BC girls run past Rangers

Butte Central’s 25-point win might have looked pretty good on paper, but head coach Meg Murphy would’ve liked to have seen the Maroon girls’ basketball team play a little better overall.

The play of the deeper end of the BC bench was a bright spot in the 56-31 Class A non conference win over Livingston Saturday in the Maroon Activities Center.

“A win’s a win and I’m happy in the sense we got to play a lot of kids,” Murphy gave. “But we have to get a lot better by Thursday.”

Butte Central and in-town Class AA rival Butte High will tangle on Thursday at the Civic Center for the city championship.

“Our young kids have a lot still to learn,” the coach said with a smile, hanging onto a positive from Saturday’s win. “Every time they get a chance to play, it just helps.”

Livingston never threatened. The Maroons scored the first eight points of the game on a Hannah Stajcar drive to the basket followed by two Danee Leary 3-point goals. Macy Ricketts put the Rangers on the board with a free throw 6 ½ minutes into the contest before BC backup post Aleesha LaBreche banked in a medium-range shot for a 10-1 difference at the of the quarter.

By halftime, it was a 25-11 game with Butte Central fueled by a 13-2 run through the brunt of the second period. A fierce press and Leary’s continued scoring inflicted most of the damage on Livingston.

The Maroons took a 43-17 spread into the fourth frame as the bench began contributing heavily to BC’s attack and defense in the third quarter.

The lift from the bench was welcome, Murphy, said after an energy-sapping 39-27 win at previously undefeated Southwestern A Conference rival Dillon on Friday night.

“I think coming off the Dillon game, which was a tough game, we were a little tired and sluggish and played that way,” Murphy said. “But I was pleased with the way we ran our press in the first half.”

Leary finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds to lead  Butte Central. Other scorers were Stajcar and Alysea Pica with eight points apiece, Chandra McCurdy with five, Mariah Cooney, Danika Neumann, LaBreche and Sierra Pica with four each, and Annie Ossello and Shawnee Hjelt with two apiece. Shelby Paffhausen did a good job at the point in a reserve role, and Teresa Piazzola played aggressive defense.

The Maroons held Livingston to 8-for-32 shooting from the field, and to just six shots in each of the first two quarters. Ricketts wound up as the Rangers’ leader with eight points. Mariel Kelley came off the bench to score six points and grab seven rebounds. Livingston committed 10 of its 29 turnovers in the first quarter.

LIVINGSTON —  Katie Buckley 1-3 0-0 2, Megan Schoenen 0-6 4-8 4, Macy Ricketts 2-6 3-4 8, Mia Stewart 1-2 2-2 4, Callie Ellingson 0-2 0-0 0, Emily Fochs 0-5 2-2 2, Mariel Kelley 2-5 2-2 6, Megan Hawkins 0-1 0-0 0, Meadow Ingram 2-2 0-0 5, Chelsea Woods 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 8-32 13-18 31.
BUTTE CENTRAL (7-1) — Hannah Stajcar 4-9 0-0 8, Danee Leary 4-12 4-8 15, Annie Ossello 1-3 0-0 2, Mariah Cooney 2-5 0-0 4, Alysea Pica 2-4 3-6 8, Shelby Paffhausen 0-0 0-0 0, Danika Neumann 1-5 1-2 4, Aleesha LaBreche 2-4 0-0 4, Teresa Piazzola 0-1 0-0 0, Shawnee Hjelt 1-2 0-0 2, Chandra McCurdy 2-2 0-1 5, Sierra Pica 0-0 4-4 4. Totals 19-47 12-21 56.
Livingston                 1          10           6          14  —  31
Butte Central           10          15          18         13  —  56
3-point goals — Livingston 2-9 (Schoenen 0-4, Ricketts 1-2, Stewart 0-1, Ellingson 0-1, Ingram 1-1), Butte Central 6-16 (Stajcar 0-1, Leary 3-8, A. Pica 1-1, Neumann 1-5, McCurdy 1-1).  Fouled out — Buckley. Total fouls— Livingston 17, Butte Central 16. Technicals — none. Rebounds — Livingston 30 (Kelley 7), Butte Central 29 (Leary 12). Blocks — Livingston 2 (Kelley 1, Ingram 1), Butte Central 3 (Ossello 2, S. Pica 1). Assists — Livingston 3 (Fochs 3), Butte Central 10 (A. Pica 4). Steals — Livingston 7 (Fochs 2, Schoenen 2), Butte Central 18 (A. Pica 6, Neumann 2, Cooney 2, LaBreche 2). Turnovers — Livingston 29, Butte Central 13.

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