The Big Sandy Mountaineer -

Pioneers rebound from FB loss to beat Box Elder, North Star


February 12, 2020

The Big Sandy boys have not reached their full potential on the hardwood this season.


Battling the injury bug, the Pioneers were no match for league-leading Fort Benton at home Monday, Feb. 3 and lost 66-36.

With junior Parker Proulx making his season debut Friday, however, the Pioneers succeeded in grinding out a pivotal 60-51 home win to get an inside track on the No. 3 seed to the District 9C tournament. They showed no letdown a night later at North Star, prevailing 57-37.

The Longhorns limited the Pioneers’ leading scorer for the season, Ryan Roth, to just 5 points.

Yet with senior Brock Proulx likely lost for the remainder of the season to injury and the Strutz brothers each playing with a leg injury, Pioneers coach Thomas Dilworth could not hang his head too lowly about what Big Sandy could manage against the the frontrunners.

“I like that we were able to do a few things … we broke their press. That was most concerning,” Dilworth said. “We didn’t get into a running game with them, which is good.”

Looking beyond to Box Elder, he presciently added: “If we can maintain our tempo, we’ll be good.”

The Pioneers stuck to that game plan and avenged an 81-76 track-meet style loss on Jan. 10. Big Sandy used a 24-11 second-quarter advantage to build an insurmountable lead as Roth proved the Fort Benton game to be an anomaly, scoring 16 of his 29 points in the first half. The Pioneers shot a strong 80 percent from the free-throw line on 30 attempts, while limiting Box Elder to just 8 tries where they shot a mere 50 percent. The Bears did threaten from the perimeter to keep things close, dropping in nine three-pointers on the night.

Senior Clint Darlington added 11 points for the Pioneers in the win.

Combined with the win against North Star, Big Sandy (7-5, 9-7) enters the final weekend of the regular season with momentum. They travel to winless Turner Friday and wrap up at home Saturday for Parents’ Night against Chester-Joplin-Inverness. The Hi-Line Hawks have proven to be no pushovers this season, with an upset win against Box Elder. Junior varsity tips off at 4:30 p.m. and the varsity will begin at 7 p.m.

With the potential to enter the district tournament with a four-game winning streak and some healthier bodies, the Pioneers could make some noise the following week and bust a few


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