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Underdog Blackhawks might
be District Tournament surprise

by Gary Noland
Seeley Swan Pathfinder
February 25, 1999

A lot of folks may be watching to see what the "underdog" Blackhawks might do in the district dasketball tournament this week after the Hawks scared number two Deer Lodge who managed a win, 71-70, on two free throws in the final 20 seconds last Friday night, and then upset District 6-B leader Plains 81-70 the following night.

Ranked in the cellar in District 5-B all season with a 3-9 conference record, the Hawks will have another shot at Deer Lodge in the opening round of the 5-B District Tournament Wednesday. Game time is at 6 p.m. at the Loyola Sacred Heart Activity Center in Missoula.

Deer Lodge, who earlier in the season squeaked out another win over the Blackhawks 74-68, will not be taking the Blackhawks lightly after the Hawk's 81-79 win over Plains Saturday.

The win was especially thrilling for Blackhawk seniors and their parents who were honored before the last home game Saturday night.

Behind Bobby Clark's string of three 3-pointers in the first quarter, the Hawks scorched the net, blitzing Plains 31-18 in the first period.

Both teams played even in the second quarter, with the Hawks holding on to a 13-point halftime lead. Plains closed that gap with 47 points between the Meredith twins, Kevin and Keith, but Kaleb Johnson iced the game on two free throws in the final four seconds, putting the Hawks out front of even a last second three-pointer by Kevin Meredith from beyond the center court line.

In a balanced offense, Clark accounted for 19 points, Kaleb Johnson 16, Chris Auchenbach 13, Lelan Anders 11, Cameron Gamache 9, Bryan Barthelmess 5, Scott Taylor 4, and Justin Taylor 4.

Friday night against Deer Lodge, the Hawks were down 10 points early in the first period and stunned everyone by bouncing back to take a 13-12 first quarter lead, but then let Deer Lodge gain back a 37-26 hafltime lead. Then, in a see-saw game, the Hawks managed a 52-51 lead going into the fourth period, and were up by one when Deer Lodge sank two free throws in the final 20 seconds to cap a 71-70 win.

Chris Auchenbach led the Hawks with 12 points, followed by Lelan Anders with 11, Bobby Clark 11, Bryan Barthelmess 10, Cameron Gamache 8, Kaleb Johnson 8, Scott Taylor 6, and Justin Taylor 4.

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