"Billings played a great game," said Wheaton coach Rusty Roe. "They sped us up, went around, over and through us to the hoop. We couldn't guard them."
The Wildcats had four players reach double figures. Brady Chastain led the way with 23 points and seven rebounds. Chastain was a perfect eight-for-eight at the free-throw line. Kaleb Harter finished with 22 points. Chad Yeokum chipped in 17 points. Austin Essick added 15 points. Conor Jenisch and Dawson Meyer finished with 6 points each.
Billings' defense forced 22 Wheaton turnovers that ended in 28 fast break points for the Wildcats.
"We couldn't keep them out of the lane," said Roe. "They got after us pretty good. We are an up-tempo style team also, but they got after us pretty good."
Billings led throughout and enjoyed its biggest advantage at 75-50 with 5:27 left to play. A 12-0 Wheaton run on a pair of 3-pointers by Kyle Robbins, a trey and two-pointer by Jory Bartkoski and a free throw by senior Sean Goostree cut the Wildcat lead to 77-64 with 2:53 remaining.
A short jumper off the glass by Goostree, who led all scorers with 31 points and 10 rebounds, cut the Billings lead to single digits at 83-74 with 54 seconds left to play, but the Bulldogs could get no closer.
"We weren't going to try to change what we've done all year here late in the season," said Roe. "We wanted to be aggressive in the backcourt, and create some turnovers, and toward the end of the game, we did. But Billings, they can make some scoring runs. They can put up points in a hurry."
The Bulldogs finished the season with a 23-6 record.
Scoring for Wheaton were: Goostree, 31; Jory Bartoski and Kyle Robbins, 15 each; Jesse Mitchell, 8; Bubba Galvan, 7; and Tyler Musick, 2.
"This off-season we are going to have to get back to the basics," said Roe, "Several guys are going to have to learn new roles. We need to keep playing basketball this summer."