By Shelly Davis
LIVINGSTON — The Butte Central boys’ basketball team took a line from Jimmy Buffett — as they were a Rockin’ and a Rollin’ in a Livingston Saturday night.
But it was actually more like the Ground Hog Day movie for the Maroons as they took down another talented opponent winning back to back games two nights in a row. Saturday’s victory was on the road, after winning Friday night’s battle against Dillon at home in the Maroon Activities Center.
Maroon fans have to be proud of their boys with two big wins against a couple highly-competitive teams. The wins are coming at the right time of the season too with tournament time fast approaching.
The Maroons’ win completes a sweep of the Livingston Rangers. Saturday’s win was 54-46. That followed a 49-44 win at home on Jan. 6.
The Maroons took their first lead with 2 minutes remaining in the first quarter and never trailed again. Aaron Richards had a monster game on the boards grabbing twelve rebounds and netting six points. The win was a team effort on the Maroon scoring column whereas Saturday night was Cade Holter’s coming-out dance with 21 season-high points.
The Maroons were led by Matt Simkins with 13, but more impressive was that all seven players who had minutes on the floor scored no less than five points. Coach Brody Kelly’s patient and spread offense was too much for the Rangers. The Maroons’ balanced attack netted double digits from Luke Heaphy with ten, Cade Holter canned nine, Jared Simkins and Richards both scored six along with five from Dylan Sestrich and Braden Harrington.
The Rangers came back strong in the second quarter outscoring the Maroons 12-7 with three 3-pointers by Bredon Johnson, Rydell Floyd and Jakim Ricketts to end the first half trailing the Maroons 24-22.
Both teams were plagued with fouls as Jared and Matt Simkins had three fouls to end the second quarter along with three from Ricketts. Livingston’s Floyd and Matt Simkins fouled out of the game in the fourth frame.
The Maroon’s tough defense prevented Livingston from having any player in double digits. Ricketts was the Ranger’s leading scorer with nine points while Floyd, Danner Purkett, Brendon Johnson each netted eight.
The game remained close going into the fourth quarter but the Maroons were able to seal the victory by netting eight of twelve attempts at the charity stripe.
The Butte Central boys play Thursday night in Anaconda at the Snake Pit in a doubleheader with the girls.
BUTTE CENTRAL (12-4) — Luke Heaphy 3 3-4 10, Matt Simkins 5 3-4 13, Dylan Sestrich 2 1-1 5, Cade Holter 4 1-3 9, Aaron Richards 1 4-4 6, Jared Simkins 3 0-0 6, Braden Harrington 2 1-1 5. Totals 19 14-21 54.
LIVINGSTON — John Waddell 1 4-7 6, Brock Peterson 2 0-0 5, Rydell Floyd 3 2-3 8, Jakim Ricketts 3 1-3 8, Austin Parker 3 1-4 9, Brendon Johnson 2 2-4 8, Morgan Rosberg 1 0-0 2, Danner Purkett 3 2-3 8, Matt Netley 0 0-0 0. Totals 15 10-21 46.
Butte Central 17 7 12 18 — 54
Livingston 10 12 10 14 — 46
3-point goals — BC 2 (Heaphy 1, Sestrich 1), Livingston 6 (Johnson 2, Ricketts 2, Peterson 1, Floyd 1). Fouls — BC 17, Livingston 21. Fouled out — Floyd.