Outside shooting spurs comeback win against West

“They just turned it on.”

West Yellowstone’s big men Nathan Morse and Danny Sullivan towered like lodge pole pines over Lone Peak’s shorter shooting guards, combining for 16 points in the first half 
of the Jan. 11 showdown in Big Sky. The Wolverines used their height advantage and 
an aggressive zone defense to keep Lone Peak away from the basket and led the game into 
the third period. 

But then, something clicked with the Big Horns and it happened after West’s Mac Hauck hit a three pointer, putting the Wolverines ahead 35-27. Lone Peak Head Coach Austin Barth called timeout and told his team not to be afraid of shooting over the forest of defenders standing in their way. 

Coach Barth was without his starting center Jackson Wade, following an ankle sprain in practice. So Barth knew the game was in the hands of his shooters—players like Kolya Bough and Milosz Shipman. 

“We told them that we have to move the ball fast, we’re not going to be able to get it inside as much,” said Barth. “So shoot the shot when it’s open.” 

In addition to looking for outside shots, the Big Horns cranked up the defensive intensity, with Bough shifting the game’s momentum toward LPHS as he blocked a layup and stole the ball. He then cut the Wolverine lead to 37-36 with a three pointer before putting his team ahead 38-37 on the next possession with a two-pointer from just inside the arc. 

As the final minutes ticked down, West kept passing down low to Morse, who scored six points in the final period. But that wasn’t enough to match aggressive rebounding and hot shooting from the Big Horns. 

Cole March boxed out, dove for loose balls and looked like a man on a mission, as did Shipman, who delivered two dagger threes near the end to push his team ahead. Down the stretch, West couldn’t sink free throws—hitting just 41 percent—and a last second, Steph Curry-like three-pointer from Danny Sullivan wasn’t enough for the Wolverines. They fell to Lone Peak 60-56, leaving the Big Horn coaches jubilant about their team’s second half surge.

“They just turned it on. Players always talk about 
having ice in their veins and they finally showed that we did. They never gave up,” said Coach Barth, who described the game as a “dog fight.” 

“It was good to see a strong team come in and give us a battle and we didn’t back down,” added Assistant Coach John Hannahs.

The following night away at Sheridan, junior Frankie Starz lit up the nets, scoring 26 points as the Big Horns rolled the Panthers 70-39. 

“We are proud of Frankie stepping up and playing all over the floor,” said Coach Barth. “He scored 26 points in three quarters. We played the JV during the fourth. We were better at team rebounding today, and I think that made a huge difference.”

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