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Rocky men play Frontier semifinal Friday at Carroll - KTVQ.com | Q2 | Continuous News Coverage | Billings, MT

Rocky men play Frontier semifinal Friday at Carroll

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Carroll College head men’s basketball coach Carson Cunningham has repeatedly called the Frontier Conference an 18-round heavyweight bout. The 20th-ranked Saints survived the punching bag with a few black eyes and cuts but earned the most Frontier wins since the 2005-06 Carroll team that went 12-2.

The fight now turns into game-by-game scrapes, every match up a do-or-die bout to extend the season.  Friday, the Saints open the Frontier Conference playoffs against Rocky Mountain in the semifinals after earning a first-round bye.

It is the fourth meeting for the two teams, every previous game won by the Saints, including an 89-78 victory just last week in the regular season finale.

“We are excited to still be standing in the arena,” Cunningham said. “Rocky can score a ton and in bunches so we’re going to have to be ready for all the different ways that they attack teams, especially their three-point shooting. We need to stay sharp, execute and play to our strengths.”

The Bears are fifth in the country in 3-pointers made on the season.  Rob Nyby leads the conference with 20 points per game and is second in the league at 7.42 rebounds per game.

The Saints have won two-straight after dropping three in a row and look to build on that momentum.

“We certainly regained our offensive rhythm,” Cunningham said. “We’ve learned from our struggles and are playing better and more efficient basketball. Hopefully we can prove that again Friday. A lot of guys have been playing well for us, a lot of young guys. Really up and down the roster. You can go down the line on people that have given us big stretches.”

Zach Taylor is third in the conference at 16.92 points per game but nearly averaged a triple double in last week’s games. Ryan Imhoff leads the Saints with 6.14 rebounds per game.

“We are excited and hope our fans come out strong,” Cunningham said. “The staff has been working hard, the players are working hard. It is fun to be playing hoops in March.”

The Saints and Bears tip off at 7 p.m. at the PE Center. 

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