By Bruce Sayler
The stars gave an encore performance Tuesday night and the fans at the Montana Tech HPER Complex sounded appreciative.
Taking their basketball bows, some of this season and some for their careers, the Butte-based Big Sky All-Stars outscored the Anaconda/Dillon centered Treasure State All-Stars 117-105 in a game that seemed to be raining basketballs throughout the duration.
It was part of the annual Southwest Montana All-Star Classic doubleheader for high school hoops standouts. The boys’ game followed the girls’ contest that saw the Treasure Staters top the Big Sky standouts 81-57.
Individual winners of the accompanying 3-point shooting contests were a couple of Butte sharpshooters — Ryson Lovshin of Butte HIgh in the boys’ competition, and Mollie Peoples Butte Central of in the girls.’ Both are seniors.
The boys’ game not only saw both teams crack the 100 mark in points scored, but also 35 3-point baskets made, and 117 rebounds pulled down. However, only nine fouls — total– were called.
Sheridan senior scoring machine Triston Horn lead all scorers by putting in a 21-point performance, heading a list of six double-digit point-makers for Big Sky. Butte Central seniors Nate McGree and Tanner Kump hooped 15 points each, Ty Morgan of Ennis tallied 12, and two Deer Lodge Wardens, Cade Benjamin and Brandon Porter, each hooped 10.
Five players were in double figures for Treasure State. Tanner Haverfield of two-time reigning state Class A champion Dillon scored 18 points, as did Anaconda junior Braxton Hill to share team honors. Haverfield’s younger brother, Michael, a sophomore, finished with 14 points, and Andrew Simon of Whitehall and Wes Harshbarger of Twin Bridges wound up with 10 points each.
With all those points, one would easily think all shots went through the hoop. However, it wasn’t the case. Defense was, well, a little lax as it was a wind-it-up and let-go kind of night on the Kelvin Sampson Court. The Big Sky stars collected 60 rebounds with Butte High power post Brock Powell leading all on the boards by yanking down 10 caroms. Horn and Morgan gathered seven each.
The Treasure Staters were close behind with 57 rebounds. Simon and Anaconda’s Trent Mikalatos had seven each. Simon created some rebounds by swatting four shots by the opponents away.
It was a 38-23 third quarter by the Big Sky standouts that created the difference in the outcome. Treasure State had a 23-21 lead after one quarter, thanks to an 8-0 run that closed the period. Tanner Haverfield sandwiched a layup and a 3-point basket around a trey by Harshbarger to form the spree. Haverfield was seleceted the MVP of the state Class A boys’ basketball tournament held last weekend in the Butte Civic Center.
The margin widened to 30-21 with seven Treasure State points to start the second quarter. Derek DeFrance of Harrison drove and scooped for a bucket, Tanner Haverfield scored off a feed from Harshbarger and De France executed a three-point play. In all, it was a 15-point run. The Big Sky players woke up with a drive to the hoop by Lovshin to end the scoring drought and Horn started hitting as the halftime margin was squeezed to 48-44, Treasure State still ahead.
The Big Sky team went on an 18-8 surge to begin the second half and overtook the Treasurer Staters. Butte High super passer Travis Williams dealt to Benjamin for a basket at the 8-minute, 36-second mark of the third frame, putting the Big Sky squad in front by 53-52 a minute and a half into the second half.
The Big Sky outfit hald the lead and built on it the rest of the way. Evan Anderson of Butte HIgh netted a 3-pointer near the end of the third quarter as the Big Sky team took an 82-71 advantage into the last stanza.
An 11-2 run to begin the fourth quarter put the win on Big Sky’s side of the ledger. Horn and Benjamin each had two baskets in the putaway surge, with one of Benjamin’s counting for three points.
Lovshin and Ennis’ Jake Knack each scored nine points in the win, Anderson and Powell each had six, and Sam Johnston of Butte Central drained a 3-pointer. Williams dealt four assists to share the game-high with Johnston and Benjamin.
Mikalatos finished with eight points for Treasure State while Dillon stars Kyson Wilson and Troy Andersen each scored six, DeFrance had five, Braden Larsen of Whitehall and Caleb Stetzner of Anaconda each registered three, and Leroy Davis of Drummond and Cooper Christensen of Twin Bridges caged two points apiece.
The Big Sky coaches were former Deer Lodge coach Dale McQueary and former Butte Central assistant coach Todd Guldseth. Treasure State was guided by Dillon residents Gary and Terri Haverfield, who have been prep basketball coaches during their teaching careers.
Next year’s game will see a lot of new faces. Everybody who played was a senior except for Hill, Mikalatos and Davis, and sophomore Michael Haverfield. They got the opportunity to coach their sons in this event,
The evening’s entertainment also included the Dynamic Dance Academy performers, the Butte High cheerleaders, and music by the rockin’ Butte Central Pep Band.
Proceeds benefitted the Butte-Silver Bow Chamber of Commerce tournament hospitality room fund.
TREASURE STATE — Braden Larsen 3, Michael Haverfield 14, Andrew Simon 10, Kyson Wilson 6, Trent Mikalatos 8, Caleb Stetzner 3, Troy Andersen 3, Tanner Haverfield 18, Braxton Hill 18, Derek DeFrance 5, Wes Harshbarger 10, Leroy Davis 2, Cooper Christensen 2. Totals 44 1-3 105.
BIG SKY — Evan Anderson 6, Sam Johnston 3, Ryson Lovshin 9, Cade Benjamin 10, Tanner Kump 15, Nate McGree 15, Brandon Porter 10, Jake Knack 9, Triston Horn 21, Travis Williams 0, Brock Powell 6, Ty Morgan 12. Totals 45 8-14 117.
Treasure State 23 25 23 34 — 105
Big Sky 21 23 38 35 — 117
3-point goals — Treasure State 16 (M. Haverfield 4, Harshbarger 2, Hill 2, Simon 2, Wilson 2, T. Haverfield 2, Larsen 1, Stetzner 1), Big Sky 19 (Kump 5, Holm 4, McGree 3, Benjamin 2, Knack 1, Powell 1, Lovshin 1, Anderson 1, Johnston 1). Fouled out — none. Total fouls — Treasure State 7, Big Sky 2. Technicals — none. Rebounds — Treasure State 57 (Simon 7, Mikalatos 7), Big Sky 60 (Powell 10, Horn 7, Morgan 7). Blocks — Treasure State 8 (Simon 4, Andersen 2), Big Sky 5 (McGree 2). Assists — Treasure State 11 (DeFrance 2), Big Sky 21 (Johnston 4, Williams 4, Benjamin 4, Morgan 2, Anderson 2, Porter 2). Steals — Treasure State 8 (Andersen 2, Hill 2, T. Haverfield 2), Big Sky 6 (Porter 2).