The Whitehall Ledger - Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

By Jack H. Smith
Whitehall Ledger 

Trojans defeat Big Timber


February 5, 2020

In the past several weeks, the Whitehall High School boys basketball team has battled to the end in several close losses. The Trojans were able to get over the hump last week picking up their first conference win of the season last Friday with a convincing 59-48 home victory over Big Timber.

Up 23-22 at the half against the Herders, Whitehall was dominant in the second half sparked by the play of Brendan Wagner who had eight three-pointers and a game-high 32 points. The Trojans outscored Big Timber 18-12 in the third quarter and 18-14 in the fourth on their way to the 11-point victory. Hayden Hoagland was also in double figures with 13, Kenzie Hugulet added seven, and Flint Smith finished with four.

Head Coach Zach McLean said his team was able to have a breakthrough win and credited the play of Wagner.

McLean said he grew up playing point guard and that is the same position as Wagner, so they are going to butt heads sometimes, but they have found a way to meet in the middle.

"We are on the same page and it has brought our relationship closer as far as respect. He's our top scorer this year and has had to handle the ball a lot more this season with teams really keying on him. I think the last four or five games he's played very well and the big thing is that he is also practicing really hard," McLean said.

In action Saturday, the Trojans (2-12, 2-6 5B fell on the road 63-39 to a high-powered Three Forks team.

The Wolves came out of the gates strong Saturday, taking an early 12-2 lead and a 34-17 lead into the break. Hoagland led the team with nine points, while Flint Smith and Wagner each had six. Lane Wagner had five, and Hugulet and Dylan Smith both had four. Mason Alexander added three, and Kobe Shields finished with two points.

Whitehall junior Dylan Smith works in the post against Three Forks. Ledger photo by Melissa Jenkins

McLean said Three Forks is a very good team and when they shoot how they did it is going to be very tough to beat them. He did, however, praise his team for how hard they fought the entire game.

"I'm just proud of their effort. How many teams in the state with less than a second left in the game are going to be diving on the floor for the basketball in a 20-point game. That is who we want to be, we want to play all 32 minutes, no matter who is in the game," he said.

Whitehall will be back in action with a Thursday home game against Manhattan and will travel Friday for a road tilt against Gardiner.

McLean is looking forward to the last two weeks of regular season play and a chance for his team to improve going into the 5B District Tournament.

"We've got two weeks left and in the postseason, you can throw out all the records out the door and we all start 0-0," he said.


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