Bulldogs out in two at state
Thu, 03/16/2017 - 5:00am admin
By Jim Eshleman, Big Horn County News
It was two losses and out for the Hardin Bulldogs at the Class A state basketball tournament in Butte last week.
Going into the tournament as the east’s fourth seed, the Bulldog boys basketball team had to play the No. 1 seed from the west, Dillon.
Dillon was last year’s state champions and ended up defeating Billings Central Saturday night, giving them back-to-back state titles.
For the Bulldogs, it was not a bad run. This is their second trip to state in two years.
Against Dillon, the Bulldogs came out strong in the first quarter, scoring 18 points and holding Dillon to just 12. By about midway through the second quarter, Hardin held a 9-point advantage before the Dillon Beavers started chipping away at their lead.
By halftime, Dillon had pulled within 2 points of Hardin, ending the second quarter with the Bulldogs at 28 points to the Beavers’ 26.
In the third and fourth quarters, Dillon started pulling ahead by outscoring Hardin 18-14. They stretched it another 3 points in the fourth, giving Dillon a 60-55 victory.
Darnell Left Hand and Holman Real Bird led Hardin in scoring with 12 points, followed by Famous Left Hand and David Evans with 11.
With the loss to Dillon, Hardin next faced Belgrade. It was another hard-fought battle, with Hardin losing by 1 point to the Panthers.
The Bulldogs came out strong, taking an 8-point lead over the Panthers with 3:16 left in the first quarter, but Belgrade battled back, tying it at 17 going into the second period.
Belgrade outscored Hardin 23-16 in the second, taking a 40-33 lead at the half. Belgrade continued in their lead during the third period, adding 2 more points for a score of 55-43.
Hardin battled back in the fourth, scoring 24 points. Through their efforts, Hardin narrowed Belgrade’s lead to just 4 points in the final minute.
The last shot of the game was a 3-pointer by Hardin at the buzzer, with Hardin losing 67-68.
Virgil McCormick and Darnell Left Hand led Hardin with each scoring 21 points; Famous Left Hand had 12 and David Evans 8.
Hardin 18 10 14 13 55
Dillon 12 14 18 16 60
Hardin 17 16 10 24 67
Belgrade 17 23 12 16 68