The Cut Bank Wolves put together their best full weekend of hoops of the season as they split their weekend contests against Fairfield and Conrad.
Defense was the theme for both teams as Fairfield visited Cut Bank Friday night. Cut Bank jumped out to a quick lead behind the effort of post players sophomore Dayne Barbie and senior Coalter Littrell. “I can’t say enough about the energy these two brought in this game. They were animals on the rebounding side of the ball and it is really what kept us in the game,” stated Larson.
The Wolves settled in defensively and only allowed Fairfield six first quarter points. The Wolves led 11-6 after one stanza. Cut Bank continued to play solid defense throughout the rest of the first half and did an excellent job on the offensive boards.
“Barbie, Littrell, and Cody Racki did a great job of keeping balls alive on the offensive glass and that gave us extra opportunities for points,” said Larson. Cut Bank held a slim 17-16 lead at the halftime break.
The second half continued to be a defensive battle for both teams. Barbie found his touch down low in the third quarter and a late three-pointer by sophomore Dawson Vasboe kept the Wolves within one point heading into the final quarter.
Multiple buckets by Hayden Harrell and senior Devin Gobert were key in the Wolves fourth quarter run. Cut Bank pulled within one late in the game and had to foul to put Fairfield on the free throw line late. Trailing by three with 10 seconds left the Wolves had two great looks to tie late, but they rattled out. A late free throw resulted in Fairfield’s 42-38 victory.
“We came out and played really hard for 32 minutes. As a coach that is really all I can ask for. I’m proud of the way we fought the whole game and we gave our chance to win. We just came up a little bit short,” recapped Larson.
Harrell led the Wolves with 16 points. He was followed by Barbie 8, Littrell 6, and Gobert and Vasboe with 4 each.
Saturday the Conrad Cowboys came to town for a conference matchup. Once again the Wolves came out with great energy behind Littrell, Barbie, and Racki. Multiple offensive rebounds were key in the quick start for the Wolves.
“Once again, these guys came to play. They continue to do the dirty work and it’s a big reason behind the improvement we’ve seen as a team the last three weeks,” said Larson. Gobert and Harrell would find their range and the Wolves would hold a 19-11 advantage after one. The Wolves struggled to find shooters in the second quarter, however, and the Cowboys got hot from the outside cutting the Wolves lead to 38-35 at the half.
“We let up a little in transition and didn’t do a very good job of locating their shooters and they made us pay in the second quarter,” stated Larson. The Wolves settled in defensively and the trio of senior guards Harrell, Gobert, and Justin Crowe would all find their range as the Wolves would erupt in the third quarter. Once again, the rebounding of Racki, Littrell, and Barbie would be the difference as the Wolves pulled away 75-59.
Gobert had a career high 36 points in the game. Rounding out the scoring were Harrell 15, Crowe 11, Barbie 7, Racki 3, Vasboe 3, and Littrell 2. “All in all we had a really good weekend. We have some things to clean up and have to learn to get our post players the ball when they are open. Once that happens, we are going to be very tough to beat due to our balance,” concluded Larson.
Cut Bank welcomes Rocky Boy to town on Friday and hits the road Saturday for a matchup with Harlem.