SHERIDAN — Montana pulled out yet another sweep of Wyoming to open the 2022 Midland Roundtable Montana-Wyoming all-star basketball series in Sheridan, with the girls pulling away late and the guys blowing the game open in the first half.
GIRLS: Montana 69, Wyoming 59
Mya Hansen poured in 19 points to lead the Montana girls to a hard-fought victory over Wyoming, 69-59, for the tenth consecutive win in the series,
Montana held a narrow 50-49 lead after three quarters but put the clamps down defensively in the fourth quarter to pull away. That defense coupled with some big-time buckets from Hansen put the game to rest.
"We just pulled together as a team. You could tell we were a little frantic at the beginning," Hansen said. "We've only had two practices playing together. We've played well so far and finally built that chemistry to play well together. What it comes down to is defense. We progressively got better at defense and we need to bring that right back out (Saturday)."
Hansen was one of three Montana girls in double figures, as Melstone's Draya Wacker and Missoula Hellgate's Bailee Sayler added 10 apiece. Good ball movement throughout the game allowed Montana to grind out baskets in a physical game. Allison Olsen led Wyoming with 13.
"They are a good team. They’re a very athletic team and they’ve got some great defenders," Hansen said. "It’s definitely harder on ball, but once we start moving that ball we start moving that ball and find each other wide open. When we get caught up one on one we’re not as good, but when we get that chemistry we’re good.”
With its 10th consecutive win, Montana now leads the series 36-13.
BOYS: Montana 103, Wyoming 76
Montana led by just six after the first quarter but out-scored Wyoming 33-10 in the second to take a commanding 29-point lead at halftime on its way to a 103-76 win, the 19th consecutive for Montana in the series.
Damon Gros Ventre, one of Montana's most prolific scorers in state history, poured in 22 points to lead Montana, though the boys from the Treasure State had everyone score, five of which hit double figures.
"That's who we are. We're top 10 best in the state. We've got to just feed each other the rock and once we all get our rhythm going it feels good," Gros Ventre said.
Montana put the clamps on Wyoming for extended periods throughout the game, holding them to just 73 total points. Although Montana won big, they lost the second half by two. They know they'll need to keep the foot on the gas on Saturday night in Lockwood.
"Just defense and rebounds. Communication, rebounding and pushing the floor," Gros Ventre said. "(Coach Keller) has been on us a lot. These guys are good shooters and we've got to close out the 3. Our rotations, we communicate. Communication is number one for us (Friday)."
Davis Crilley of Wyoming matched Gros Ventre's 22 points. Owen Long had 16, Rhett Reynolds had 15 Peyton Sanders had 13 and Jackson Bayse had 10.
Montana's 19th consecutive win moves the all-time series advantage to 64-27.