Hauser Drives

Three Forks senior Micaiah Hauser drives to the basket Friday night against Manhattan. He scored 16 points in the 70-62 victory.

THREE FORKS — For the second consecutive night, Manhattan nearly pulled off an improbable comeback.

After the Tigers rallied from a 12-point fourth quarter deficit Thursday to beat Whitehall, they trailed by as many as 22 in the third quarter against Three Forks. The deficit was trimmed to six with less than two minutes remaining in the contest, but that’s as close as Manhattan got.

Three Forks (5-1, 2-0) made a pair of key free throws by Dustin Dalke with 63 seconds remaining to stretch the lead back to eight, and the Wolves held on from there to post a 70-62 District 5B victory.

“We just got down too much in the first half,” Manhattan coach Wes Kragt said. “I thought our kids did a great job of making a comeback. These kids don’t quit. We outscored them by five in the second half.”

Contested Shot

Three Forks' Trenton Nimmick (2) gets off a shot contested by Manhattan's Kyle Hotvedt Friday night.

It was the fifth consecutive victory for Three Forks following its season-opening loss to Huntley Project. Dalke scored a game-high 24 points, while teammate Micaiah Hauser added 16, but it was the Tigers who appeared to have fresher legs down the stretch.

“End of the third and start of the fourth quarter I think we just got tired. We need to figure out a way to get my starters like Micaiah a break at end of quarters or we got to get in better shape. One of the two,” Three Forks coach Terry Hauser said. “We just got lackadaisical.”

The Wolves took a 35-22 lead into halftime and then stretched it to 49-27 with 5:04 left in the third quarter on a bucket by Micaiah Hauser. That’s when Manhattan gradually began to chip away at the deficit.

Finn Tesoro connected on a pair of 3’s in the third quarter and then added another in the fourth during a 9-0 run that drew the Tigers within 64-55. A 3-pointer by Sven Stenberg made it a two-possession game, 66-60, with 1:39 remaining and then the Tigers got the ball back on an offensive foul by Three Forks.

But Caden Holgate missed a contested shot after driving the lane to set up Dalke’s free throws. The Tigers got back within six, 68-62, on a bucket by Kyle Hotvedt, but Three Forks sealed the game when Owen Long scored at the other end with 18.8 seconds remaining.

“Manhattan shot the ball really well. They hit some tough shots and battled back, so props to them,” said coach Hauser. “I don’t know if it was as much as what we were doing wrong or what they we doing well.”

Evan Douma and Holgate each finished with 15 points to lead the Tigers, while Tesoro had 14 and Hotvedt added 10. Holgate and Tesoro combined for seven of the team’s eight 3-pointers.

Jockeying For Position

Manhattan's Jadon Pierce, left, and Three Forks' Austin Allen jockey for position on a free throw attempt Friday night.

“At times it was really difficult,” coach Hauser said of defending Manhattan’s long-range shooters. “They do a five-out, they’re all guards out there and so they get a lot of penetration. We teach our kids all year to help. Next time we play them maybe we won’t help off of Finn and Holgate quite as much.”

Three Forks boasted four players in double figures with Owen Long and Zach Pitcher adding 14 and 10 points, respectively. The duo combined for four of the team’s six 3’s.

“Have to give Three Forks credit that is a tough team they have two really good kids,” Kragt said, referring to Micaiah Hauser and Dalke.

Three Forks (6-1, 5-0) capped the weekend with a 44-40 conference victory on the road against Townsend. Led by 16 points from Micaiah Hauser and 13 from Dalke, the Wolves rallied from an eight-point first half deficit en route to winning by four.

Three Forks is back in action Thursday hosting Class A Butte Central, while Manhattan travels to Big Timber for a conference game.

Three Forks 70, Manhattan 62

Manhattan               10  12  18  22  -  62

Three Forks              17  18  21  14  -  70

MANHATTAN (5-3) - Caden Holgate 5 2-2 15, Colter Barta 0 0-2 0, Evan Douma 5 5-9 15, Finn Tesoro 5 0-0 14, Jadon Pierce 0 0-0 0, Kyle Hotvedt 5 0-0 10, Wyatt Jones 0 0-0 0, Sven Stenberg 2 3-4 8, Markus Fenno 0 0-0 0. Totals: 22 10-17 62.

THREE FORKS (5-1) - Trenton Nimmick 0 0-0 0, Micaiah Hauser 4 7-9 16, Owen Long 6 0-1 14, Zach Pitcher 3 2-3 10, Dustin Dalke 9 5-7 24, Zach Butcher 0 0-0 0, Tyler Williams 0 0-0 0, Austin Allen 1 2-5 4, Zane Hansen 1 0-0 2. Totals: 24 16-25 70.

3-point goals: Man 8 (Tesoro 4, Holgate 3, Stenberg 1), TF 6 (Long 2, Pitcher 2, Hauser 1, Dalke 1).

Three Forks 44, Townsend 40

Three Forks                  6  12  18  8  -  44

Townsend                    14  9    8   9  -  40

THREE FORKS (6-1) - Trenton Nimmick 0 0-0 0, Micaiah Hauser 4 5-10 16, Owen Long 2 0-0 6, Zach Pitcher 1 0-0 3, Dustin Dalke 6 1-2 13, Zach Butcher 0 0-0 0, Tyler Williams 0 0-0 0, Austin Allen 3 0-1 6, Zane Hansen 0 0-0 0. Totals: 16 6-13 44.

TOWNSEND (1-7) - Trey Hoveland 0 1-2 1, Zack Idland 1 0-0 2, Jesus Garcia 0 0-0 0, Nate Hill 1 0-0 2, Tyler Christensen 5 6-12 16, Devon Zeadow 2 0-0 4, Braden Racht 0 2-2 2. Totals: 15 10-18 40.