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Warriors, Pirates wrap up season at state

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BILLINGS — The Polson Pirates and the Arlee Warriors boys’ basketball programs each saw their 2020 seasons come to a close in the opening rounds of their respective Class A and Class B Montana State Basketball tournaments last weekend.

Despite the state tournament losses, the Pirates maintained a winning record on the overall season, while the Warriors finished the final weeks of their season with an enormous end of season effort. 

On Thursday afternoon at the MetraPark First Interstate Arena in Billings, the Pirates opened their 2020 State Class A basketball tournament with a 73-41 loss to the eventual state co-champions Hardin Bulldogs.

Polson jumped out to a quick 7-0 first-quarter lead over the Bulldogs to start the game but finished the first quarter down by 19-13 and behind 38-14 at the half. In the second half, the Bulldogs outpaced the Pirates 35-24 for the win. Braunson Henriksen was the lone Pirate to score in double digits with 11 points. 

In Friday’s loser-out game, Polson fell in a close 51-47 game to the Frenchtown Broncs, which was a team that had defeated the Pirates in three previous matchups this past season. Sophomore Colton Graham scored a game-high 20 points and grabbed seven rebounds for the Pirates. While the game ended in a tough defeat for Polson, the boys battled until the end and left a solid 13-11 season behind them. 

The Rocky Boy Northern Stars darkened the Arlee Warriors’ bright hopes for a shot at a State B title with a 62-46 first-round win over the Warriors during the State B Boys Basketball Tournament Championship held at the Butte Civic Center in Butte on Thursday. After the Warriors led 15-13 in the first quarter, both squads entered the locker room at the half tied 30-30.  

In the third quarter, the Warriors led Rocky Boy by as much as nine points before the quarter ended knotted up 46-46. Unfortunately for the Warriors, a fourth-quarter rally by the Northern Stars held the Warriors scoreless in the fourth quarter for the win. The Warriors had a trio of shooters crack double- figure scoring: Tapit Haynes (14), Billy Fisher (13) and Cody Tanner (11). 

During Friday’s loser-out game against Shelby Coyotes, Arlee closed out their season in a 68-59 loss to the Coyotes. On offense, the Warriors were led by Levi Fullerton, who scored a tournament-high 29 points and Cody Tanner who scored 13 points.

The Warriors finish the season with a 10-16 overall record and a Western B Divisional Championship. 

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