Pirates, Chiefs both end season at Class A Western Divisionals

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  • POLSON PIRATES power forward Shade Main shoots over Browning defenders in the Western C Divisional game at the Butte Civic Center. (photo courtesy of Bob Gunderson)

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    POLSON PIRATES guard Conner Lanier (30) blows past Frenchtown defenders to try to take the ball to the basket in the opening round of the Class A Western Divisionals at the Butte Civic Center. (photo courtesy of Bob Gunderson)

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    RONAN HIGH School basketball player Ezekiel Misa drives to the basket in the Chiefs’ consolation bracket game against Butte Central Saturday morning at the Butte Civic Center. (photo courtesy of Bob Gunderson)

  • POLSON PIRATES power forward Shade Main shoots over Browning defenders in the Western C Divisional game at the Butte Civic Center. (photo courtesy of Bob Gunderson)

  • 1

    POLSON PIRATES guard Conner Lanier (30) blows past Frenchtown defenders to try to take the ball to the basket in the opening round of the Class A Western Divisionals at the Butte Civic Center. (photo courtesy of Bob Gunderson)

  • 2

    RONAN HIGH School basketball player Ezekiel Misa drives to the basket in the Chiefs’ consolation bracket game against Butte Central Saturday morning at the Butte Civic Center. (photo courtesy of Bob Gunderson)

For the second consecutive time while playing Frenchtown, an uneven second period cost the Polson Pirates an opportunity to defeat the Broncs as they fell 55-53 Thursday afternoon at the Butte Civic Center.

The Pirates were able to keep pace with Frenchtown at the conclusion of the first quarter and were unable to absorb a 22-8 Broncs run in the second period.

In the third period, Polson attempted to come back as they bridged the 35-21 halftime gap to 45-35 at the conclusion of the third quarter.

The Pirates’fourth-quarter surge to come back wasn’t enough as they fell to the Broncs 55-53.

Polson won the turnover ratio in the game and committed only 15 turnovers and forced the Broncs to commit 19 turnovers.

One major difference in the game was the Pirates’ accuracy from the 3-point line as they shot 3-of-12 from beyond the arc.

Connor Lanier and Robin Erickson led the team in scoring in the loss. Lanier scored 16 points and Erickson concluded the game with 12.

Browning 77,

Polson 70

Unlike the previous game against Frenchtown, Polson surged to a 25-15 lead at the conclusion of the first period but was unable to sustain its collective momentum in the consolation bracket Friday at the Butte Civic Center.

All season, Polson has struggled to generate points in the third quarter and this third quarter slump proved to be costly against the Indians.

The Pirates only generated nine total points in the third quarter and were outscored 9-18 and Browning continued to score in the fourth quarter generating a total of 25 points en route to their 77-70 victory over Polson.

The Pirates had no answer for Nathaniel Stiffarm, who scored a total of 30 points and Brandon Aimsback, who finished as the Indians’ second-highest contributor, with 22.

Polson had four players in double-digits in what ended up being their season-finale, as they were eliminated from contention.

Shade Main finished with 21 points, Asa Askan scored 18 points, Conner Lanier had 16 and Robin Erickson finished the season with 10 points.

The Pirates’ shooting accuracy was improved from this game as they shot 5-of-12 from the 3-point line and made 11-of-15 of their free throw attempts, a statistic that has plagued them in games this year.

Polson ended the season as District Championship of a new reclassified Division, that was changed at the very end of 2016 and went into effect for the 2017-2018 season. The Pirates should have a sense of optimism as they prepare to head into next year retaining the majority of a young team after losing their entire starting five to graduation from the 2016-2017 season.

Ronan falls short after magical run

The Ronan Chiefs came into Divisionals riding a wave of collective momentum they hoped would catapult them to state, but were unable to sustain that momentum, finishing the Divisional round with a 1-2 record Feb 22-24 at Butte Civic Center.

In their first game against Dillon, the Chiefs were primarily carried by their star guard Ezekiel Misa, who shined against the Beavers and nearly accounted for half of the Chiefs’ offensive production, scoring 27 points.

The Chiefs carried a 36-35 lead into halftime but struggled in the third quarter, and that ended up being the difference in the game.

Dillon outscored Ronan 17-9 in the third quarter and both scored teams scored 25 points in the fourth period.

The loss gave Ronan a favorable matchup against Libby in the consolation bracket.

Ronan outscored the sharp-shooting Loggers 16-2 in the first period and was able to take a 30-10 lead into halftime.

The Chiefs sustained their offensive momentum enough to fend off the Loggers in the second half.

Anthony Camel and Misa both scored in double-digits in their win over the Loggers and nearly outscored the team.

Misa accounted for 12 points and Camel scored 18, manufacturing 20 points by themselves, while Libby generated a total of 32 points collectively.

Butte Central 63, Ronan 55

The Chiefs were able to get production out of Camel and Misa once again but it wasn’t enough to overhaul the Butte Central Maroons in their 63-55 loss to them Saturday at the Butte Civic Center.

Miss scored 28 points and Anthony Camel scored 10 points. Bubba Bash also finished with nine points and Dallas Durheim scored seven points in their loss to the Maroons.

Ronan kept the contest close for the majority of the game but was unable to contain two of Butte Central’s key offensive contributors.

Dylan Sestrich ended up scoring a game-high 24 points and Cade Holter finished in double-figures pouring in eleven.

The loss concluded the Chiefs magical season highlighted by a 72-60 upset victory over Browning in the Western A Districts last week at the Ronan Events Center.

The victory allowed them to qualify for the District title and finish second at Districts as a fifth-seeded team.

Statistics courtesy of Daktronics and Tournament director Chad Peterson

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