The Dillon Beavers will be a team on the run in the first round of the Western A Divisional Basketball Tournament at Ronan on Thursday. Dillon (13-5) takes on Browning (14-4) at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. The Beavers will follow the Dillon girls onto the court following their game with Ronan at 5 p.m.
“They only lost one conference game and they’re playing very well right now,” said Dillon coach Terry Thomas of the Browning Indians. “They’ve got a nice athletic team and they’ve got good shooters, play good solid defense — press, zone, man, half-court zone, man. They love to trap, love to run.”
Dillon is an athletic team that loves to run, play defense and crash the boards so the game could easily highlight the first day of action.
“We have two similar styles,” said Thomas. “Our shot selection is a little different than theirs, but that is the way they play. It will be real important that we stick to our style and not get out of rhythm. Our job is to make sure that we’re disciplined and do what we do best.”
Should Dillon win their opener, the would likely face defending state A champion Butte Central in the semifinal round. The Maroons have one loss all season, and it came opening weekend against Lewistown, the team the Maroons defeated for title last year in Missoula.
“They’ve got a consistent scoring offense and good, solid half-court man defense that they play at such a high level,” said Thomas of the Maroons. “They certainly deserve to be the #1 seed and until someone can knock them off that will be the challenge.”
Thomas expects Hamilton and Frenchtown to meet in the semifinal round on the other side of the bracket.
“I think it is really important that we rebound consistently both offense and defense,” said Thomas of Dillon’s road map to success. “I feel if we knock down to rebounds and transition defense and if we can do those things we feel like we’re just as good as anybody in the state.
Southwestern A Boys’ Final Standings
Butte Central 12-0 17-1
Hamilton 9-3 14-3
Dillon 8-4 13-5
Frenchtown 6-6 11-6
East Helena 4-8 7-11
Corvallis 2-7 6-9
Stevensville 0-10 0-16
Northwestern A Boys’ Final Standings
Columbia Falls 9-1 14-3
Browning 9-1 14-4
Polson 5-5 7-11
Whitefish 3-5 4-9
Ronan 2-8 6-12
Libby 1-5 6-6
Divisional tourney play-in games:
Thursday, Feb. 16
Frenchtown 65, Stevensville 23
Corvallis 64, East Helena 46
Libby 59, Ronan 48
Saturday, Feb. 18
Frenchtown 68, Corvallis 32
Whitefish 67, Libby 34
Western A Divisional Boys’ Basketball
First round, Thurs., Feb. 23 at Ronan
Game 1, noon: Hamilton vs. Polson Falls. Game 2, 1:30 p.m.: Frenchtown vs. Columbia Falls. Game 3, 6:30 p.m.: Dillon vs. Browning. Game 4, 8 p.m.: Whitefish vs. Butte Central.