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State AA boys: Koch's game-winner sends Capital to title game, will meet Bozeman

Brayden Koch Helena Capital State AA.png
Posted at 9:02 AM, Mar 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-12 11:02:35-05

BILLINGS - Brayden Koch buried a game-winning 3-pointer as time expired in overtime to send Helena Capital to the State AA title game with a 53-50 win over Billings Skyview on Friday night inside First Interstate Arena in Billings.

Tied at 50-apiece with time winding down, Koch dribbled to the right wing off a screen, pump-faked to free himself then found nothing but the bottom of the net with his triple as the clock hit zeros. The Carroll College commit had a game-high 24 points.

Capital led 40-29 after three quarters thanks to a 16-3 run spanning the close of the first half, which was capped by a 3-pointer from near half court by Koch, and the opening minutes of the second half.

Skyview, though, rattled off several 3-pointers in the fourth to eventually take the lead and force overtime at 48. Payton Sanders gave Skyview a lead with a basket midway through the frame, but free throws from Capital tied it at 50.

Koch shot 9 of 15 from the floor, including 4 of 7 from downtown. He was the only Bruin in double figures. Lane Love led Skyview with 16.

Capital will play in Saturday's title game at 8:30 p.m., while Skyview falls to loser-out action.

Bozeman 53, Billings Senior 50

Bryson Zanto's 3-pointer with 2:30 remaining gave Bozeman a 51-50 lead over Billings Senior, as the Hawks held on for a 53-50 win to advance to Saturday's State AA title game.

Bozeman led 25-22 at halftime, but Senior opened the third quarter on a 12-2 run to lead 34-27. The Hawks trimmed it to 39-36 entering the fourth quarter.

Senior led 50-48 before Zanto's long-range bomb and was propelled to the lead by hot shooting from Reagan Walker, who canned a pair of 3-pointers during the Broncs' big third-quarter run.

Ty Huse, though, was able to hit two free throws with 21 seconds remaining, and multiple Senior attempts clanged off the iron to advance the Hawks.

Huse finished with a game-high 20 points and also pulled down seven rebounds. Melo Pine led Senior with 13.

Capital and Bozeman will play at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday night, while Billings Senior will play in loser-out action Saturday morning.