BILLINGS- From the first tip, Hardin had a little extra energy in their legs on Friday night at First Interstate Arena. 

The last time these two teams met, Billings Central dominated 97-51. Friday night was a different story. 

The Bulldogs jumped out to a 12-2 lead, as Hardin made four quick 3-pointers including three from Antonio Espinoza. 

Their lead would grow to as many as 14 before the Rams answered with their own run at the end of the second quarter and they trailed by five at halftime. 

The Bulldogs again came out firing in the second half and grew their lead again to double digits as the energy in the crowd grew. Again, Billings Central returned the favor and the Hardin lead was down to four entering the fourth quarter. 

The Rams claimed their first lead of the game in the fourth. Brayden Osse hit a pair of three-pointers to make it 56-53 and a chance for the Rams to pull away and escape was in order. 

Justin Strait answered with a three. Then Espinoza tried one from deep. It bounced off the mark before Elias Stops At Pretty Places soared in from the top of the key to put it back up and in, plus the foul. The three-point play put the Bulldogs up four with just over two minutes remaining. 

Billings Central's JJ Sanchez made a pair of tough floaters to keep his team within one possession, but a breakaway layup by Strait kept the Rams at bay as Hardin held off Billings Central to win 64-62. 

Hardin improves to 3-9 and Billings Central drops to 8-3. 

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