boy scored on a sideline out of bounds play with 8 seconds left. Will Sewell’s last second three point attempt bounced off the front of the rim giving the Stars a 60-58 victory.
“I’m really proud of these kids for battling back. We just can’t continue to dig ourselves these early deficits. These guys put themselves in a position to beat a very good team and we just made a couple silly mistakes late that are all fixable”, said Larson. Vasboe led the team in scoring with 13 points. He was followed by Sewell with 11, Tayron Burdeau 9, Dayne Barbie 8, Tate Monroe 6, Peyton St. Goddard 4, Robert Reagan 4, and Quinn Ridesatthedoor 3.
The Wolves traveled to Choteau on Saturday for their second conference game of the season. “We started this game much better than our other two games”, said Larson. “We did a good job of finding their shooters early and getting stops.” That would change, however, in the second quarter as Cut Bank gave up 22 second quarter points including 6 three pointers to the Bulldogs. The Bulldogs led 34-28 at the break.
Cut Bank regrouped at the break and came out of the locker room hot. The Wolves hit an unbelievable eight 3-point field goals in the third quarter alone behind the hot hands of Reagan and Vasboe. “We shot the ball extremely well in the third quarter. We continued to struggle defensively though and weren’t able to get any separation”, said Larson. The two teams took a 54-54 tie into the final quarter.
Better defense and great offensive rebounding by Barbie gave the Wolves a late advantage. Monroe iced the game at the free throw line, hitting 6-7 of his fourth quarter attempts giving the Wolves a 76-63 win.
“I am proud of these kids. We had a good weekend of basketball and have plenty to learn from both contests,” concluded Larson. Reagan led the Wolves with 24 points, including seven 3-point field goals. Vasboe was close behind with 19. Rounding out the scoring was Monroe 10, Barbie 9, Burdeau 7, Sewell 5, and St. Goddard 2.
Cut Bank continues its conference season Friday at home vs. Shelby and on the road Saturday against Great Falls Central.