More games like opener would be great

Star Columnist

In assuming all sports fans enjoy an exciting, nail-biting game, then those in attendance must have gotten all they wanted — and perhaps more — when the Cowboys rallied down the stretch and defeated visiting Williston 65-63 last Saturday in the season-opening basketball game.

The Custer County District High School boys may not have many of those this season. That’s not to say they won’t notch a lot of victories, but it doesn’t often happen that a team trails the whole game before catching up and winning with a field goal only 11 seconds before the final buzzer.

That certainly was a memorable drive by Kaden Stradley for the winning two points against a stunned pack of Coyotes, who hurt themselves with a 14-for-37 showing on free throws.

You have to feel bad for them, but any sympathy was overlooked by the cheering crowd.

What I learned was the Cowboys are fearless, attacking inside against an opponent with superior height. Heck, Stradley stretches out at 5-foot-9 and he missed his first five shots, only to recover and tie Gabe Gundlach as the team’s high scorers with 24 points apiece.

If you read the comments from the players in Wednesday’s Star, you should have noticed that Gundlach said: “If we all do our jobs, height won’t really matter.”

He was right, at least in Game 1.

Now comes a weekend of two more home games against Park (Livingston) at 6 p.m. Friday and against Belgrade at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

The CCDHS Cowgirls somewhat copied the Williston boys by missing 13 free throws in their 62-59 loss at Williston.

That, they hope, can be corrected when they play five straight home games, starting Friday at 7:30 p.m. against Park and against Belgrade at 6 p.m. Saturday.

Doubleheaders can be a sports reporter’s nightmare, but I’m ready for some basketball. OK, that sounds better when Hank Williams Jr. or Faith Hill sing it for Monday Night Football.

But I don’t sing; rather, I write of sports and a few other things.

The Cowboys and Cowgirls are up next.

Hope to see you there.



— The Miles City Unified Board of Trustees, commonly known as the school board, meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday with coaching evaluations as one of the items on the agenda. Athletic director Dominick Vergara will provide the review of the coaches in the fall sports season and recommendations for the 2018 season.

— The CCDHS boys rematch at Williston, scheduled Jan. 11, has been canceled. A game at Campbell County High School in Gillette, Wyoming, has been added at a date to be determined.

— Basketball can be a strange game. Just ask Kylee Meredith, a freshman at Miles Community College. On Wednesday night against Dawson CC, she hit three 3-pointers to get the Pioneers rolling to a 14-4 lead just 4:54 into the game. That was a good start.

When she was fouled on a 3-pointer to start the second quarter, the 5-6 guard from Kalispell missed all three free throws. Go figure.

She finished with another field goal and a free throw for a 14-point night in the 71-61 victory.

— At the Sidney Invitational wrestling tournament, where the Cowboys made their season debut, four teams from out of state dominated the team standings. Idaho teams were one-two with Post Falls winning with 186 points, followed by Columbia with 170. Bozeman was third with 160.5 and Lake Stevens, Washington, took fourth with 137.5.

The Cowboys, led by Braxton Scheeler (fourth at 113 pounds) and Hayes Meged (sixth at 205), totaled 34 points and were 17th of 25 teams. They followed with a 30-29 dual victory Tuesday at Glendive, which placed third in the state last season.

— This season’s hard luck story in girls basketball: Final score: Froid-Medicine Lake 102, Brockton 0. That was girls basketball. Ouch!

— As a graduate of the University of North Dakota, I’m saddened to see UND not on the football schedules of either Montana or Montana State in 2018. Both Montana schools, which overwhelmed UND this year, are playing at South Dakota State next fall. Good luck there.

SDSU beat North Dakota State this year.

(Contact Abe Winter at or 406-234-0450.)