For the fourth time: Tech vs. Rocky
Rocky Mountain College unpacked the fireworks for day one of the Frontier Conference tournament in Great Falls.
The #5 Bears knocked off #4 Carroll College 82-58, scoring 49 second-half points. Jesse Owens led Rocky in scoring with 20 points, Maxim Stephens finished with 17 for the Bears. Rocky advanced to the Semifinals to take on the Orediggers of Montana Tech tonight at 6 pm.
The other men’s opening-round game had the #3 seed MSU-Northern taking on the #6 Bulldogs of UM Western. The Lights put together an outstanding 40-minute effort in taking down Western 82-62. The Lights shot 54% from the field in the win. Northern as the 3 seed will now ready themselves to take on the University of Providence tonight at 8.
Montana Tech as the #1 seed had a first-round bye, and the knowledge they would play the lowest remaining seed left. After yesterday the lowest seed remaining is Rocky Mountain College. This will be the fourth meeting between the Diggs and Bears this season.
We have heard the statement “it’s incredibly hard to beat the same team twice”, I’m not sure what the math is on beating a team three times, so therefore I don’t even want to contemplate how hard it is to beat a team four times.
There are probably teams across the country that don’t inter-squad scrimmage for 40 minutes, 4 times a year.
But here we go, Tech vs. Rocky round 4, with Tech looking for win #4 on the year over the Bears. Montana Tech was able to get a pair of 23-point wins in the first two meetings, the third (and most recent) meeting was a different story, as the Diggs were able to hold on for an 89-82 win at home on February 4th.
Rocky is an athletic team that can really push the pace on the floor, and when they get hot shooting the ball, watch out. They are also one of the best rebounding teams in the conference, which creates a lot of opportunities. Maxim Stephens leads them in scoring at 14 ppg, with Kael Robinson coming in at 12 points a game.
Montana Tech is led by Frontier Conference preseason MVP Caleb Bellach averaging over 19 points a game overall, and nearly 23 a game in conference play. Asa Williams checks in at 13 ppg, and Big Mike Ure is getting 11 points a contest. This Tech bench is the most talented group I have seen in my 26 years, and far and away the most unselfish. Montana Tech has won an awful lot of games this year because of their team defense, and for them to be successful tonight they are going to need it to be at full efficiency.
Montana Tech and Rocky will square off tonight at 6 pm, at the Four Seasons Arena in Great Falls. You can view the games on the Frontier Conference Youtube channel.
The other men’s semifinal has #2 Providence battling #3 Northern. This game could go down like an early Mike Tyson fight (with the biting)
The winners will play for the Tournament Championship tomorrow night at 7:30.