BC boys clamp down on Corvallis

By Bruce Sayler

A lockdown defense in the second half was nicely decorated by accompanying deadeye Butte Central shooting as the Maroons shook dogged Corvallis for a 65-43 boys’ basketball win Tuesday night.
Bigger and athletic Corvallis took the measure of BC much of the first half and looked intent on leaving icy Butte and its Maroon Activities Center with a win and head back to the picturesque Bitterroot Valley. The Maroons, though, moved ahead seemingly just in time, grabbing a 31-28 halftime edge and then applying the brakes to the Blue Devils’ offense.
The BC boys outscored Corvallis 34-15 after intermission, nailing down the Southwestern A Conference basketball victory with an 8-for-9 shooting performance from the field in the fourth quarter. Defensively, Butte Central held Corvallis empty from beyond the 3-point line.
“I thought that we defended well in the second half and challenged them,” Butte Central head coach Brodie Kelly said. “We got manhandled on the glass in the first half – I think by about 12 (rebounds). I thought we did a better job in the second.”
Butte Central did. Positioning was better for the Maroons, though they still lost in rebound numbers, 38-26. Corvallis’ big men found themselves in foul trouble as the game progressed and they may have been forced to play more passively to stay in the game.
“I thought we lacked intensity in the first half,” Kelly said. “We started getting traction the last two or three minutes of the second quarter. Then, Parker Robertson coming in the end of the third quarter changed the game for us.”
The Blue Devils took a 17-15 edge after a driving basket by Derek Criddle capped a 5-0 run early in the second period. The teams traded leads and baskets on possessions, but Corvallis got ahead 27-20 on an 8-0 run featuring four free throws made by Bennett Boelman. Two minutes were left in the half.
Patrick Stimatz came off the BC bench to nail a 3-pointer and cut the margin almost in half. Teammate Owen McPartland followed with two successful foul shots. Aydan Mayn knocked down a charity toss for Corvallis, but Butte Central finished the half with a 3-pointer by McPartland and an and-one by Jack Keeley. The flurry gave the Maroons their halftime advantage. McPartland scored 10 of his 16 points in the frame.
The third quarter was a defensive gruel and BC clung to a 38-34 advantage with only a minute left in the period. Robertson, a 5-foot-8 freshman reserve, drilled a 3-point shot and Keeley followed with another at the buzzer. Butte Central took a 44-34 spread into the fourth quarter.
The Maroons outscored the Blue Devils 13-2 the first half of the final frame and were in control. Point contributions came from Keeley, McPartland, Robertson, Zane Moodry and GG Fantini in the getaway as the assault gave BC a 57-36 command.
“Sometimes, we have to win ugly,” Kelly said. “(Corvallis) was the most physical team we’ve played this season. It was a good lesson for us. We were tougher in the second half.”
The coach attributed the accurate fourth-quarter shooting by his team to ball movement.
“We didn’t move the ball well in the first half,” he said. “We shot a high percentage in the fourth quarter, I think, because the ball was moving. We were making out passes, making out cuts, going to the boards.”
Keeley led Butte Central scoring with 17 points, McPartland had 16 and Joshua Sutton 12. Also, Robertson finished with seven points, Moodry with four, and Ryan Peoples, Stimatz and Fantini three each. Keeley and Moodry hauled down seven rebounds each. Keeley dealt three assists.
Criddle had 12 points and 11 rebounds to lead Corvallis. Cameron Whiteley had eight points, five rebounds and two blocks before fouling out with about 6 minutes left in the game. He’d also come up with two steals and dished four assists.
Butte Central is now 10-1 for the season, 3-0 in conference games. Corvallis is 5-5 and 0-2. The Maroons will play at Dillon on Friday.
CORVALLIS (5-5, 0-2) – Bennett Boelman 1-7 4-6 6, Dillen Potter 3-9 0-0 6, Cameron Whiteley 4-9 0-0 8, Ryan Hutchison 3-9 0-0 6, Derek Criddle 5-16 2-2 12, Aydan Mayn 1-1 3-6 5, Camron Dela Rosa 0-1 0-0 0, Brady Powell 0-0 0-0 0, Drew Lewis 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 17-52 9-14 43.
BUTTE CENTRAL (10-1, 3-0) – Joshua Sutton 4-11 4-4 12, Ryan Peoples 1-1 0-0 3, Jack Keeley 7-11 2-5 17, Owen McPartland 5-10 4-5 16, Zane Moodry 1-1 2-3 4, Parker Robertson 3-4 0-1 7, Patrick Stimatz 1-2 0-0 3, GG Fantini 1-3 1-2 3. Totals 23-43 13-17 65.
Corvallis 12 16 6 9 – 43
Butte Central 13 18 13 21 – 65
3-point goals – Corvallis 0-9 (Boelman 0-1, Whiteley 0-2, Hutchison 0-1, Criddle 0-5), Butte Central 6-17 (Sutton 0-3, Peoples 1-1, Keeley 1-3, McPartland 2-5, Robertson 1-1, Stimatz 1-2, Fantini 0-2). Fouled out – Whiteley. Total fouls – Corvallis 26, Butte Central 19. Technical – Dela Rosa. Rebounds – Corvallis 38 (Criddle 11), Butte Central 26 (Keeley 7, Moodry 7). Blocks – Corvallis 2 (Whiteley 2), Butte Central 0. Assists – Corvallis 5 (Whiteley 4), Butte Central 9 (Keeley 3). Steals – Corvallis 6 (Whiteley 2), Butte Central 7 (Sutton 2, Keeley 2, Fantini 2). Turnovers – Corvallis 16, Butte Central 10.

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