— Kyle Hansen (@GazSportsHansen) March 10, 2017
Top-seeded Kalispell Glacier got the job done in its opening round against Billings West, leading from the first quarter on in a 56-49 final.
The Wolfpack’s lead shrunk to as few as four points, 47-43, on a Cade Tyson layup for West with under 2 minutes to play, but Glacier (18-3) made seven of its next eight free throws to ice the game.
The contest featured a pair of future Montana Grizzlies football players squaring off against two future Bobcats. Montana State signees Jaxen Hashley and Tadan Gilman led the Wolfpack with 15 and 14 points, respectively.
“Overall I thought their effort was phenomenal,” Glacier coach Mark Harkins said. “I thought we rebounded real well. I really liked our defensive.
“They brought the pressure after us but down the stretch we hit some free throws and I was really proud of them.”
Hashley, a 6-foot-6 senior post player, also nabbed 17 rebounds and dished out five assists. Both were game-high marks.
The Deming twins Bryson and Braydon led the way for West (12-8). Bryson Deming scored a game-high 17 points and was 6 for 6 on free throws. Braydon Deming went for 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Both are Griz signees.
To prepare for the Deming twins, Gilman said Glacier has a pair of twins on their JV team that would don gold jerseys and the team would pretend they were the Demings.
“We would key on them,” Gilman said. “So we actually had a pretty good week of practice going against them and they helped us a lot.”