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Page 218 text:
Cinderella Tearn Beats the Odd s
Bobcats Win Big Sky Tournament
They weren’t expected to win. They beat the 1, 2. and 4 seeded teams. They had the worst record. 11-16 overall. They were ranked 5th in the Big Sky Tournament. They ignored the odds and became the Cinderella team when they came away with the Big Sky Championship Title.
Although it definitely was not a single effort triumph. Tony Hampton was the man named Most Valuable Player of the tournament. He was spectatular. When the Cats were down. Hampton seemed to explode.
In the first game of the playoff, Tony Hampton stunned Ncvado Reno with an off-balance shot at the buzzer that won the first round for the Cats by an impenetrable 81-80 margin. It seemed to set the tone for the rest of the games: the fighting Bobcats were going to scratch and claw their way to a first place win.
MSU went on to outlast top seeded Northern Arizona State by 80-74. Krai Fcrch scored the game high with 26 points followed by Tony Hampton at 19 and Ray Willis with 16 points.
But it was Saturday nights game that won the title for the Cats and a chance to meet St. Johns in the NCAA Championship. It was much more than the usual Bobcat - Grizzly rivalry that kept the audience on the edge of their seats. The Big Sky Championship title was at stake.
MSU started slowly allowing Montana a 16-9 lead early in play. At that point, the Fcrch brothers began their assault of the three point field goal. By halftime, the Cats led 39-34. The Grizzlies came back and took the lead, 70-65 with five minutes left to play. The pressure was on and Tony Hampton once again came to the rescue. Of Hampton’s 27 game points, 14 were scored in the last seven minutes of play.
Krai Fcrch, tallying 28 game points, stole the ball from Montana’s Scott Zanon, passed to Hampton who hit Tom Domako for a thrilling layout that seemed to guarantee a Bobcat win.
But the Grizzlies would not give up so easily. They came within one point. Ray Willis hit from long range to lead the Cats to an 80-77 score. Montana’s two time league MVP, Larry Krystkowiak, missed a three point attempt that set up the Cat’s final triumph 82-77 score.
Stu Stamcr’s underdog team goes on to Long Beach, Ca. to represent Montana State in it’s first NCAA appearance since 1951. The All American dream lives on...
hard work, pcrservance and talent mac this 1986 basketball team winners.
by D. Boyd
Page 217 text:
Page 219 text:
"ats Hold Strong Against St. John’s
jy may have lost the game 83 to 74, but the cheats came home as winners. It was Friday, March 14, 1986: the Big Sky C pions met the Big East Champions he. o head. The MSU ’Cats were ranked 16: . hile the St. John’s Redman held first
ra: ig at the NCAA Western Region
Redman, 4th in the nation, consisted o: 1986 college player of the year, Walter
B. along with teammates Willie Glass an; ohn Hempcl. But the Bobcats weren’t go; to be intimidated. They played the ga :o win and gave it their best effort.
v even led the game for the first 12 m; es. But the Bobcats were competing wi: Walter Berry who stacked 31 points ag. the “come back kids.’’ At half-time the its were down 40-33. Twice the ’Cats pi; to within five points of the Redman
to cut the lead to 52-47 at 13:41 and 63-58 at 9:02.
Tony Hampton was exceptional at 21 points with his dodging, twisting, darting and acrobatic style. Krai Perch, at 20 points brought national recognition to Livingston, Montana with a slam dunk that sent the crowd roaring. Along with Ferch’s dead-eye shooting from the outside, the Bobcats showed the Redman they were serious contenders. Tom Domako also hit well from the outside to contribute 16 points to the Bobcat cause. Shann Fcrch, the freshman brother of teammate Krai, showed his stuff coming off the bench to score 8 points. Mike Fellows tallied 4 points for MSU while 7 foot center Greg Walters scored 3 points followed by Ray Willis at 2, and Michael I.igons not scoring.
St. John’s and MSU had an equal
number of baskets but the difference came at the free throw line. St. John’s was 21 of 28 while MSU was 12 of 14. MSU had trouble playing the inside game. “It turned out to be what we felt it would be, their inside superiority. We simply didn't have the inside game and the rebounding.” Said Stu Starncr after the game. "Believe me, our hearts arc big enough but our bodies aren't big enough to rebound with Walter Berry and Willie Glass.”
Although the loss meant MSU did not advance in the NCAA playoffs, they played an exciting and gutsy game against St. John’s. They brought basketball back to MSU and unified the community and state w ith Bobcat fever. “It’s the happiest IVccvcr been after losing” said MSU Krai Ferch. Yes, the Bobcats arc true winners at heart.
by D. Boyd
"Believe me, our hearts are big enough but our bodies aren’t big enough to rebound with Walter Berry and Willie Glass.”
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