LIVINGSTON — Brodie Kelly knew something was up when he saw senior George Riojas filming with his phone.
The coach was about to get a shower.
Kelly headed back to the Mining City in wet clothes Saturday night after the Maroons rolled to a 70-40 win over Livingston in a non-conference boys’ basketball game.
The win was the 300th of Kelly’s 18-year career as head coach of the Maroons.
“Right when I got in the locker room I saw (assistant coach) Colin Hollow jump back,” Kelly said. “Then I saw George had his phone out. I was able to duck most of the shower. I ducked most of it, then they caught me with the second one.”
That is when Kelly learned that the Maroons gave him his 300th win. The players first heard it on the bench from assistant coach Alex Murphy in the fourth quarter.
Murphy had time to tell the players because the Maroons entered the fourth quarter with a 68-38 lead. BC ran the clock, and each team scored just two points in the fourth quarter.
Junior guard Dougie Peoples still ended with 30 points to lead the Maroons in the win. He scored 21 of those points before halftime.
“He’s been playing really good,” Kelly said of Peoples. “He got on a roll, especially in the first half.”
Bryson Sestrich hit three 3-pointers and scored 11 points, while Eric Loos scored 10. BC also got six points from Kyle Holter and Jack Keeley, five from Joseph Sehulster and two from Drew Badovinac.
Kelly pointed to the defensive performance of Holter, who was tasked with guarding Livingston star Payton Kokot.
Kokot hit three quick 3-pointers, but the Maroons kept him under his average with 15 points.
“Kyle played really good again tonight,” Kelly said. “That Kokat kid is the real deal. He is potent. The kid can score from anywhere.”
Riojas, Gage Guldseth, Zane Moodry and Riley Gelling also played for the Maroons, who rolled their record to 15-1. None of BC’s games have been decided by less than 11 points.
Ryan Brown finished with eight points for the Rangers (5-10). Calvin Caplis scored seven, and drew Rogge and Colter Edwards each scored four. Wilson Saile tossed in two.
At 300-143, Kelly is BC’s all-time winning basketball coach. He trails only Butte High legend Swede Dahlberg for wins coaching a high school basketball team in the Mining City.
Dahlberg compiled a record of 407-298-1 in 29 seasons with the Bulldogs.
Kelly praised his players and assistants for their part in winning 300 games. Kelly’s brother Renzy has been an assistant from the beginning. Murphy and Hollow have also logged years of coaching after playing for Kelly.
Other Kelly assistants were Tanner Neumann, Todd Guldseth, Zach Murphy, Chris Finberg and Bill DePell. Neumann, Finberg and Zach Murphy are now head coaches.
“That’s a lot of games,” Kelly said of the milestone. “It’s a sign that you’ve been doing it a long time when you start hitting those numbers. I’ve been lucky. I’ve had a ton of continuity on our staff.”
The Maroons will go for win No. 301 Tuesday when they head to Stevensville for a Southwestern A game. BC will close the regular season next Saturday at Hamilton.
The Southwestern A District tournament is Dec. 17-19 in Dillon.
BUTTE CENTRAL (15-1) — Bryson Sestrich 4 0-0 11, Drew Badovinac 1 0-0 2, Dougie Peoples 11 3-3 30, Eric Loos 3 4-6 10, Kyle Holter 3 0-1 6, Jack Keeley 2 0-0 6, Joseph Sehulster 2 1-1 5, George Riojas 0 0-0 0, Gage Guldseth 0 0-0 0, Riley Gelling 0 0-0 0. Totals 26 8-11 70.
LIVINGSTON (5-10) — Payton Kokot 5 2-2 15, Drew Rogge 2 0-0 4, River Smith 0 0-0 0, Wilson Saile 1 0-0 2, Kaden McMinn 0 0-0 0, Colter Edwards 2 0- 4, John King 0-0 0, Ryan Brown 3 0-0 8, Calvin Caplis 2 2-2 7. Totals 15 4-4 40.
Butte Central 22 24 21 2 — 70
Livingston 13 11 14 2 — 40
3-point goals — BC 10 (Peoples 5 Sestrich 3, Keeley 2), Livingston 5 (Kokot 3, Brown 2, Caplis 1). Fouls — BC 9, Livingston 13. Fouled out — none. Technicals — none.