STATE A HOOPS: Browning boys on to semis

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BOZEMAN — Tyree Whitcomb exploded for 25 points and 13 rebounds to lead Browning to a first-round win over Belgrade in the first round of the Class A boys basketball state tournament on Thursday afternoon at Brick Breeden Fieldhouse on the campus of Montana State University.

The Indians advance to the state semifinals, where they will face Billings Central at 8 p.m. today.

The Rams defeated undefeated Hamilton 64-37 in first-round play. The winner of Browning-Billings Central will play the victor of Lewistown vs. Hardin on Saturday for the Class A state title.

Hamilton, the Western A divisional champion, had won 23 straight games.

Nathaniel Stiffarm threw in 18 points for Browning, and Brandon Aimsback just missed a double-double with 15 points and nine rebounds.

The Indians scored 15 points off 13 Belgrade turnovers. They grabbed 14 offensive rebounds and turned them into a 19-6 advantage in second-chance points.

Browning made its push in the second and third quarters, outscoring Belgrade 36-24 over those 16 minutes behind a 50 percent field-goal percentage in the two periods.

Browning 10 20 16 17 — 63

Belgrade 10 14 10 20 — 54

BROWNING — Nathaniel Stiffarm 18, Justin Burd 1, Tyree Whitcomb 25, Brandon Aimsback 15, James Gilham 2, Deion Mad Plume 2.

BELGRADE — Dawson Fowler 13, Easton Page 16, Noel Reynolds 15, Matt Walker 3, Austin Edwards 3, Spencer Gordon 4.

Thursday’s Other First-Round Games

Hamilton 8 8 9 12 — 37

Billings Central 21 7 12 24 — 64

HAMILTON — Carter Kearns 13, Hunter Omlid 8, Bridger Bauder 6, Cam Rothie 4, Tanner Goligoski 4, Carson Rostad 2.

BILLINGS CENTRAL — Chrishon Dixon 20, Sam Gray 17, Liam Clancy 10, Isaac Meyer 5, Joe Byorth 4, Seth Sasich 3, Cade Herriford 2, Jae Hugs 2, Johnny Day 1.

Butte Central 6 14 10 21 — 51

Hardin 25 6 16 15 — 62

BUTTE CENTRAL — Cade Holter 24, Dylan Sestrich 9, Aaron Richards 6, Jared Simkins 3, Braden Harrington 3, Trevor Neumann 2, Luke Heaphy 2, Matt Simkins 2.

HARDIN — Famous Left Hand 24, Trae Hugs 11, David Evans 10, Cayden Redfield 7, Andrew House 5, Codi Small 4, Konnolly Shane 1.

Frenchtown 1 7 13 19 — 40

Lewistown 13 14 12 21 — 60

FRENCHTOWN — Jared Cole 11, Cade Baker 6, Zach Baker 6, Hank Rugg 4, Ethan Pyron 3, Adam Botkin 3, Dawson Leishman 3, Ty Hoppie 2, Ben Larson 2.

LEWISTOWN — Jaden Graham 26, Jake Clinton 15, Tanner Trafton 10, Landon Henderson 4, Wes Jameson 2, Jayce Philipps 2, Cody Henderson 1.

Today’s Schedule

Loser-Out Games

12:30 p.m. — Butte Central vs. Frenchtown

2 p.m. — Belgrade vs. Hamilton

Semifinals

6:30 p.m. — Hardin vs. Lewistown

8 p.m. — Browning vs. Billings Central

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