BUTTE — With 6.3 seconds left in overtime and down by a point to Butte Central in the semifinals of the boys Western A Divisional, Frenchtown took a timeout to draw up a final play.
It was a 30 second timeout and the Maroons' pep band's turn to play during the break. They choose to play Pat Benatar's 1980 hit, "Hit Me With Your Best Shot."
A few seconds after the final chord faded in the Butte Civic Center and the referees whistle blew, Jared Cole obliged.
The junior hit an open three-point shot in the corner to put the Broncs up two with just 1.4 seconds remaining.
The Maroons tried for a last, desperate, game-winner, but Matt Simkins' shot clanged off the side of the rim and Frenchtown took the game, 45-43.
"I was just trying to do my job and be ready for it," Cole said. "I just got it to go in."
Cole called the play a team effort and it really was.
It started with Cade Baker setting a screen and allowing his brother, Zack, to get roll off and drive to the rim. Zack caught the inbound pass and drove toward the rim, which sucked in Butte Central's Matt Simkins.
Simkins, in trying to help at the rim, allowed Cole to get open and Baker made a pass along the baseline. Cole, who finished with 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting, hit the open jumper.
"We were just trying to get the best shot available and not give Butte Central enough time to get a shot," Frenchtown head coach Mark Quinn said. "We drew something up and it worked out."
A close game throughout, it was a tough loss for the Maroons who a three-point lead with a minute left in the overtime period. Butte Central's Cade Holter missed the front end of a one-and-one and the Broncs got the rebound and scored a layup.
The Maroons traveled on the next possession, giving Frenchtown it's final chance.
"We had every chance to win it," Central coach Brodie Kelly said. "This is the fourth time we've played and these are two evenly matched teams. It's just a grinder."
It was a back-and-fourth game that saw the Broncs lead by a few points for most of the contest. Every time they'd threaten to go up by a bit more than that, Central would respond with a small run of its own.
Losing like that, however, is hard and the Maroons will have a quick turnaround — they play Ronan for a spot in the state tournament at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday. Central will have to beat the Chiefs for a spot in the state tournament.
Frenchtown is headed to the Western A championship game against Hamilton and have assured themselves a spot at state.
"We have great athletes that are buying into our program," Quinn said. "They're pretty excited and I don't know when the last time it was that Frenchtown went to state.
"They're pretty stoked."
HAMILTON 56, DILLON 44
The Broncs hit 11-of-18 three-pointers as they moved to the Western A title game and assured themselves a spot in the state tournament.
A close game over the first two quarters, Hamilton ended any hope of an upset with a barrage of three-point shots in the third quarter. It extended its lead to as many as 15 before Dillon was able to chip away at it a bit.
The Broncs remain undefeated at 22-0.
"It was exciting to see our kids come out of half time and play a good third quarter," Hamilton head coach Travis Blome said. "We made a lot of shots and that always helps.
"It was good to see them come through."
Tanner Goligoski had 18 points to lead the Broncs and hit 4-of-5 three-point attempts. He also tacked on three rebounds. Carter Kearns had 14 points, seven rebounds and four assists for Hamilton, leading the team in the latter two categories.
Dillon's Clay Allison led the way for the Beavers with nine points and five rebounds.
"We've been off the last couple games, but the three-point shot really is our game," Kearns said "Today they were falling."
BROWNING 77, POLSON 70.
Nathaniel Stiffarm had 30 points on 7-of-14 shooting as the Indians staved off elimination with a strong second half against the Pirates.
Down 10 after the first quarter and six at halftime, Browning came out of halftime tough and outscored Polson 18-9 in the third.
The Pirates' Shade Main had a double-double, scoring 21 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.
Browning will face Dillon at 9:30 a.m. in the Maroon Activities Center with a spot at state on the line.
RONAN 51, LIBBY 32
Anthony Camel had 18 points and 10 rebounds as the Chiefs had little issue with the Loggers.
Ronan started off the game with a 16-2 first quarter and led by as many as 26 in the third quarter. Libby is eliminated while Ronan will face Butte Central for a spot in the third-place game.