Get ready for a population surge Thursday through Saturday as the Western Division Class A Basketball Tournament takes over Hamilton. The February 24-26 tournament will include both boys and girls teams from ten schools in western Montana. For the Bitterroot Valley schools, host Hamilton High has both boys and girls teams in the action, along with the girls team from Stevensville High School.

Hamilton Teams

The Hamilton girls earned their way into the tournament by handing the top-ranked Dillon girls their first regular season Class A loss with a district tournament win of 43 to 23, limiting Dillon to only 7 points through three quarters. The Hamilton boys lost their district consolation match against Frenchtown, but since the top four teams advance to divisional, Hamilton continues their season Thursday.

The Bracket and Schedule

Looking at the game bracket this Thursday at Dale Berry Court, the boys will start at 9:30 a.m. with Browning versus Frenchtown, followed by Columbia Falls against Butte Central at 11 a.m. The girls start their tournament play at 12:30 p.m. when Butte Central takes on Browning and at 2 p.m. the Hamilton Lady Broncs will battle Polson.

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At 3:30 p.m., it's back to the boys with Dillon and Libby on the court. Then, the Hamilton Broncs will face Polson at 5 p.m. The rest of the first day schedule has the girls from Dillon against Ronan at 6:30 p.m. and the Stevensville Lady Yellowjackets facing Columbia Falls at 8 p.m.

Help With the Tournament

A great group of community volunteers help put these games together. If you'd like to help, contact the Bitterroot Valley Chamber of Commerce at 406 363-2400. And, if you want to see some of the best Montana high school basketball, get over to the gym, buy a ticket and watch the bouncing ball.

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