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In first photo, Sunburst senior Dylan Smylie (31) scores inside on Winnett/Grass Range during opening round action Wednesday at the Northern C Divisional Tournament in Great Falls.  Middle photo is of senior Lane Lerum (20) as he slips past a Heart Butte defender for two points during Thursday afternoon action. Photo on the right is senior Mike Buckley (24) as he sails in for a layup Thursday afternoon against Heart Butte in loser-out action.

The Sunburst Refiners went 1-2 at last weekend’s Northern C Divisional Tournament in Great Falls, with a victory over conference rival Heart Butte sandwiched around losses to Winnett/Grass Range and Fort Benton. 

The Refiners opened the tournament with Winnett/Grass Range and got off to a slow start, trailing 14-7 after the first quarter. The Refiners scored 15 points in the second stanza and trailed 26-22 at the half. A back and forth third quarter saw the local cagers pull within three points, 42-39, going into the fourth. The Refiners cut the WGR lead to one point a number of times but couldn’t get over the hump. The Refiners trailed by three with 20 seconds left but didn’t get a shot off and were forced to foul and WGR went on to win 56-51. 

Mike Buckley led the offense with 14 points followed by Cody Smith with 12. Stanley Jarvis chipped in nine, Lane Lerum scored seven, Cade Hanson tallied four, Jaden Koon had three and Dylan Smylie scored two. 

The loss put the Refiners in a loser out battle with Heart Butte and the Refiners trailed 10-8 after the first quarter. Sunburst outscored the Warriors 16-11 in the second stanza and led 24-21 at the half. The Refiners put up 17 points in the third quarter and led 41-33 going into the fourth quarter. The Warriors battled back in the fourth quarter and tied up the game with 17 seconds to go when Buckley scored off a nice feed from Lerum and Jarvis closed out the game with some clutch free throw shooting as the Refiners won 53-49. 

Jarvis led the team with 15 points followed by Buckley with 14. Lerum scored seven points, Smith chipped in six, Cade Hanson and Koon scored five apiece and Cody Hanson rounded out the scoring with a free throw. 

The Refiners advanced to take on Fort Benton in a loser out contest and found themselves trailing 16-8 after the first quarter. The local cagers outscored the Longhorns 14-11 in the second stanza and trailed 27-22 at the half. Fort Benton’s quickness and size got the better of the Refiners in the second half as they scored just 12 points in the final two quarters and dropped the game 58-34. 

Buckley led the offense with 14 points followed by Smith with nine. Jarvis and Cade Hanson scored four points each, Josh Kearns tallied three and Lerum rounded out the scoring with two. 

“It was fun to compete at the Northern C as always,” said head coach Nate Aschim. “The guys played super hard, but unfortunately we just couldn’t find a way to keep going. Overall though, I was extremely proud of how these athletes represented the community and school. Our seniors will be missed, but each of them contributed greatly to our program and we made some great memories together.”

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