GREAT FALLS -- McBee can take a positive note home after sinking 9-of-13 free throws in the first half Tuesday. The only downfall is it accounted for all of the Panthers' points in the half as Great Falls cruised at home, 79-16.
The Red Devils' defensive pressure created havoc for McBee's ball-handlers, who coughed up numerous turnovers. That led to transition points and open shots from the perimeter.
It was a night veteran Great Falls coach John Smith pointed to as his team's best shooting performance thus far.
"They caught us on a very good night," Smith said. "We were hitting our perimeter shots. We frustrated them defensively and took them out of what they wanted to do."
• NORTH CENTRAL 58, LEWISVILLE 55 -- At Richburg, in a battle of two unbeaten teams in Region 3-A, Lewisville rallied from an atrocious start only to fall by three in a game that had just about everything.
North Central (11-5, 3-0 Region 3-A) nearly ran Lewisville out of its own gym, jumping ahead 24-5 after the first quarter. Point guard Greg Caldwell nailed two 3-pointers and added two jump shots for 10 points in the opening stanza.
The Lions (9-4, 2-1) didn't back down, regaining their composure to close the gap to eight points at halftime. Ladarius and Odarius Hinton paced the attack, hitting a combined three 3-pointers and scoring 15 points in the second quarter.
Lewisville wasn't finished. The Lions closed to within four points with 3:30 remaining in the third, and nearly cut the lead to one.
Don Porter's 3-pointer rimmed out and North Central responded, opening its lead to double digits.
The Lions had one more run in them and saved it for the best time, tying the game at 52 after a steal and layup by Ladarius Hinton, his only points after the second quarter. With the home crowd going crazy, it appeared as though Lewisville would win, but it couldn't finish the deal.
North Central scored six points over the final 90 seconds, four from the free throw line. Lewisville made only a lone free throw before a meaningless tip-in as the buzzer sounded.
"We were out-rebounded, out-hustled and out-played," coach Brian Dove said.