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Valkyries take third at state basketball tournament, Vikings reach semifinals

by JEREMY WEBER
For the Eagle | March 16, 2022 12:00 AM

The Vikings and Valkyries were in action at the Class B State Basketball Tournament in Bozeman last week as the Valkyries dropped their opening game to Jefferson before battling their way through the consolation bracket to earn third. The Vikings opened the tournament with a win over Manhattan, but dropped the next two and were eliminated in consolation semifinals.

VALKYRIES

Valkyries 55, Jefferson 61

Rachel Van Blaricom and the Jefferson Panthers proved to be too much for the Valkyries in the opening round of the State B Basketball Tournament in Bozeman Thursday morning.

Van Blaricom poured in 35 points for the Panthers, who came away with a 61-55 victory.

Braeden Gunlock led Bigfork with 20 points and seven rebounds while Emma Berreth contributed 11 points, but the Valkyries found themselves down two after the opening quarter and were never able overcome the deficit.

Valkyries 48, Columbus 44

The Valkyries got a clutch three from Ellie Jordt and four big points down the stretch from Madison Chappuis Friday morning as they downed the Columbus Cougars 48-44.

Gunlock led the way for Bigfork in the win with 16 points and eight rebounds Emma Berreth poured in 13 points and seven boards.

Bigfork used a 14-0 scoring run to grab a 16-4 lead after one quarter and led by as many as 15 late in the first half, but the Cougars battled their way back and tied the game at 36 on a three from Natalie Gairrett with 4:41 to play in the fourth quarter.

A free throw from Izzie Gurie put the Cougars up 44-41 with 1:50 to play, but Jordt banked in a three from the left wing to tie the game with 1:24 remaining, her only basket of the game.

A free-throw line jumper by Chappuis with 49 seconds to play gave the Valkyries the lead for good and her conversion of both free throws on a one-and-one opportunity with 18.3 seconds remaining secured the victory for Bigfork.

Valkyries 58, Harlem 40

The Valkyries had three players score in double figures Saturday morning as they cruised past Harlem in the consolation semifinals, 58-40.

Gunlock had 21, Berreth scored 16 and Ava Davey added 10 as Bigfork jumped out to a 17-6 lead after one quarter and never looked back.

Harlem never led in the contest.

Bigfork out-rebounded Harlem 32-15 in the win, led by Chappuis with eight boards while Gunlock had seven.

Valkyries 59, Glasgow 49

The Valkyries held off a late surge from Glasgow to earn third at the State B Basketball Tournament in Bozeman Saturday afternoon, downing the Scotties 59-49.

Gunlock poured in 25 points and added eight rebounds (seven offensive) in the victory while Berreth added 14 points and Davey had 12 as Bigfork led for all but one minute in the contest.

Chappuis provided energy on the boards finishing with nine rebounds as the Valkyries overcame being out-rebounded by 10 in the win.

The Valkyries led by as many as 12 in the second quarter, but saw that lead cut to five with 5:23 to play in the fourth quarter.

The lead was still five with just over four minutes to play when Gunlock knocked down a three to put the Valkyries up 53-45.

It was still 53-47 when Berreth forced a tie ball on the Glasgow side of the court with Bigfork taking possession.

The Valkyries finished on a 6-0 run to pull away for the victory.

The Valkyries finish the season 25-2.

VIKINGS

Vikings 55, Manhattan 46

The Vikings led for all but 40 seconds against Manhattan in the Bigfork boys opening game at the State B Basketball Tournament in Bozeman Thursday afternoon.

Led by Levi Taylor’s 17 points and Bryce Gilliard’s 10, the Vikings held off a feisty Tigers squad to earn a 55-46 victory and advance to a Friday semi-final matchup against Three Forks.

Bigfork jumped out to a 13-8 lead after one quarter against the Tigers, but saw that lead disappear in the second at Manhattan tied the score at 20 apiece at halftime.

Bigfork took a 38-33 lead into the fourth quarter, but the Tigers rallied to take their only lead of the contest, a one-point margin with 6:48 to play.

Taylor’s tough work on the offensive boards and an unforgiving defense effort helped the Vikings pull away down the stretch.

Bigfork used nine offensive rebounds to score 12 second-chance points in the win, outscoring the Tigers in the paint, 22-12.

Vikings 54, Three Forks 65

A rough third quarter did in the Vikings in the State B semifinals Friday night as Bigfork fell to the eventual state champions, the Three Forks Wolves, 65-54.

Bigfork led by as many as five in the second quarter but trailed 29-26 at the half before the Wolves used an 18-9 third-quarter push to leave the Vikings trailing 47-35 heading into the fourth quarter.

Bigfork cut the lead as low as eight in the fourth quarter but could not complete the comeback and will take on Shelby in the consolation semifinals at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.

Colin Wade led the Bigfork effort with 14 points, while Isak Epperly added 12 and Taylor had 11.

Vikings 40, Shelby 45

The Vikings season came to a close against Shelby in the consolation semifinals as they fell to the Coyotes 45-40.

Shelby’s 6 foot 9 inch Rhett Reynolds stifled the Vikings inside throughout the game, blocking and altering shots as Bigfork struggled to score in the paint.

Bigfork cut the Shelby lead to 25-23 early in the third quarter, but went down by as many as seven before a Wade three made the score 32-28.

The Vikings continued to trail by four heading into the fourth quarter, where Shelby built a 10-point lead with six minutes to play.

An Epperly three with 5:42 to play and a pair of Taylor free throws cut the lead to 40-35 with 1:32 to play.

Epperly hit a runner in the lane with 57.4 second remaining to make the score 40-37, but it was as close as the Vikings would get as Shelby held on for the win.

Epperly led the Vikings effort with 12 points, while Wade added eight and Taylor and Eli Thorness each scored six.

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Bigfork's Nick Walker sends back a shot by Manhattan's Callin Fenno in the fourth quarter of the Vikings 55-46 win in the opening round of the State B Basketball Tournament in Bozeman Thursday. (Jeremy Weber/Bigfork Eagle)

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Bigfork's Eli Thorness is hacked by Three Forks defender Owen Long during action in the Class B State Semifinals in Bozeman Friday. (Jeremy Weber/Bigfork Eagle)

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Bigfork's Cole Knopik attempts to steal the ball from Manhattan's Callin Fenno in the opening round of the State B Tournament Thursday. (Jeremy Weber/Bigfork Eagle)

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Bigfork's Levi Taylor goes up for two of his team-high 17 points against Manhattan in the opening round of the State B Tournament Thursday. (Jeremy Weber/Bigfork Eagle)

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Bigfork's Isak Epperly glides in for two points against Three Forks in the State B semifinals in Bozeman Friday. (Jeremy Weber/Bigfork Eagle)

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Bigfork's Braeden Gunlock goes up for two of her 21 points in the Valkyries win over Harlem in the Class B state consolation semifinals Saturday morning in Bozeman. (Jeremy Weber/Bigfork Eagle)

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Bigfork's Emma Berreth steals a pass intended for Jefferson's MacKenzie Layng during the third quarter of opening-round action at the State B Basketball Tournament in Bozeman Thursday. (Jeremy Weber/Bigfork Eagle)

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Bigfork's Madison Chappuis goes up for two points against Columbus at the State B Tournament Friday. (Jeremy Weber/Bigfork Eagle)

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The Valkyries celebrate after earning the Bigfork Girls first win at the 2022 state tournament in Bozeman Friday morning. Bigfork downed Columbus, 48-44. (Jeremy Weber/Bigfork Eagle)

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The Valkyries celebrate after downing Glasgow 59-49 to take third at the State B Basketball Tournament in Bozeman Saturday. (Jeremy Weber/Bigfork Eagle)