- Your Town
#1 Dillon tops AA Helena on road
The Dillon Beavers, fresh off receiving the top ranking in the first Montana Class A power poll, traveled to Helena High last Thursday and picked up a big non-conference victory against the AA Bengals. After consecutive battles against quality foes Butte Central, Stevensville and Helena, the Beavers returned to B.W. Lodge Gym and did what they needed to beat league foe Hamilton and remain undefeated on the season.
At Helena, Dillon bolted out of the gates to a 20-12 first quarter lead and maintained the advantage throughout the half, going to intermission with a 27-21 edge. The lead bounced back and forth after the break before Troy Scott, Dillon’s unstoppable senior, made a series of big plays at the end help the Beavers to a 56-54 win.
“It was a great game for us and a chance for us to get pushed to the limit and the kids found a way to win on the road,” said Dillon coach Terry Thomas. “We did a really good job of competing on the boards against an athletic team with nice size.”
Scott posted a game-high 22 points but missed most of the second quarter after taking an elbow to the lip in a scramble in the paint. Scott, 6-4, returned after the break to rally the team to the win. After the game, Scott added five stitches to his stat line.
“Troy attacked the basket and distributed the ball,” said Thomas. “When we lost Troy in the second quarter, the kids that went in and out of the game did an excellent job of maintaining that same execution.”
As the clock ticked down under 30 seconds and the score tied, Scott made a steal and called a quick timeout. Thomas cleared out the key and called Scott’s number and the senior delivered the game winner.
“Troy did a nice job of taking his defender off the dribble and getting in the paint and finishing,” said Thomas.
Scott was fouled on the shot but missed the free throw. Helena called an immediate timeout. With 2.1 seconds to go, Helena failed to convert and Dillon won, 56-54.
Saturday afternoon in Dillon, the Beavers squared off against the Hamilton Broncs, last in the Southwest A with just one victory on the season. A poor first quarter threw Dillon off balance and trailing 16-8, a new strategy was needed.
“The flow of the game was different,” explained Thomas. “It got into a half-court game quickly, because they beat our press, because they got quality looks and made them, then we felt we had to make an adjustment.”
Hamilton was playing an effective 1-2-2 zone defense and Dillon settled into their half-court defensive sets which slowed the tempo of the game. With the sedentary pace, Thomas altered his normal rotations and fewer bench players found the court as minutes were hard to come by.
The adjustment worked as the Beavers held Hamilton to 3 points in the second quarter and worked back to a 23-19 edge at halftime. The Beavers pulled away in the second half to win, 50-38.
“We’re going to have games whereat doesn’t quite go the way that we would like it to go, so well have to make adjustments and find a way to win and the kids did a good job with that,” said Thomas.
The reliable Scott contributed 21 points and Brady Richardson had a big game in the paint with 17. Only three other Beavers scored, combing for 12 points.
Dillon improved to 5-0 in the Southwestern A with the win, and 9-0 overall.
#1 DILLON 56, HELENA 54
Dillon scoring – Chance Kluesner 4, Trae Williams 0, J.D. Ferris 8, Parker Love 5, Nate Simkins 3, Justin Ferris 5, Troy Scott 22, Nick Huber 2, Jason Ferris 3, Brady Richardson 4.
Halftime – 27-21, Dillon. Three-pointers – J.D. Ferris 1, Love 1, Simkins 1 Justin Ferris 1.
HAMILTON 38, Dillon 50
Dillon scoring – Chance Kluesner 6, Trae Williams 2, J.D. Ferris 4, Parker Love 0, Nate Simkins 0, Justin Ferris 0, Troy Scott 21, Nick Huber 0, Tanner Haverfield 0, Jason Ferris 0, Brady Richardson 17.
Three-pointers (5-22) – Kluesner 1-3, Williams 0-5, J.D. Ferris 0-4, Simkins 0-2, Justin Ferris 0-2, Scott 2-7, Huber 0-1, Jason Ferris 0-1. Rebounds (31) – Scott 12, Richardson 7. Blocks (6) – Richardson 6. Steals (8) – J.D. Ferris 2, Love 2, Scott 2. Turnovers (14). Assists (15) – Williams 9.