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Seeley-Swan Blackhawks a surprise
at State Class C Tournament in Billings

Matt Schneiter - First Team

Mike Larson - Second Team

Jesse Boone - Hon. Mention

Three Seeley-Swan Blackhawks were recognized by the Montana Coaches Association in polling for all-state teams.

Junior Matt Schneiter, a 6-1 forward, was named to the Class C All-State First Team. Schneiter averaged 16.7 points per game while leading the Blackhawks to a fourth place finish at the State Class C Tournament in Billings.

Senior Mike Larson, another 6-1 forward, was named by coaches to the Clacc C All-State Second Team. Larson averaged 14.3 points a game.

Senior Jesse Boone, 6-2, was one of three other western Montana players receiving honorable mention. Boone led the Blackhawks in scoring throughout the regular season.

Blackhawks finish Fourth at State...

by Gary Noland
For the Pathfinder
March 20, 1995

Unranked Seeley-Swan was probably the surprise team in the State Class C Basketball Tournament in Billings last weekend.

Though they failed to bring home a trophy, the Blackhawk's fourth place finish is the highest any Seeley-Swan team has attained since 1980, coach Kim Haines said of the same team that this year pushed his career wins past the 500-game mark.

"Some of these kids were only a year old at that time," he laughed. "When you're a small school, these performances are sometimes far between."

Before the tournament, Haines was quoted as saying, "...we fear no one and respect everyone," when his team drew the number one team in first round action.

That lack of fear helped the Hawks upset undefeated and number-one-ranked Scobey 52-51 in overtime. The Hawks then lost to Cascade, the eventual state champion, 74-59 when the momentum turned in the third period after the Hawks had led 40-36 at halftime.

Then, in the consolation bracket, the Blackhawks surged back, avenging a divisional championship loss to Ennis, with a 75-58 win that propelled them into a rematch with Scobey for third place on Saturday night.

"We had to run hard with Ennis in the morning," Haines said, "and the kids were tired" for the third place contest that night, though they again led Scobey early in the third period before the momentum once again changed.

In both the Cascade and Scobey losses, the third period proved crucial, with the Hawks matching both their opponents in the other periods of play.

"I don't have the answer to the third periods," Haines said.

But, fourth at State is a heady accomplishment and "...I'm real proud of them," Haines added. "Right now, we're all exhausted."

The Hawks earned their trip to the state tournament with a second-place district finish behind Drummond, then went on to upend Drummond at the divisional tournament and win the divisional with a championship win over Ennis.

Game One-Scobey

The unranked Blackhawks grabbed everyone's attention in one of the biggest games of the tournament when the Hawks broke a string of 29 straight wins the tournament favorite had racked up. The Hawks bounced back from a 23-19 halftime deficit to stymie Scobey in overtime.

"This was a big win," Haines said of the overtime win where Scobey's Spencer Frederick missed the first of two free throws that could have tied the game in the final seconds of overtime and forced a second overtime. He made the second, but the Hawks were on top 52-51.

The Hawks were paced by 17 points from Jesse Boone and 11 from Matt Schneiter, who tied the game with 19 seconds left in regulation play with a long 3-pointer, sending the contest into overtime. Mike Larson dropped a 3-pointer in overtime that put the Hawks in the lead for good.

But, it was a slim lead, repeatedly challenged by Scobey who dropped in a 3-pointer, after Seeley's two free throws by Abe Kats, to close the margin to 51-50 with six seconds left. Scobey the fouled and Schneiter made the first free throw to make it 52-50. A Blackhawk foul with no time left sent Scobey's Frederick to the line where he missed the crucial first free throw.

Boone and Schneiter were backed up by teammates Abe Kats with 9, Pat Morin 8, and Mike Larson 5.

Game Two-Cascade

Cascade eventually won the state championship with a 54-52 win over Saco, but before that they felt the mettle of the Blackhawks in game two.

The Blackhawks jumped to a 16-12 first quarter lead over Cascade and expanded the lead to 40-34 at halftime. Then, Cascade found the range and opened the third period with 11 unanswered points, taking a 45-40 lead and then a 57-46, outscoring the Hawks by 17 points in the third period.

Seeley's Larson led the offense with 20 points, followed by Morin's 13. Schneiter added 12, Boone 11, Lelan Anders 2, and Kats 1.

Game Three-Ennis

The Blackhawks turned it on in the fourth period, outscoring Western C Divisional Champ Ennis by 10 points and securing a solid 75-58 win, avenging their overtime divisional loss to Ennis.

Blackhawk Schneiter led Seeley's rolling offense with 22 points and 15 rebounds, followed by Larson's 17 points, and Boone's 16. Kats added 9, Morin 8, and Cody Jensen 3.

Game Four-Scobey

The Blackhawks met Scobey for the second time when both teams battled back in the consolation bracket to meet again for the third-place matchup.

The game was tied 29-29 at halftime, and the Hawks took a 33-29 lead in early third period play. Then, Scobey, making adjustments after a time out, went on a 13-2 run, leading 42-35 going into the fourth period, which they also controlled to win the third place spot 60-50.

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