MISSOULA HELLGATE ROLLED INTO SATURDAY NIGHT'S STATE AA GIRLS BASKETBALL TITLE GAME WITH HOT SHOOTING AND TOUGH DEFENSE IN FRIDAY'S 51-34 SEMIFINAL WIN OVER BILLINGS WEST. — BILLINGS - Missoula Hellgate and Billings Skyview will square off in the State AA girls championship after both took care of business in Friday's semifinals.
In their only meeting this season, the Knights edged Skyview by six in Missoula on opening weekend in December.
Hellgate rolled into Saturday's championship with hot shooting and tough defense in Friday's 51-34 semifinal win over Billings West.
Hellgate shot nearly 64 percent from the floor in the first half and held West to just 4-of-15 shooting for a 33-15 lead at the break. The Bears shot 26 percent for the game. The Knights led by as many as 19 in the third quarter.
Hellgate's Lauren Dick led everybody in scoring with 17 points on 8-of-9 shooting. Bailee Sayler finished with 13 and six rebounds for the Knights.
Kaitlin Grossman was West's only scorer to hit double figures with 13 points. The MSU Billings commit also led the Bears with seven of the team's 22 rebounds.
West will face Kalispell Flathead in a 9 a.m. loser-out game Saturday morning at Billings Skyview.
Billings Skyview 63, Billings Senior 46
Despite dressing only nine players, Billings Skyview beat crosstown rival Billings Senior for the fourth time this season in a 63-46 final.
The Falcons, who will meet Missoula Hellgate in Saturday's 6:30 p.m. state title game at First Interstate Arena, edged Senior in last week's Eastern AA Divisional semifinal 52-48.
Skyview used an 11-0 run late in the first quarter to open a 16-5 lead and never looked back. Cami Harris hit five 3-pointers and finished with 13 to share the scoring lead for Skyview with Breanna Williams. Brooke Berry and Jordan Olson-Keck each scored 13 for the Falcons.
Though Senior trailed 33-23 at half, Allie Cummings gave the Broncs a spark when she banked in a deep 3-pointer at the buzzer. Cummings finished with 11 points trailing sister Lauren with 12 and Brenna Linse with 17.
The Broncs will meet Missoula Sentinel in a 9 a.m. Saturday morning loser-out contest at First Interstate Arena.
Missoula Sentinel 54, Great Falls CMR 43
Kalispell Flathead 60, Butte 53