It took some doing, but the Montana All-Stars got their sweep.
Riley King scored a game-high 25 points and Danny Robison and Shyke Smalls also reached double figures as the Montana boys won 75-71 in a hard-fought battle to cap the Montana-Wyoming All-Star Basketball Series on Saturday night at Rocky Mountain’s Fortin Center.
Wyoming controlled most of the early going, and even had a 10-point lead midway through the third quarter, but Montana stormed back for the two-game sweep following Friday night’s 80-69 win in Sheridan, Wyo.
“It was a great crowd and a great atmosphere, it was just kind of a fun game to play in,” King said. “It’s nice that in an all-star game everyone takes it serious, so it was a good game to finish with in your high school career.”
King gave the mostly Montana crowd plenty to cheer about. The 6-foot-4 standout from Missoula Sentinel made 9 of 16 shots and had 17 points in the second half to help the Big Sky State players overcome a 49-39 deficit.
He also had a powerful block on a 3-point attempt by Rock Springs' Chase Riley midway through the fourth quarter as Wyoming tried to shoot its way back into the game. King came flying at Riley and as he swatted the ball out of bounds, plenty of oohs and ahs came from the crowd.
King, who also made a 3-pointer and made 6 of 9 free throws, said the energetic Fortin Center crowd helped the Montana side make its run.
“Tonight it was a little more intense” than Friday, he said. “I think the crowd had something to do with it. There was a bunch of people here and everyone wanted to play well.”
The teams really picked up the intensity in the third quarter, especially on the Montana offensive end. Shane Robison was whistled for back-to-back offensive fouls trying to get position inside, and a few possessions later he was called for a third.
But it didn’t dampen Robison’s aggressiveness. The 6-8 Billings West product converted a four-point play that started a 15-4 run to end the third quarter as Montana took a 54-53 lead heading into the fourth. They never trailed again.
Robison finished with 18 points and a team-high nine rebounds, while Smalls, a Great Falls High produce, had 14 points.
Wyoming got 22 poinst from Torrington's Jason McManamen, whose strong first half helped the Cowboy State build a 33-31 halftime lead. Tate Hilgenkamp (Laramie), Riley, John Soundingsides (Wyoming Indian) and McManamen all hit 3-pointers in the third quarter, but Wyoming couldn’t keep up that outside accuracy.
Wyoming made just two 3-pointers in the game’s final 15 minutes, and both came from Riley, one of which was with 35.7 seconds left in the game.
“Our thought our guys made a bunch of big plays and when we started to cool off, that’s when Montana heated up and caught up,” Wyoming coach Steve Smiley said. “It was a one-point game going into the fourth quarter and they made a few more plays than we did, enough to win the game.”
Riley had 14 points to also finish in double digits for Wyoming.
NOTES: Wyoming swept the series last year. Montana leads overall 47-27. … Robison was named the Northern Sports Network Montana Mr. Basketball winner before the game. … Dillon’s Wes Knox, who injured an ankle in Friday’s game, did not dress. … Wyoming made 11 3-pointers.