Boys’ hoops caps 2017 victoriously

It was near imperative the Herders finish 2017 on a winning note, and the achievement of said necessity bodes well for what’s to come in the new year.

The boys’ basketball team capped off their schedule before winter break with a 71-67 overtime win against Whitehall — on the road — on Dec. 19. The waves of momentum for both squads forced the game into extra minutes, that saw Big Timber’s big men make the pivotal difference. 

With two seconds left on the clock, Ethan Bullock — who scored a season-high 24 points — hit the game-tying bucket to send the contest to overtime. In the extra period, the Herders (4-2, 2-1 District 5B) took care of the ball and managed to come out with the road victory. 

Head coach Dan Smart said the height advantage they’ve hoped to exploit more earlier this season finally came to fruition against a lopsided Whitehall (4-3, 1-2 District 5B) team. 

“We had the height advantage on them with [Shayden] King being back at 6-foot-5, and Ethan at 6-5, and Jacob Roberts,” Smart said. “We knew we could beat them inside, no matter if they were playing zone or man. We were just going to keep pounding it inside. We got to work inside to outside for once.”

The Herders had 55 percent (21-for-38) of their points come from inside the paint, and a stout 13-for-20 (67 percent) from the right side. Sharpshooters Kell Schwers, Casey Gunlikson, Hayden Mosness and Jacob Roberts all hit 3-pointers, too, to help that inside-out game plan work for the Herders. 

SGHS has a variety of tall players, especially with King now being back on the court with his taller frame. It’s been an advantage in nearly every game for the Herders this season, but teams have been able to deter them away from that at times, forcing the Herders out of their comfort zone. But, sticking with the such a game plan — despite defensive and scoring lulls that let Whitehall climb back from a 10-point deficit — allowed the Herders to come out victorious this time. 

For more of this story, pick up a copy of this week’s Big Timber Pioneer on newsstands now, or subscribe online at

PHOTO CAPTION: Ethan Bullock pulls up from the free-throw line during the second half of a game against Three Forks on Dec. 16. (Pioneer file photo)




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