Cowboys beat Central for first time since 2005

Earn split after falling to Laurel
Connor Torstenbo’s free throw goes through the net, breaking the tie and giving the Cowboys the win over Billings Central on Saturday night at the CCDHS gym. (Star photo by Steve Allison)


Playing against two of the top teams in the Eastern A at home over the weekend, the Custer County District High School Cowboy basketball team picked up a split, despite missing their top scorer.

The Cowboys lost to Laurel 61-46 on Friday night, but bounced back to get a huge win over Billings Central 48-46. The Cowboys were without senior Brac Warren, who missed both games with a concussion. He hopes to return to full practice this week.

“We talked about it and a little adversity is good for us,” Cowboys Head Coach Houston Finn said. “Each one of those kids took it to heart that they needed to step up. They played great basketball as a team and each one stepped up in certain areas. They did a good job.”

The Cowboys are now 4-11 overall on the season and 2-7 in the Eastern A. They have a pair of non-conference games this week. They will be at Class AA Billings West on Friday and will host Class B St. Labre on Saturday night.

Following their loss to Laurel on Friday night, the Cowboys hung around with Central on Saturday night and eventually get the win. The win was the first for the Cowboys over Billings Central since a 65-55  win in the 2005 Eastern A Divisional Tournament.

“I’m hoping it’s a breakthrough,” Finn said. “It boosts our confidence. Not only do we talk about competing with anyone in the league, but I think it’s a realization now. We can compete with anybody.”

Central (7-8, 3-5) jumped out to a 7-1 lead early in the game and led 13-7 late in the quarter. Brett Keith hit a three to start the Cowboys and consecutive baskets from Keith and Gavin Gundlach gave the Cowboys their first lead, 14-13, with just over a minute to play in the quarter. 

Central scored at the end of the quarter to take a 15-14 lead.

In the second quarter, neither team had much going offensively. They combined to score just 17 points in the frame and Central led 24-22 at halftime.

The game remained close through the third quarter, with Central taking a 34-33 lead into the fourth.

Central looked as if they’d pull away early in the fourth quarter, building a 40-35 lead. But the Cowboys responded with a three-point play from Connor Torstenbo and a three-pointer from Timmy Regan that gave them a 41-40 lead with 4:37 to play.

Central bounced back and held a 46-43 lead with 50 seconds remaining in regulation.

Gundlach, a sophomore guard, then stepped up and drilled a three-pointer that tied the game at 46 with 27 seconds to play.

“That was huge,” Finn said. “We know he can score and he got a solid look and knocked it down. It was a perfect time.”

With 14 seconds remaining, Central missed a pair of free throws and Torstenbo was fouled on the ensuing scrum. The sophomore hit one of the two free throws to give the Cowboys the lead with 12 seconds to play.

In the final seconds, Central was unable to get their shot to go down and Gundlach hit a free throw in the final second to preserve the win.

“We just kept battling,” Finn said. “We tried to do good things offensively, execute and make good decisions, and we did that. We’ve really talked about playing great every possession and they’re taking that to heart.”

The Cowboys shot 45 percent from the field in the win and forced 19 turnovers. They were 11-16 from the free throw line, including 6-9 in the second half.

Timmy Regan was the lone Cowboy to reach double figures, scoring 10 points. Keith and Kyle Collins each had nine points and Torstenbo finished with eight.

Colin Holetz led Central with 12 points.

Laurel 61, Cowboys 46

The number-two ranked Locomotives jumped out to a big first half lead and held the Cowboys off in the second half to remain undefeated in the Eastern A.

Laurel (13-2, 8-0) led 14-5 after the first quarter and 32-14 at halftime.

The Cowboys shot just 24 percent from the field in the first half, but improved to 45 percent in the second half when they outscored the Locomotives 32-29.

Gundlach and Regan each had 12 points and Austin Stradley had 10 to lead the Cowboys.

Zac Allen had 23 points to lead Laurel.

JV Cowboys swept

The Cowboy junior varsity team was swept on the weekend by Laurel and Billings Central. They dropped to 3-12 on the year.

Against Laurel, the Cowboys could not overcome a slow start and lost 68-45. Laure led 20-8 after the first quarter and 34-14 at halftime.

Tyler Burk had 10 opints to lead the Cwoboys. Parker Barnosky and Matt BLunt each had seven, while Dylan Munroe and Jaden Senger each chipped in with six.

On Saturday night, the Cowboy JV could not hold on to an early lead and lost 58-47.

The Cowboys led 17-9 after the first quarter, but went into halftime tied at 28. They were outscored 30-19 in the second half.

Carson Barnosky had 15 points and Parker Barnosky added 13 to lead the Cowboys.

Frosh fall to Laurel

The Cowboy freshmen could not overcome a rough first half and lost to Laurel 56-31 on Friday night.

Laurel ran out to a 25-6 lead after the first quarter and led 39-11 at halftime.

Adam Glasscock had six points and Braden Marum added five for the Cowboys, who fell to 3-11 on the year.

The Cowboy frosh will travel to Billings Central, along with the Cowgirl frosh, tonight.


Laurel 61, Miles City 46

Laurel 14 18 14 15 - 61

Miles City 5 9 12 20 - 46

Miles City (3-11, 1-7)- Gavin Gundlach 12, Timmy Regan 12, Austin Stradley 10, Brett Keith 2, Kyle Collins 6, Connor Torstenbo 4.

Laurel (13-2, 8-0)- Dylan Meccage 7, Keegan Reilly 4, Tyler Thompson 2, Taylor Maida 5, Quinton Holmlund 6, Evan Jones 13, Zac Allen 23.

Miles City 48, Central 46

Central 15 9 10 12 - 46

Miles City 14 8 11 15 - 48

Miles City (4-11, 2-7)- Gavin Gundlach 7, Timmy Regan 10, Austin Stradley 5, Brett Keith 9, Kyle Collins 9, COnnor Torstenbo 8.

Central (7-8, 3-5)- Cam Caraveau 2, JOnah Studer 3, Colin Holetz 12, Micah Holt-Seavey 2, Bryce Hawbaker 6, Jacob Hadley 8, DIllon Meyer 7, Larry McCormick 6.

Junior Varsity

Laurel 68, Miles City 45

Laurel 20 14 12 22 - 68

Miles City 8 6 12 19 - 45

Miles City (3-11)- Parker Barnosky 7, Tyler Burk 10, Jon Killham 1, Carson Barnosky 4, Dylan Munroe 6, Matt Blunt 7, Bryan Claypool 1, Jaden Senger 6.

Laurel- Hayden Love 4, Marcus Gunn 5, Gerald Allen 3, Hunter Schumacher 10, Josh Anderson 8, Caje Golden 17, Adam Goetz 8, Marshall SImanton 10, Marcus Milller 3.

Central 58, Miles City 47

Central 9 19 16 14 - 58

Miles City 17 11 10 9 - 47

Miles City (3-12)- Parker Barnosky 13, Tyler Burk 1, Jon Killham 3, Carson Barnosky 15, Dylan Munroe 4, Matt Blunt 4, Bryan Claypool 5, Jaden Senger 2.

Central- Caleb Barndt 5, Zach Hanser 10, Michael Stanton 2, Jonah Studer 14, Michael Chase 2, Micah Holt-Seavey 7, Jesse Byorth 4, Andrew Sterup 5, Larry McCormick 5, Stephen Fisher 4.


Laurel 56, Miles City 31

Laurel 25 14 10 7 - 56

Miles City 6 5 9 11 - 31

Miles City (3-11)- Jacob Swope 1, Christian Stradley 1, Mason Dinardi 3, Devin Doughty 2, Caleb Petross 2, Kelly Irion 4, Jakob Doeden 3, Adam Glasscock 6, Braden Marum 5, Brooks Tally 4.

Laurel- B. Ewalt 6, C. Hoke 8, S. Osbourne 9, C. Schwab 4, C. Willis 11, D. Cortese 10, T. Heying 8.