Panthers

Ta’Veus Randle scored on a baseline drive to cap the first quarter, and then beat the buzzer on a halfcourt shot prior to halftime. But those were the only highlights of a tough first half for Belgrade Thursday night in Billings.

The Panthers trailed by 22 at the break en route to a 64-35 defeat to Billings Skyview in a Class AA state tournament play-in game. The Falcons, who are the defending state co-champion, returned to state for a third consecutive season.

“We ran into a phenomenal Skyview team tonight that gets it done on both ends of the floor,” Belgrade coach Luke Powers said. “They are unselfish and play hard at all times.”

Skyview (12-3) led 18-9 after the first quarter and never let off the gas. Eleven of the team’s 12 players scored in the contest led by a game-high 17 points from Cameron Ketchum.

Belgrade scored just six points in the second quarter and 15 in the first half. While the team tallied 20 in the second half, the deficit was simply too much to overcome.

Randle led the Panthers with a game-high 22 points, while Wyatt Russell and Jaden Whitman were the only other teammates to score with 11 and two points, respectively.

“I’m so proud of our kids for our improvement through the course of the season,” Powers said. “Not just our overall play, but also how we came together as a group and began playing more selfless basketball as the year went on.”

Belgrade (2-13) won just two games in its second season as a AA program, but loses just two seniors to graduation. Thus, Powers is excited about the future of his young team.

“We lose two fantastic young men in seniors Hunter Simon and Tyler Gordon. Their leadership and personalities will be missed in our program, and I personally feel very blessed to have been able to coach and be a part of both of their young lives,” he said. “Beyond that, we return the core of our program and plan on having much higher expectations as we head into next season. We’re really looking forward to making some serious noise in the AA East.”

Billings Skyview 64, Belgrade 35

Belgrade                    9    6   20  10  -  35

Skyview                    18  19  17  12  -  64

BELGRADE (2-13) - Taylor Tvedt 0 0-0 0, Ta’Veus Randle 7 6-9 22, Austin Spangler 0 0-0 0, Jarom Rogers 0 0-0 0, Miles Haley 0 0-0 0, Aher Feddes 0 0-0 0, Wyatt Russell 4 1-2 11, Kade Schlauch 0 0-0 0, Sage Smart 0 0-0 0, Hunter Simon 0 0-0 0, Jaden Whitman 1 0-0 2, Tyler Gordon 0 0-0 0. Totals: 12 7-11 35.

BILLINGS SKYVIEW (12-3) - R. Owens 0 0-0 0, Connor Chase 1 0-0 3, Lane Love 1 0-0 2, Cameron Ketchum 6 2-3 17, Jackson Willems 1 1-1 3, Abe Seybert 4 0-0 9, Levi Johnson 2 1-1 7, Trent Moseman 3 0-2 6, Payton Sanders 2 2-4 6, Brooks Nelson 3 0-0 6, Ky Kouba 1 0-0 2, Kaiden Alexander 2 0-0 4. Totals: 25 6-11 64.

3-point goals: Bel 4 (Randle 2, Russell 2), BS 5 (Ketchum 3, Seybert, Johnson).

Recommended for you