Montana basketball player breaks another single-game goalscoring record

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BILLINGS — State’s single-game scoring mark was shattered for the second time in five days.

The scoring record in a men’s basketball game was broken on Saturday when Lame Deer’s Journey Emerson scored 82 points as No. 4 Lame Deer beat Forsyth 111-27 in a Class B contest.

On Tuesday, Damon Gros Ventre of No. 1 Lodge Grass had 71 points in a 108-70 win over Huntley Project, surpassing the previous record of 68 set by Harlem’s Brad Cichosz in a match against Poplar in February 2020. Gros Ventre also passed Elvis Old Bull atop the Lodge Grass record books for career points in that game.

Following:Lodge Grass senior surpasses Old Bull, Montana’s basketball goal record

Prior to Gros Ventre’s 71-point outing, Emerson held the state single-game record this season when he scored 61 points in a game against Poplar on Dec. 21.

Lame Deer coach Tiger Scalpcane said Emerson had 51 points at halftime on Saturday.

“It’s amazing,” Emerson said in a phone interview with The Billings Gazette and 406mtsports.com. “I thought 61 was a lot, but 82…I’m still trying to figure out that I scored that much.

“It wouldn’t have happened without my teammates. My teammates made my decision and they told me to go ahead. They helped me get there.”

Second in the scoring column for the Morning Stars was a tie between Moses Sanders and Jaxon McCormick, who each had eight points.

Scalpcane said the team didn’t originally plan for Emerson to chase the record, but as the points piled up, they let him chase it.

“He had one of those nights. He was on fire,” Scalpcane said. “Everything was falling apart and we were like, ‘Fuck. Is this one of those nights again?’

“We were talking about it at halftime, and the record was presented by some of the boys. I was like, ‘I don’t know.’ I said, ‘If you keep scoring, that’s something I’m not going to take away from you.'”

Scalpcane said he planned to knock Emerson out of the game as the lead grew, but decided to allow him to continue scoring.

“They would have kicked me out of the gym,” he said. “I wanted to let everyone enjoy the moment and enjoy the fact that something positive was happening. It was tough for Forsyth, but he couldn’t miss it.”

Scalpcane said his team were stunned when they found Gros Ventre had scored 71, and he didn’t expect Emerson or anyone else to pass him, especially not so quickly.

“You don’t know if anyone is going to be this hot again,” Scalpcane said. “When I saw that look in Journey’s eyes, you could tell it was one of those nights. You don’t want to steal that shine. I was gonna let it go.”

The Lame Deer and Lodge Grass boys will face off for the second time in a week on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at MetraPark’s First Interstate Arena. Lodge Grass won the first encounter 74-70.

Email Greg Rachac at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @gregrachac

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