- Associated Press - Monday, March 13, 2017

GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) - The 6-year-old son of the C.M. Russell High girls’ basketball coach took it upon himself to comfort the Billings West bear mascot near the end of West’s 50-29 loss to Missoula Sentinel in the opening round of the state Class AA girls’ basketball tournament in Great Falls.

Coach Brian Crosby tweeted a video of the moment Saturday night, saying it was his favorite tournament memory.

Crosby told the Great Falls Tribune (gftrib.com/2nwucTH) that he and his son Cooper were watching the West-Sentinel game Thursday night because Great Falls Russell was going to play the winner.

Sentinel was beating West handily and the West mascot was sitting in the bleachers at Four Seasons Arena, head in paws.

“Dad, that bear looks sad,” Crosby said his son Cooper told him. And then Cooper took off to comfort the bear.

Crosby, a former television sports reporter, took out his phone and captured the moment.

Carson Wells, the senior in the bear costume, said he did not see Cooper coming until the little boy gave him a hug. He put his arm around the boy.

“I asked him his name, how he was doing,” Wells said in an interview Monday. “He stayed and talked to me for a little bit, then said ‘see ya tomorrow.’ Then he ran off.”

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Information from: Great Falls Tribune, https://www.greatfallstribune.com

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