Boys 1998 Champions

Thursday’s Opening Round

Polson Plucks Eagles

The Polson Pirates saved western Montana basketball’s skin Thursday night.With a convincing 56-42 victory over Lewistown in the first-round of the state Class A tournament, the Pirates became the onoy team from west of the mountains to win a state tournament game – AA or A – all day long.Ryan Garrison exploded for 27 points and 13 rebounds and Polson wasn’t really threatened by Lewistown, which earned its way into the state tourney by winning a Central A challenge game on Monday.Polson hit six of eight free throws in the fourth quarter to nail it down.Kory Phillips led the Eagles with 18 points.Elsewhere at the A tournament, Eastern A teams ruled. Billings Central toppled Western A champion Whitefish 60-55, Laurel upset No. 2 Dillon 59-49 and top-ranked Colstrip buzzed Bigfork 76-56.Polson, the 1993 State Champion, moves into tonight’s semifinal game against Colstrip, which has won 20 0f 21 games. Polson is 17-5.

Game 1: 12:30 Billings Central 60 – Whitefish 55
Game 2: 2:00 Laurel 59 – Dillon 49
Game 3: 6:30 Colstrip 76 – Bigfork 56
Game 4: 8:00 Polson 56 – Lewistown

Polson 17 15 7 17 56
Lewistown 15 7 10 10 42

Friday’s Results

Polson Shocks No. 1 Colstrip

By Travis Devore of the Missoulian

Ryan Garrison has no doubts about what it takes to win the Class A state title.His role in Polson’s 69-65 overtime semifinal win over top-seeded Colstrip at the Butte Civic Center is a case in point.Polson advances to the championship game against Billings Central tonight at 8 pm for the first time since 1993. The Colts play second-ranked Dillon in loser out action at 9:30 am.With the third-ranked Pirates down 59-56 with four seconds remaining, Garrison grabbed an offensive rebound and passed the ball out to junior Brian Hogenson in time for Hogenson to hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer.Garrison then scored eight of Polson’s 10 overtime points to lead the Pirates to the stunning victory.Garrison finished with 20 points and 11 rebound to go with his 27 points and 13 rebounds on Thursday night against Lewistown.”It feels amazing,” Garrison said, “Back when the Pirates won it in ’93 I was a seventh grader. It’s the best feeling in the world just to have a chance right now.”The Pirates and their vocal supporters are deservedly thinking about the 1993 state championship these days.”We haven’t been at this game since ’93,” said Polson assistant coach Steve Nelson. “The last time we did it the same way. We had a couple of tough ones right in a row.”The Pirates jumped out to a 7-point lead at the end of the first quarter behind junior Casey Lozar’s 10 points and four defensive rebounds.Junior Darin Robison extended Polson’s lead to 11 points with a 3-pointer at 5:21 in the second frame. Robison had 12 points in the first half.Colstrip responded with four steals, leading to an 11-1 run. But the Pirates scored the final four points before the break to lead 38-31.The Colts took the reins in the third quarter, holding Polson to one point. Senior guard Ben Sanders added to his team-high 25 points early on but had to come out at 4:38 with his fourth foul. Junior Mike Pine and sophomore Richard Sanders picked up the slack, combining for eight points.Pine finished with 10 points, and Sanders had eight.The Pirates used 20 fourth-quarter points to climb back into the contest, led by senior Dusty Fors with eight points. The 6-foot-5 forward tied the game at 53-53 with 1:37 remaining off a pass from Lozar, getting the Pirates back to within striking distance.

Game 1: 12:30 Dillon 78 – Whitefish 54
Game 2: 2:00 Bigfork 65 – Lewistown 62
Game 3: 6:30 Billings Central 67 – Laurel 51
Game 4: 8:00 Polson 69 – Colstrip 65 (Overtime)





















Saturday’s Results

Pirates capture crown

by Travis DeVore of the Missoulian

Make that two state Class A titles for Polson in the ’90’s.”This tournament was awesome,” Polson senior Dusty Fors said, “We just played as a team. We never could have won if it wasn’t as a team. This feeling right now is just undescribable. It’s the best feeling in the world. We’re number one, baby!”

The Polson Pirates shot 17 of 18 from the free-throw line, including 10 of 10 by junior Dustin Bahm, in the fourth quarter to pull away from Billings Central to win 67-58 in front of 5,100 fans at the Butte Civic Center.

It was the Pirates’ second state basketball title in five years. They won it all in 1993 as well.”I just thought if I could get up there and knock down the first couple I’d be better the rest of the game,” said Dustin Bahm.Polson played through its share of adversity throughout the game. After senior center Ryan Garrison hit from the top of the key with 4:55 left in the first quarter to tie the game at 7-7, he had to leave with his second foul. Fors picked up the slack scoring two baskets in the next two minutes. Erron Luedtke, who came in for Garrison, then hit an unlikely baseline 3-pointer to put the Pirates up 14-10.But Luedtke wasn’t done there. The 6-foot-4 senior grabbed one of his three steals and drove the distance of the court for a layin.

“I told the kids that if they did three things–if they took care of the ball, if they rebound and make their free throws, they would win it,” Polson coach Mike roullier said. “They just played so well.”Juniors Casey Lozar and Darin Robison took over for the Pirates in the second quarter, combining for 14 points. Lozar hit a pair of 3-pointers, and Robison attacked the lane with quick moves. Polson never trailed after two minutes into the second quarter.”I know all coaches say they’re proud of their kids, but you don’t know how proud I am,” Roullier said. “They really played their butts off. I’m really proud of them.”The Pirates received quite a scare in the third quarter when Garrison and Lozar both went out from elbows to the face within a two-minute span. Garrison was able to reenter two minutes later, but Lozar missed most of the third frame.During Lozar’s absence, the Rams pulled within three points at 40-37. But Luedtke again cam through with another steal and later scored off an offensive board in that possession. Billings Central’s sophomore Seth Flohr hit a 3-pointer in the final minute of the third quarter to bring the Rams back with three, 43-40.Polson was able to extend its lead in the fourth quarter when Garrison hit from under the basket. Robison put in a 10-footer and hit two free throws in the Pirate’s next two possessions to extend the lead to 50-42.”

We’re a good team, but we really came as a team tonight and all weekend,” Roullier said. “they really bonded together, and they believed in each other and it showed.”Garrison finished an incredible tournament performance with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Robison was Polson’s high-scorer with 17, and Lozar (11), Luedtke (10), and Bahm (10) were also in double figures. Fors added nine points and 10 rebounds.

Polson 14 20 10 23 67
Central 13 16 11 18 58

Game 1: 9:30 Laurel 63 – Bigfork 57
Game 2: 2:00 Dillon 75 – Colstrip 65
Game 3: 6:30 Laurel 63 – Dillon 75
Game 4: 8:00 Polson 67 – Billings Central 58

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