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Vikings to open Divisionals against Butte Central Thursday

by JEREMY WEBER
For the Eagle | February 21, 2024 9:00 AM

Postseason play gets underway for the Vikings basketball team in Butte Thursday as they take on Butte Central in the opening round of the Western A Divisional Tournament at 3:30 p.m.

The Vikings enter the tournament as the number three seed from the Northwest with a 9-9 record, averaging 55 points-per-game while giving up 52.2 points-per-contest.

The Vikings are led by Asher Knopik’s 15.6 points-per-game, but will be without their second leading scorer in Eli Thorness, who will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury.

The Vikings come into divisIonals having won three of their last four games, including must-win matchups against Ronan and Whitefish to end the regular season.

Butte Central enters the tournament as the number two seed from the Southwest by virtue of having scored two less points in its two matchups against Hamilton this season.

The Maroons went 15-3 during the regular season, averaging 64.8 points-per-game while allowing 47.1, led by Owen McPartland’s 15.6 ppg and Jack Keeley’s 14.2.

The Maroons also feature the top two three-point shooters in Class A in Joshua Sutton (50%) and Ryan Peoples (45.3%).

Browning grabbed the top seed from the Northwest with a 14-4 record this season while Columbia Falls was second and Ronan was fourth.

Hamilton enters the tournament as the top seed from the Southwest at 16-2, led by the second-leading scorer in Class A in Canaan Magness (21.2 ppg).

Magness is also second in assists at 4.3 per contest.

Dillon is the third seed from the Southwest with a 14-4 record.

While the Beavers have no scorers in the top-10 in Class A, 6’5” Kyler Engelland leads Class A in blocked shots (29) and is second in rebounding at 8.6 per game.

Frenchtown, the number four seed from the Southwest at 13-6, could prove a matchup problem for anyone attempting to guard 6’7” Eli Quinn.

Quinn leads Class A in scoring at 24.7 points-per-game, is second in blocked shots at 28 and third in rebounds at 7.8 per contest.

The top four teams from the tournament advance to Class A State Tournament in Butte March 7-9.


    Joanne