What a difference a year makes

Doreen Heintz
Sports Editor

The first varsity home boys’ basketball game kicks off with the center tipoff between Miles City’s Kelly Irion (24) and Fergus’s Tanner Trafton (3). Although the Cowboys controlled the tip, the Golden Eagles came away with the home opener win.                                                                                  Photos by Doreen Heintz

Fergus’s Eric Knox (10) stops quickly, as the Miles City defense closes in on him.

Fergus boys win two during week

Last year, the Fergus boys’ basketball team struggled to win games. In fact, they were only able to win six games during the entire season, which included two conference wins. This year, the Golden Eagles seemed to have righted their ship. Going into the holiday break, Fergus has won three of its four regular season games. Those three, include an overtime conference win over the Panthers in Belgrade Thursday night.
Despite being fairly young, the team is showing the rest of the Class A schools they need to play well to beat the Golden Eagles.
Tuesday night, the Golden Eagles clawed their way to a non-conference 63-44 win over Custer County (Miles City) at the FHS Fieldhouse. Fergus jumped to an early 5-0 lead over the Cowboys in the opening minutes of the first quarter behind two free-throws by Andrew Lalum and an old-fashioned 3-point play (field goal and free throw) by Tanner Trafton. Another Trafton field goal upped the Fergus lead to 7-1. After Cole Ayers scored on a field goal inside, the Miles City coach called a time-out. The Fergus lead grew to double digits at 13-3 when Jaden Graham grabbed an offensive rebound and scored. By the end of the first period, Fergus led, 21-6.
Miles City slowly crept its way back into the game during the second period. Fergus Coach Scott Sparks substituted liberally throughout the quarter. Going into halftime, the Fergus lead was cut to one point at 26-25. Lalum scored four of Fergus’s five points in the quarter.
With the starters back in the contest for most of the third period, the Golden Eagles rebuilt a sizeable lead heading into the fourth quarter. Trafton scored 4 points, all on free throws, in the period, while Graham added 5 points. At the end of the third period, Fergus led, 46-33.
Noah Agostinelli scored 7 of his team’s high 14 points in the fourth quarter, with Graham adding 4 points in the quarter. The game ended with Fergus win, 63-44.
Foul trouble plagued the Cowboys throughout the contest. Midway through the third period, four Miles City players were sitting on the bench with four fouls each.
Agostinelli led a balanced scoring attack with 14 points.  Trafton added 13, while Graham and Lalum finished with 11 points each.

Golden Eagles earn conference win
Thursday in Belgrade the Golden Eagles gave Coach Scott Sparks an early Christmas present by pulling out a 51-49 overtime win over the Panthers. The contest was tight throughout. Belgrade led, 10-7, after the first period. Fergus scored 10 points in the second period to tie the contest 17-17 at halftime. Fergus led 28-24 after three quarters of play. At the end of regulation, the game was tied, 43-43. The Golden Eagles outscored the Panthers by 2 points in the overtime period to take the 51-49 win.
Eric Knox led another balanced scoring attack by the Golden Eagles with 14 points. Graham added 11 points, while Trafton contributed 7 points.
The Golden Eagles have over two weeks to work on basketball skills and strategy during the winter holiday break. Fergus will not face another opponent until the first Friday of the new year when they travel to Conrad to face another Cowboy team.



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