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Andersen’s buzzer-beating 3 lifts Loggers over Polson

by SCOTT SHINDLEDECKER
The Western News | February 6, 2024 7:00 AM

The Libby Loggers were due.

After back-to-back, heart-breaking losses at the buzzer and a blowout loss to Columbia Falls last Thursday, things couldn’t have looked more bleak as they dropped to 2-12.

But when senior Tyler Andersen’s 3-pointer found nothing but net to beat the buzzer against Polson Saturday evening, the Loggers got to experience the feeling of exhilaration Ronan and Whitefish did when they topped Libby during the last week.

Andersen’s shot made the Loggers 42-41 winners and ended a 0-8 skid in Northwest A play.

Libby had a good first half, leading 27-17. But a near-disastrous third quarter left the Loggers trailing by one, 32-31. Six turnovers and seven missed shots gave the Pirates life as they roared back.

Libby’s struggles continued midway through the final quarter with four turnovers and many more missed shots as Polson led 41-36 with 3:33 to play.

But Andersen wouldn’t let another game slip away. His 3-pointer tied the game at 34-34 early in the fourth and his driving layup a few minutes later tied it again at 36-36.

The Pirates scored the next five points to establish control, 41-36. But they never scored again, missed two free throws and committed two turnovers down the stretch.

With 1:07 left, Andersen scored to cut the lead to three, 41-38. After a Polson turnover, Cy Williams was fouled going to the basket. He hit one of two free throw attempts to make it 41-39 with barely more than 40 seconds left.

The Loggers didn’t foul on Polson’s final possession and forced a turnover with 17 seconds left. 

Andersen then drilled the game-winner with one second left and their long losing streak was over.

Andersen scored 10 of the Logger’s 11 points in the fourth. He scored all four of their points in the third quarter and finished with a game-high 19 points.

Ryan Beagle checked in with eight points, Tristan Andersen had six, Cy Williams  had five while Alderic Martineau and Talan Glenn-Woody each had two.

Polson fell to 2-13 and 1-8 in conference.

In Thursday’s 69-22 loss to Columbia Falls, Andersen led Libby with six points. Williams scored four while Aidan Rose, Tristan Andersen, Kale Hall and Talon Glenn-Woody each scored three points.

Libby (3-12, 1-8) is back in action Thursday at Whitefish. Saturday, they host Browning for Senior Night. Seniors on the speech, drama and debate team will also be honored.