Cowboys play well in 63-57 loss to Senior

 

The Custer County District High School Cowboy basketball team put together one of their better games of the season on Friday night against the Class AA Billings Senior Broncs. But, the Cowboys couldn’t come up with the points in the final minute and lost 63-57.

“I thought we made a huge stride tonight,” Cowboys Head Coach Houston Finn said. “We played better than we have been lately. Our effort, energy and communication showed tonight. Two things hurt us, turnovers and boxing out and getting rebounds. But, I was really pleased with the effort of the kids.”

The Cowboys dropped to 3-10 on the season and remain 1-6 in the Eastern A. They will be at home on Friday night against Laurel at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday against Billings Central starting at 730 p.m.

One of the main issues for the Cowboys this season has been getting off to slow starts. But that wasn’t the case on Friday night.

 The Cowboys put together a 10-1 run in the first quarter to lead 13-7. They held onto the lead, 15-11, after the first quarter.

After the Cowboys pushed their lead to six early in the second quarter, Senior (6-6) went on a 13-0 run that culminated with their biggest lead of the night, 26-19.

The Cowboys kept themselves in the game and went into halftime trailing 32-28.

The Cowboys continued to stay in the game through the early part of the third quarter when senior Brac Warren put the Cowboys on his back.

Warren scored five quick points to cut the Senior lead to 39-38. Connor Torstenbo then hit a bucket to give the Cowboys a 40-39 lead, their first since leading 19-18.

Senior then retook the lead, but Warren and Brett Keith hit shots down the stretch that kept the Cowboys within two going into the fourth quarter.

Midway through the fourth, Torstenbo hit a pair of free throws to tie the score at 50 and then with 3:46 to play, Warren drilled his second three of the game to give the Cowboys a 53-50 lead.

Senior then answered with a 9-2 run to retake the lead. Warren and Keith both hit shots in the final minutes to keep the lead at two points, but Kooper Kidgell sunk all six of his free throws in the final 47 seconds to preserve the win for the Broncs. 

“We’ve struggled to get off to good starts,” Finn said. “We won the first quarter, and that was one of our goals. We gave them the lead back and then we battled back. We had our chances down the stretch, and that’s all you can ask.”

Warren had a big game for the Cowboys, leading the way with 25 points and 14 rebounds. Of his 25 points, 19 came in the second half. Keith and Torstenbo each scored eight points for the Cowboys, Keith also grabbed six rebounds.

Kidgell led Senior with 23 points and six rebounds.

The Cowboys have a tough weekend ahead of them against Laurel and Billings Central. Both teams handled the Cowboys earlier in the season.

“We have to fine tune the details,” Finn said. “We have to make sure we box out and not give teams multiple chances to score. And fine tune the offense, where we’re not turning the ball over. If we come out iwth the same effort and energy, we’re going to continue to get better and I think we’ll battle this weekend.”

Billings Senior 63, Miles City 57

Senior 11 21 16 15 - 63

Miles City 15 13 18 11 - 57

Miles City (3-10, 1-6)- Gavin Gundlach 6, Timmy Regan 2, Austin Stradley 3, Brett Keith 8, Kyle Collins 4, Brac Warren 25, Connor Torstenbo 8, Matt Blunt 1.

Billings Senior (6-6)- Jorey Egeland 5, Quinn Abdallah 4, Eli Tostengard 6, Justin Dreessen 7, Joe Zimmer 9, Nickos Vlahos 6, Kooper Kidgell 23, Maclean Turner 3.