McLean lifts Whitehall to victory over Columbus

2013-03-01T00:30:00Z McLean lifts Whitehall to victory over ColumbusMontana Standard Montana Standard
March 01, 2013 12:30 am  • 

Senior guard puts up 30 points in Trojans’ 56-46 opening win; rival Manhattan next

Casey McLean put up 30 points to lead the Whitehall boys to an opening 56-46 win over Columbus at the Southern B Divisional basketball tournament at the Metra in Billings on Thursday night.

The Trojans (15-7), the runners-up from District 5B, advance to play Manhattan in Friday’s 8 p.m. semifinal.

“We worked really hard on our 1-3-1 zone defense all week and the kids really bought into it, did a good job of not gambling, and really stayed solid on defense,” said Whitehall head coach Zach McLean, whose team held Columbus to a combined 15 points in the middle two quarters. “I’m really proud of every one of them, they played their hearts out tonight.”

Casey McLean, the coach’s brother and District 5B’s leading scorer this season, attacked the Cougars’ (15-6) defense throughout the game and went 14 of 16 at the free throw line to build up his points total.

The Trojans shot a whopping 36 free throws on the night as a team.

“Casey took 14 field goal attempts and had 30 points — that’s pretty productive,” Zach McLean said. “It was one of the better games he’s played this year — and I mean both offensively and defensively. But I really think it was a team effort. The kids really stuck to their roles and played well together.”

Bryce Murphy added eight points in the win, including a 6-for-14 effort at the charity stripe.

“(Murphy) has kind of been our silent assassin,” Zach McLean said. “He’s been slumping a bit, but boy are we ready for him to break out.”

Anthony Panella led Columbus with 11 points.

“There’s such a tradition in Columbus — those guys know how to win,” Zach McLean said. “We knew we had our hands full, but the kids came out hungry and stayed hungry the whole game.”

Whitehall is playing without starting senior center Camden Sacry in the tournament and had to reach deep into its bench to get Thursday’s win. Zach McLean expects he’ll need even more players to step up for the undersized Trojans against MANHATTAN OR BAKER’s big lineup on Friday.

“We absolutely have to rebound,” Zach McLean said. “That’s the big thing for us. We can’t give up second- or third-chance points against a team that size.”

Whitehall 9 10 13 24 — 56

Columbus 11 6 9 20 — 46

Whitehall — Sean McCarthy 6, Casey McLean 30, Matt Dyson 7, Connell Coffing 2, Bryce Murphy 8, Bridger Ament 3.

Columbus — Tyler Ostrum 3, Anthony Panella 11, Brady Wiggs 4, Philip Holten 7, Kade Osborne 6, Trey Ostrum 10, Daniel Wiggs 5.

Big Timber 71, Shepherd 56

Grant Ellison scored 22 points and Big Timber exploded for 28 points in the fourth quarter to rally past Shepherd in the first round.

The Sheepherders, from District 5B, trailed 45-43 before outscoring the Mustangs 28-11 in the final period.

Shepherd was led by Tanner Ophus with 15 points.

Shepherd 16 17 12 11 — 56

Big Timber 19 12 12 28 — 71

Shepherd — Tanner Ophus 15, Andrew Barkhuff 8, Jake Mader 6, Dane Martinson 4, Lucas Reif 8, John Mushaben 13, Tyson Hinkle 2.

Big Timber — Cole Groshens 13, Mitch Arlian 7, Nels Flanagan 5, Luke Rech 8, Grant Ellison 22, Brent Finn 14, Payson Lippert 2.

Forsyth 69, Red Lodge 59

Blake Schwagler scored 18 points to lead five Forsyth players in double figures, and the Dogies knocked off Red Lodge in the first round.

Forsyth also received 17 points from Gage Adams in the victory.

The Rams were led by Levi Lynde with 16 points in the defeat.

Forsyth 17 20 12 20 — 69

Red Lodge 14 12 14 19 — 59

Forsyth — Luke Schwagler 11, Dalton Hagadone 11, Gage Adams 17, Riley Keefer 12, Blake Schwagler 18.

Red Lodge — Andy Nordstrom 10, Sean Sullivan 8, Tom Bolkom 5, Levi Lynde 16, Gunnar Buckstead 6, Garrett Carlson 14.

Manhattan 54, Baker 32

Quinn McQueary scored 17 points, Quade McQueary added 12, and Manhattan rolled past Baker in the opening round to set up a semifinal against District 5B Whitehall.

The Tigers also received 11 points from Gavin DeJong in the win.

The Bulldogs were led by Jordan Gray’s 17 points in the defeat.

Manhattan 13 10 14 17 — 54

Baker 7 6 11 8 — 32

Manhattan — Quade McQueary 12, Brock Bitterman 1, Quinn McQueary 17, Nate Vanderby 2, Alec Nehring 9, Austin Oldenburger 2, Gavin DeJong 11.

Baker — Cole Junso 2, Riley Lesh 2, Jordan Gray 17, Darin Scheetz 11.

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