State basketball tournament brings fun and entertainment to the - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

State basketball tournament brings fun and entertainment to the Magic City

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It's the first day of the AA State Basketball Tournament at the Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark.

At the MetraPark arena, eight high schools are competing to be the very best in the AA championship. Parents, students, and fans from all over the state are watching the game, but there are other factors to the tournament than the action on the court.

"It's great to see people coming from the entire state celebrating and showing great sportsmanship," Yellowstone County Commissioner Denis Pitman said.

High school students found creative ways to support their teams.

"Our student section is Hawaiian-themed so we try to look as Hawaiian as possible, Billings Senior High School student Jacob Cobfritzler said. "It's just a fun thing to do."

"We try to support the Broncs as best we can," another Billings High School student, Jayden Kay, said. "We love everyone on the team, we wanna get them as rowdy as we can."

Fans in the stands got food from the snack bars while being entertained by the school bands and dance teams during the halftime shows. Some people attended the first day of tournament for the love of the game.

"I came to watch a couple of teams," spectator Rick Halmes said. "Some of the girls are playing for Sentinel. I'm part of the Montana Football Hall of Fame and Guy Bigham is one of our inductees this year."

With hundreds of out-of-towners in Billings for the tournament for the next few days, it could be a nice boost to the city's economy.

"We're gonna stay at the hotel and then I think tomorrow, we might go to the mall or go to the trampoline place."

After Thursday, there will be two more days full of competition.

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