BOZEMAN — Party like it's 1979, Lewistown.
For the first time in 44 years, the Golden Eagles won the Class A state boys basketball championship with a 54-47 victory over Dillon while also finishing the season with a perfect 24-0 mark — one season removed from losing the title game to Butte Central on a Dougie Peoples 3-pointer at the horn.
"After last year we've been pretty determined," Lewistown junior guard Fischer Brown said. "This year was huge, and we've had a mentality of this is what we need to do. This is the goal that we need to accomplish, and these guys came out here and we played mentally strong."
Party like it’s 1979, Lewistown 🎉👑— Ashley Washburn (@ashleyjwashburn) March 12, 2023
The Golden Eagles win their second State A Championship in program history (first in 44 years) with a 54-47 victory of Dillon while also finishing the season with a perfect 24-0 mark. #mtscores pic.twitter.com/DDXAX4IuHz
While the final score shows a comfortable seven-point win for Lewistown, Saturday's championship couldn't be farther from the truth.
The Dillon Beavers kept Lewistown within one possession for most of the game and even held a one-point advantage, 11-10, at the end of the first frame with Carter Curnow's put-back on the low block.
Lewistown rattled off an 8-0 run to start the second quarter to lead by as much as seven, 18-11.
However, down by three with just seconds left on the clock, Dillon's Treyton Graham chucked up a shot from nearly half-court to beat the buzzer and tied the game at 23 heading into the half.
Lucky for Dillon, the buzzer-beaters didn't stop there.
With 45 seconds remaining in the third quarter, Brown extended Lewistown's advantage to five points with a right-wing 3-pointer, but Dillon's Kyler Engellant was able to sink a fadeaway jumper at the buzzer to cut the Golden Eagles lead to one possession heading into the final frame, 36-33.
Lewistown is up 36-33 on Dillon going into the final quarter. This atmosphere is something else. pic.twitter.com/QUXfduA8ht— Grace Lawrence (@gracemlaw4) March 12, 2023
A pair of free throws from Curnow with 2:21 left in regulation brought the Beavers within two points of Lewistown, but Fischer Brown closed out the game with eight points to secure the Golden Eagles a 54-47 victory.
"We didn't play our best first half, so we really needed a kind of jolt of energy to get us going and coach (Scott Sparks) provided that," Brown added. "This team came out here and was right on it. We didn't want to let this one slip away from us."
Brown led all scorers with 25 points and 10 rebounds to record a double-double, while his teammate Royce Robinson followed with 21 points. The two accounted for 46 of the Golden Eagles' 54 points.
"That's everybody's dream to win a state championship — and not only basketball but football — and we got it done," Lewistown senior forward Royce Robinson said.
The Beavers were led by Kyler Engellant (14 points) and Carter Curnhow (11).