The Cut Bank Wolves boys basketball team had a busy weekend to start their season.
Thursday, the Wolves welcomed the Harlem Wildcats to town. Both teams came out hot from the field in the first quarter.
“We came out and shot the ball well to start the game,” stated second year head coach Josh Larson. “Unfortunately for us, they shot the ball extremely well too.”
Senior Hayden Harrell’s 10 points kept the Wolves close trailing 14-17 after the first quarter. Fouls would mount up for the Wolves in the second quarter leading to a big second quarter for the Wildcats. Harlem extended their lead to 39-30 at the half.
The Wolves dug themselves a hole early in the third quarter as Harlem caused numerous turnovers. “Their pressure really got to us to start the second half. We also continued to rack up fouls and that put us in a pretty big hole,” stated Larson.
The Wolves would battled back with a run of their own to get the deficit back to 47-56 to end the third quarter.
Freshman guard Chevy Burdeau brought the Wolves some much needed energy off of the bench. “I thought Chevy did a great job in his first varsity game of playing within himself and playing solid defense,” said Larson.
The fourth quarter would again see Cut Bank struggle with numerous fouls and turnovers. The turnovers would lead to numerous layups and three point baskets for the Wildcats and they would pull away with a 87-57 victory.
“We did some good things against Harlem. We just need to find a way to stay out of foul trouble and get back on defense,” said Larson.
Senior guard Devin Gobert led the Wolves with 15 points. Rounding out the scoring were Harrell 10, Coalter Littrell 8, Cody Racki 8, Dawson Vasboe 6, Burdeau 5, Nick Gray 2, Dayne Barbie 2, and Dillon Gray 1.
Friday the Wolves travelled to the Coyote Classic in Shelby and played the Shepherd Mustangs. Solid defense by the Wolves and the hot shooting of Gobert gave the Wolves a 14-7 first quarter lead.
“Devin came out hot and I felt that we did a great job of defending in the first quarter,” stated Larson. Transition defense let the Wolves down in the second quarter as the Mustangs scored numerous points off of the Wolves missed shots and turnovers.
“We weren’t very good at all at stopping the ball and finding shooters in transition. It really was the difference in this game,” Larson said.
Cut Bank trailed 20-23 at the half. Gobert would again find his touch in the second half, but Shepherd continued to hit big shots and pulled out a 55-47 win over the Wolves.
Gobert again led the Wolves with 28 points. Vasboe, Burdeau, Littrell, and Barbie each added 4 points apiece. Harrell rounded out the scoring with 3.
Saturday the Wolves put together their best effort of the weekend against a very good Belt team. “We did a much better job on the defensive end against Belt. Our boys had a lot more energy and we were able to stay in this game with our defensive effort,” praised Larson.
Harrell found his shooting touch early and Barbie, Littrell, and Racki did a great job on the rebounding side. Cut Bank trailed 14-20 at the half. The second half saw Belt ratchet up on the defensive end making it hard for the Wolves to get quality shots. Turnovers led to easy Belt baskets and the young Wolves struggled to score in the second half. Belt won the contest 40-29.
“We did a lot of things better against Belt. I thought we played extremely hard. I put a lot of our focus on the defensive end the last couple weeks at practice and we will get better offensively,” concluded Larson.
Harrell led the Wolves with 13 points. Rounding out the scoring were Gobert 7, Littrell 3, Vasboe 2, Racki 2, and Barbie 2.
The Wolves return to action this weekend with games at Fairfield on Friday and at Conrad on Saturday. Tip-off is 7:30 p.m. on Friday and 5:30 p.m. on Saturday.