RICHBURG -- Great Falls forced at least a tie for the Region 3-A regular-season title with a 55-43 road win over Lewisville as a capacity crowd watched the neighborhood rivalry.
In what was a low-scoring, defensive struggle, the Red Devils used their full-court pressure to frustrate the Lewisville offensive flow before methodically pulling away down the stretch.
Junior guard Leroy Roseboro netted 11 of his game-high 16 points in the fourth quarter, including three old-fashioned three-point plays. Each time, Roseboro drew contact from Lion defenders while going strong to the hoop to convert layups.
"In practice, coach used drills where we would go up strong," Roseboro said.
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Roseboro's first three-point play was early in the fourth quarter, when Great Falls was holding on to a six-point lead. That boosted the margin to nine, 45-36, with 7:22 remaining.
Great Falls coach John Smith said that the key was a solid defensive effort, particularly from his second unit.
"Both teams were tentative and seemed to not want to make mistakes," Smith said. "There just was not any offensive flow in the first half. I felt that the team that brought the most defensive energy in the second half would be in good shape."
With the victory, Great Falls, 19-3 and 9-1 in Region 3-A, will play North Central in a one-game playoff tonight at the Andrew Jackson gym, beginning at 7 p.m. That contest will determine the region champion. Both teams split its two regular-season meetings.
Meanwhile, Lewisville, 14-7 and 6-4, will represent the league as the third seed in the state playoffs.
• GREAT FALLS 42, LEWISVILLE 37 -- The Great Falls girls appeared to be in trouble late in the contest when their floor leader, Shardae Lynn, fouled out with 2:28 remaining.
Lewisville capitalized with a 6-0 run to trim what was once a nine-point lead to four, 38-34, with 2:02 remaining.
The Lady Devils, who wrapped up the league title on Monday, will go into the state playoffs with loads of momentum. Meanwhile, Lewisville saw its playoff hopes disappear, and finished the season at 7-13 overall and 3-7 in the region.