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Eureka ends Blackhawk
run for a state berth


Seeley Swan Pathfinder
March 11, 1999


The Blackhawks played with the best in Western B basketball this seasonand beat the bestbut came up short in Western Divisional Tournament play last weekend when Eureka knocked them out of the tournament as the Hawks attempted a comeback in the consolation bracket.

Eureka was then dumped by Loyola in the consolation finals for third place, and Loyolaable to challenge Plains who lost to St. Ignatius in a double overtime finaltrounced Plains 61-32 in the Monday challenge game.

So it's Loyola, who the Blackhawks beat out of first place in the District finals, and St. Ignatius, who barely edged the Blackhawks, that will represent the Western B teams at the state Class B tournament in Billings this weekend.

After a surprising first-place finish in the District 5-B tournament the week before, the Blackhawks faced St. Ignatius in the opening round and dropped a 65-62 overtime game after leading throughout.

St. Ignatius, who finished fourth in the District 6-B tournament but first in 6-B regular season play, discovered its winning stride again at Divisional at the expense of the Blackhawks who jumped to a 17-point lead, 29-12, at one time in the second period before St. Ignatius began chopping away, whittling that lead down to 9 points, 31-22, at halftime.

The Blackhawks, however, managed to hold the lead all the way to overtime, when a running three-pointer by St. Ignatius' Justin Keeble tied regulation play at 57-57.

Keeble then put St. Ignatius up for good on a steal and layup in overtime, with St. Ignatius adding six more free throws for the winning margin.

Senior Chris Auchenbach led the Hawks with 20 points, followed by Cameron Gamache with 18, Bobby Clark 7, Lelan Anders 6, Bryan Barthelmess 5, Justin Taylor 4, and Scott Taylor 2.

The Hawks kept things alive against Thompson Falls the next day in a game that was nip-and-tuck through three and one-half quarters.

With only five minutes to go, the Hawks unleased a series of three-pointers, three by Kaleb Johnson and one by Cameron Gamache to outdistance themselves from a surprised Thompson Falls team who had held a one-point third-quarter lead, and had battled the Hawks to a standstill.

Johnson scored his total 11 points inside the five-minute mark, added a two-pointer to the three treys. Chris Auchenback again paced the Hawks with 14 points, while Gamache and Johson added 11 each, Bobby Clark 9, Lelan Anders 9, Bryan Barthelmess 5, and Justin Taylor 2.

The Blackhawks, who have often turned the tide late in the game, found themselves at the mercy of the tide when Eureka, late in the third period, broke away from what had been a dead-locked, low-scoring game, with Eureka holding a one-point lead at halftime, 23-22.

The Hawks couldn't find the timing as percentage shooting dropped from the field on near misses and a pressure defense by Eureka forced turnovers and mistakes. Eureka pulled ahead in the waning minutes to end the Hawks' season, 55-40.

Senior Lelan Anders led the Hawk effort with 11 points, followed by Kaleb Johnson with 9, Bobby Clark 6, Chris Auchenbach 6, Cameron Gamache 4, Bryan Barthelmess 3, and Scott Taylor 2.

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