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Culbertson Edges Savage, 36-33

Culbertson Edges Savage, 36-33 Culbertson Edges Savage, 36-33

The fifth-seeded Culbertson Cowboys surprisingly advanced into the district championship game with a 36-33 victory over top-seeded Savage in a physical semi-final game on Thursday, Feb. 15.

Culbertson gained a 1916 lead in the first half, but Savage pulled even late in the third quarter on three straight points by Connor Lyons.

The Cowboys then received a big momentum-changing play when Donte Eagleboy nailed a three-pointer with a second left in the quarter for a 26-23 lead.

Savage’s Sayer Erickson hit a baseline shot and a free throw, after a steal by Zane Pilgerman, to start the fourth period. The Warriors moved ahead 27-26 when Pilgeram made a free throw with 5:27 remaining.

Culbertson, however, responded right back. Another three-pointer by Eagleboy and a pair of free throws by Mark Kirkaldie resulted in a 31-27 advantage.

After Savage’s Pilgeram scored off a rebound, Culbertson’s Bridger Salvevold stole the ball and went in for a layup with 2:47 remaining.

The Warriors pulled even at 33-33 on a basket by Lyons and baseline shot by Pilgeram, but the Cowboys went ahead to stay when Dawson Bergum fired in a three-pointer for a 36-33 lead with 1:25 remaining.

The Cowboys still held that three-point lead when Savage missed on three three-point attempts in the final 20 seconds of the contest.

Eagleboy and Bergum led the Cowboys with nine points each. Salvevold scored eight, Kirkaldie had six and Nyreece Halvorson added four points.

Kirkaldie grabbed 12 rebounds in the victory. Eagleboy had three steals.

Top scorers for the Warriors were Erickson with 16, Lyons with eight and Pilgeram with seven points.

After a 6-6 deadlock at the end of the first quarter, the scoring of Bergum sparked the Cowboys late in the second quarter as the Cowboys gained a 17-9 lead. Culbertson held a 19-16 half-time advantage.

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