State-bound Bulldogs place 2nd in divisionals
The Hardin Bulldogs varsity basketball team made it through the top ranks of the Eastern Class A tournaments, placing second in this year’s “Super Divisionals”. After beating teams from Belgrade and Custer County, the Bulldogs moved on to the championship match where they lost against Havre.
Havre ended as the Central/Eastern Class A Champions, giving the Hardin Bulldogs the second place award and the opportunity to compete in the upcoming State tournaments.
This will be the first time Hardin’s basketball team has made it to State in the last nine years.
State tournaments will be held in Missoula from March 3 - 5.
Hardin held the lead for the entire game in Thursday’s competition versus Belgrade.
The match-up ended in a close battle with a 5-point Bulldog win.
Hardin took a 6-point lead over Belgrade by the end of the first quarter with a score of 19-13.
In the second quarter, Belgrade outscored Hardin by 3 points – 12-9 – taking the halftime score to 28-25, a 3-point difference, still in favor of Hardin.
Coming out of halftime, in the third, Hardin outscored Belgrade by 9 points, gaining an additional 22 while Belgrade took in 13, extending Hardin’s lead to 12-point 50-38.
In the third quarter, Belgrade turned the tables and outscored Hardin by 7 points – 23-16 – bringing the Bulldog lead down to a 5-point difference and finishing the game at 66-61.
Point leaders for Hardin were Larry McCormick, Beau Venne, Frank Two Bulls and Clarence Little Wolf. McCormick finished with 17 points. Venne and Two Bulls followed, each contributing 14 points. Little Wolf finished the competition with 13 points, five rebounds, five steals and four assists.
Despite a relatively low 21.5 percent team shooting average, Friday’s game against Custer County ended with a Bulldog win.
Scores were somewhat high, however, in the first quarter ending with a 7-point Custer County lead at 21-14.
In the second quarter, the Bulldogs’ defense was better than in the first. Custer County made an additional 11 points, 1 less than Hardin’s 12, taking the halftime score to 32-26 with a 6-point Custer County lead.
In the third quarter, Hardin outscored Custer County by 3 points, gaining 15, while Custer County made 12, taking the score to 44-41 – still in Favor of Custer County.
In the final quarter, Hardin scored a game-high 27 points, 10 more than Custer County’s 17, finishing the competition with a 7-point Bulldog win at 68-61. With the win, the Bulldogs moved on to the championship match-up versus Havre.
Point leaders for Hardin were Little Wolf, Darnell Left Hand, Venne and Larry McCormick. Little Wolf and Left Hand each contributed 18 points. Little Wolf had four assists and two rebounds. Left Hand had 14 rebounds and two assists.
Venne and McCormick followed in scores, each with 12 points.
The Hardin Bulldogs and the Havre Blue Ponies won their way in to the Eastern/Central Class A Super Divisional Championship round. Unable to beat Havre, Hardin took home the second place trophy.
Each Bulldog who saw playtime – seven of 12 – contributed at least 2 points.
The game started with an intensified first quarter compared to previous games. The Bulldogs outscored Havre by 7 points 18-11, taking a first quarter lead.
In the second quarter, the intensity balanced out and Hardin was outscored by 3 points, gaining an additional 14 while Havre added 17, taking the halftime score to 32-28, a 4-point Bulldog lead.
In the third quarter, Havre once again outscored Hardin by 3 points, gaining 14 while the Bulldogs added 11. Hardin’s Larry McCormick slightly limped off court after injuring his ankle in the second half. No injury was announced and McCormick returned later.
Also in the third quarter, Two Bulls, after fouling a Havre opponent, was given a technical foul after slamming both hands on the court in frustration.
In the final quarter, each team saw their highest score-per-quarter. Hardin was outscored again, this time by 7 points – 28-21 – bringing the final score to 70-64 in favor of Havre.
Point leaders for Hardin were Left Hand, Venne and Little Wolf. Left Hand finished with 18 points, 10 rebounds and two assists. Venne followed in scores with 13 points, eight rebounds and on assist and Little Wolf finished with 15 points, three rebounds and six assists.