Dawson bedevils CCDHS in loser-out game

By Star Staff

When you lose by a single point and have your season end, it can be considered disheartening.

Such was the case Thursday for the Custer County District High School Cowboys, who were eliminated from state tournament contention by rival Dawson County of Glendive.

The Red Devils prevailed 52-51 in a loser-out game at the Montana Class A Eastern/Central Super Divisional, a 10-team event at the Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark in Billings.

The score was knotted at 35 after three quarters, thanks to a 20-7 rally by the Cowboys, who trailed 13-8 after one quarter and 28-15 at halftime.

Then Dawson (7-13) outscored the Cowboys 17-16 in the fourth quarter, which was just enough to get the exciting victory and move on to play Billings Central in another loser-out game this morning.

The win was the result of a super rally by Dawson in the final minute after falling behind by six. Lane Walker’s 3-pointer made it 51-48 with 54 seconds left. Following a CCDHS turnover, Stephon Steinbron completed a 3-point play to tie it.

After a charging call on the Cowboys gave the ball back to Dawson, Robby Keiser II was fouled and made one free throw with 5.9 seconds left for the winning point.

A last-second running shot by Kaden Stradley hit the back of the rim and bounced away.

CCDHS, which went 0-3 against the Red Devils this season, threw a threeprong offensive attack at the Red Devils, led by Gabe Gundlach’s 18 points. Steven Ray added 15 points and Stradley had 11. Also scoring for the Cowboys were Jayden Venable with five and Keith Vanderlaan with two.

Dawson got 21 points from Steinbron and 11 from Keiser. The remaining 20 points were divided among Pacyn Partridge (8), Walker (7) and Logan Phipps

(5).

Dawson helped itself by shooting 54 percent (19-of-35) from the field; the Red Devils also hit half of their 10 3-point attempts.

Meanwhile, the Cowboys were only 39 percent (16-of-41) from the field and 27 percent (6-of-22) from distance. Gundlach had five 3-pointers and Stradley one. Ray was 6-for-7 from the field and Steinbron was 9-for-15.

Otherwise, the statistics showed an even game with each team being credited with 25 rebounds and CCDHS having a 13-9 advantage in made free throws.

The Cowboys end their season with a 6-14 record, including 1-2 at the Super Divisional. They opened with a 45-43 victory over Havre on Wednesday morning, then fell 65-45 to Hardin in the afternoon.

They had hoped for a strong run in Billings to finish among the top four that qualify for the State Class A tournament next week in Bozeman.

It was the last game for two seniors — Gundlach and Shawn Beeler.

Today’s boys schedule: Loser-out — Dawson vs. Billings Central, 9 a.m.; Park (Livingston) vs. Sidney, 10:30 a.m. Winner’s bracket semifinals — Hardin vs. Laurel, 3:30 p.m.; Belgrade vs. Fergus (Lewistown), 5 p.m.

Saturday’s games: Loser-out — TBD, 9 a.m. (one at MetraPark, one at Rocky Mountain College). Third place — TBD, 3 p.m. Championship — TBD, 6 p.m.

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