Best of the Best

A kid walks into the best candy store in the world. There are so many yummy treats on the shelves he has no idea which one to pick. That is exactly what it is like trying to select the best game played between Butte High and Butte Central.

The two schools have played 170 times stretching back to 1916 when the series began. Butte High leads the series 95-74-1. This year will mark the 95th straight year that the Bulldogs and Maroons have played each other at least once during the school year. It has become a continuous annual athletic event in the Mining City since 1918.

If you asked a Maroons’ or Bulldogs’ follower the best game ever it is always a contest that their school won. It might be the best game ever between the two schools, but if you don’t win it really was not that good a game. Such is the deep passion both schools, their fans and alumni have for this contest.

So it is better to breakdown the best games for each side rather than simply calling any one game as the best ever.

Butte High’s ten best wins
2006
Butte High 53, Butte Central  51
Central Alex Murphy misses a 3-point shot at the buzzer and the Bulldogs hang on to win by two. This was perhaps the most controversial game ever played because it took place in the brand new Maroon Activities Center. Butte High protested about playing there while the Maroon followers wanted to showcase their beautiful new athletic complex. The game was as tense as the weeks leading up to the contest. Kyle Bergman was the hero of the night for the Bulldogs pumping in 31 points for the Purple-and-White.

1984
Butte High 59, Butte Central 55 (OT)
This would be a battle of two teams that went on to win the state championship that season. It was an epic battle decided in one extra session of basketball. Butte’s Mike Ogrin hit a pair of free throws with six seconds left in the game to send the contest into overtime. Chris Rasmussen led the Bulldogs to the win tallying 20 points.

1928
Butte High 23, Butte Central 16
Butte High beat Butte Central in the state finals played at the Montana School of Mines gym. It is the only time these two schools have met in a divisional or state tournament championship game. The Bulldogs had to win a play-in game just to get into the tournament. They surprised many by making it to the finals where they whipped the Maroons. Butte Central had beaten Butte High twice during the season including a 20-19 score at the divisional tournament.

1943
Butte High 30, Butte Central 23
The Bulldogs beat the Maroons at the Montana School of Mines gym. The stakes were high because the top spot in the Big 16 conference for the year was on the line. Since no state tournament took place that year due to World War II this served as a state championship game.

1958
Butte High 55, Butte Central 48
This was a state semi-final game played at the new MSU Fieldhouse in Bozeman. The Maroons had taken two of three games from the Bulldogs that season prior to that meeting. This was perhaps the most even the two schools ever were in this series. The difference in the four games between the two schools that year was plus three points for Butte High.

1951
Butte High 61, Butte Central 56 (OT)
Butte High beat Butte Central in one overtime period. What made this win so special for the Bulldogs is it ended a ten-game winning streak by the Maroons that stretched back to 1944.

1974
Butte High 59, Butte Central 58 (OT)
Scott Salo hit a shot at the buzzer in overtime to give the Bulldogs the dramatic victory. It was one of the few times a buzzer-beater decided the outcome of this game.

2010
Butte High 59, Butte Central 54 (2 OT)
This is the longest game played by Butte High where they beat Butte Central. The only other double-overtime game in 1996 that was decided, went to the Maroons. Cody Carriger led the Bulldogs on the night with 17 points, but the key points were made by Corey Dennehy, who hit a three-pointer at the buzzer as the first half came to an end.

1924
Butte High 17, Butte Central 8
The Bulldogs beat the Maroons in the state semi-finals played in Bozeman. Butte Central had won two of the previous three meetings with the Bulldogs that season including a 13-9 victory at the divisional tournament.

1971
Butte High 63, Butte Central 51
This game was not close, but what made it so important for the Bulldogs was it ended a nine-game Maroons’ winning streak that went back four years.

Butte Central ten best wins
1996
Butte Central 81, Butte High 75 (2 OT)
The Maroons outlasted the Bulldogs in a thrilling double overtime contest at the Civic Center. It marked only the second  time in the history of the series that a city title game went into double overtime. The previous contest was in 1923 when the two schools fought to a 5-5 tie. Justin Thatcher led the Maroons in victory with 23 points, while teammate John Hollow added 17 points with 5 of those coming in the second overtime.

1968
Butte Central 70,Butte High 66
This was a semifinal game in a divisional tournament. The winner advanced to play Anaconda in the tournament finals. The Maroons pulled out the win before a capacity crowd at the Civic Center. Butte Central had won two of the three previous games that season by a total of five points. The Maroons beat the Copperheads the next night to win the divisional crown and forced Anaconda to beat Butte High in a challenge game in order to earn a spot at the state tournament.

1927
Butte Central 31, Butte High 13
The Maroons beat the Bulldogs handily at the state tournament. It helped propel Butte Central into their first ever appearance in the state finals. It is the first and only time Butte Central has defeated Butte High in a state tournament game. What made this win so sweet for the Maroons is Butte High had won all three previous meetings between the two schools that year.

1981
Butte Central 53, Butte High 51 (OT)
The Maroons behind star player Mike McLeod beat the Bulldogs in overtime. What make the victory extra special for the Butte Central club was it was their only win over Butte High during the decade of the 1980s.

1923
Butte Central 11, Butte High 4
The Maroons beat Butte High for the first time ever. It came on a second try to finish a game that was  started a few nights earlier. The two schools had battled to a 5-5 tie through two overtimes periods. Officials stated the two sides were too tired to continue so they called the match a draw. The second encounter saw the Maroons come out on top.           

1991
Butte Central 64, Butte High 52
The win by the Maroons snapped a nine-game losing streak to Butte High. It also triggered a Butte Central dominance in the series. The Maroons would win ten of the next twelve meetings between the two schools.        

1958
Butte Central 59, Butte High 58
In the nail biting season of 1958, every game between the Bulldogs and Maroons was close. Butte Central behind their big center, Dan Sullivan, edged the Butte High in a thriller that went down to the final buzzer.

1969
Butte Central 59, Butte High 49
The two schools met in the semi-finals of the divisional tournament in Butte. The Maroons whipped the Bulldogs for the third time during the season. Butte Central went on to finish third in the Big 32 state tournament played in Bozeman.

1929
Butte Central 29, Butte High 18
The Maroons beat the Bulldogs at the divisional tournament. It was a key victory in their road to winning their first divisional title ever beating Anaconda 29-26 in the tournament finals.

2011
Butte Central 47, Butte High 27
This was a low scoring affair, but what made this win for Butte Central so important was it ended a twelve-game Bulldogs’ winning streak. That is the longest streak by either school in the history of this series.

                                         CITY CHAMPIONSHIP BASKETBALL GAME

YEAR                                                                    BUTTE COACH                CENTRAL COACH 

2012       Central           49      Butte       41                       Jim Konen                             Brodie Kelly

2011       Central           48     Butte       27                        Jim Konen                             Brodie Kelly

2010       Butte              59     Central    54   2 OT            John Thatcher                      Brodie Kelly

2009       Butte              49      Central    47                       John Thatcher                      Brodie Kelly

2008       Butte              63     Central    45                        John Thatcher                      Brodie Kelly

2007       Butte              61     Central    50                        John Thatcher                      Brodie Kelly

2006       Butte              53     Central    51                        John Thatcher                      Brodie Kelly

2006       Butte              62      Central    42                       John Thatcher                      Brodie Kelly

2005       Butte             54      Central    37                        John Thatcher                      Brodie Kelly

2005       Butte             68      Central    49                        John Thatcher                      Brodie Kelly

2004       Butte             54      Central    34                        John Thatcher                      Larry Ferguson

2004       Butte             51      Central    42                        John Thatcher                      Larry Ferguson

2003       Butte             55      Central    34                        John Thatcher                      Larry Ferguson

2003       Butte             72      Central    46                        John Thatcher                      Larry Ferguson

2002       Central          54      Butte       51                        John Thatcher                      Larry Ferguson

2002       Butte             55      Central    37                        John Thatcher                      Larry Ferguson

2001       Central          66      Butte       60                        John Thatcher                      Larry Ferguson

2001       Butte             45      Central    28                        John Thatcher                      Larry Ferguson

2000       Central          54      Butte       43                        John Dennehy                      Larry Ferguson

2000       Central          56      Butte       42                        John Dennehy                      Larry Ferguson

1999      Central          71      Butte       60                         John Dennehy                      Larry Ferguson

1999      Central          68      Butte       53                         John Dennehy                      Larry Ferguson

1998       Central          71      Butte       68                        Ken Edwards                        Bill Thatcher

1998      Central          58      Butte       50                         Phil Madrazo                        Bill Thatcher

1997      Butte             77      Central    65                         Dan Lean                              Bill Thatcher

1996      Central          81      Butte       75   2 OT             Dan Lean                              Bill Thatcher

1995      Butte             64      Central    60      OT             Dan Lean                              Tom Berg

1994      Central          62      Butte       47                         Pat Foley                               Tom Berg

1993      Central          63      Butte       44                         Pat Foley                               Tom Berg

1992      Central          64      Butte       55                         Pat Foley                               Tom Berg

1991      Central          64      Butte       52                         Pat Foley                               Mark Beckman

1990      Butte             67      Central    36                         Pat Foley                               Mark Beckman

1989      Butte             77      Central    57                         Pat Foley                               Mark Beckman

1988      Butte             77      Central    37                         Pat Foley                               Mark Beckman

1987      Butte             63      Central    54                         Pat Foley                               Bob Connors

1986      Butte             76      Central    71                         Pat Foley                               Bob Connors

1985      Butte             78      Central    63                         Pat Foley                               Pat Prendergast

1984      Butte             59      Central    55       OT            Pat Foley                               Pat Prendergast

1983      Butte             73      Central    52                         Pat Foley                               Pat Prendergast

1982      Butte             79      Central    70                         Larry Ferguson                     Jay Vogelsang

1981      Central          53      Butte       51       OT            Larry Ferguson                     Jay Vogelsang

1980      Butte             77      Central    56                         Larry Ferguson                     Jay Vogelsang

1980      Butte             80      Central    73                         Larry Ferguson                     Jay Vogelsang

1979      Central          70      Butte       62                         Larry Ferguson                     John Thatcher

1978      Central          68      Butte       61                         Larry Ferguson                     John Thatcher

1977      Butte             62      Central    50                         Larry Ferguson                     John Thatcher

1977      Butte             89      Central    81                         Larry Ferguson                     John Thatcher

1976      Butte             74      Central    72                         Larry Ferguson                     Jack Regan

1975      Butte             72      Central    68                         Bob Stephens                       Jack Regan

1975      Butte             53      Central    49                         Bob Stephens                       Jack Regan

1974      Butte             59      Central    56                         Bob Stephens                       Jack Regan

1974      Butte             59      Central    58       OT            Bob Stephens                       Jack Regan

1973      Butte             77      Central    53       DIV          Bob Stephens                       Otto Simon

1973      Central          63      Butte       46                         Bob Stephens                       Otto Simon

1973      Central          68      Butte       59                         Bob Stephens                       Otto Simon

1972       Butte             69       Central    61                       Fraser MacDonald              Otto Simon

1972       Butte             80      Central    64                        Fraser MacDonald              Otto Simon

1971      Butte             63      Central    51                         Fraser MacDonald              Otto Simon

1971       Central          62       Butte       49                       Fraser MacDonald             Otto Simon

1970       Central          62      Butte       61                        Fraser MacDonald              Otto Simon

1970      Central          60      Butte       56                         Fraser MacDonald             Otto Simon

1969      Central          59      Butte       49         DIV       Fraser MacDonald             Otto Simon

1969      Central          75        Butte       65                       Fraser MacDonald             Otto Simon

1969      Central          83      Butte       67                         Fraser MacDonald             Otto Simon

1968      Central          70      Butte       66         DIV        Dean Gerke                           Otto Simon

1968      Central          58      Butte       54                         Dean Gerke                           Otto Simon

1968      Central          56      Butte       55                         Dean Gerke                           Otto Simon

1968      Butte             67      Central    53                         Dean Gerke                           Otto Simon

1967      Butte             60      Central    47         DIV       Dean Gerke                           Otto Simon

1967      Central          65      Butte       57         DIV        Dean Gerke                           Otto Simon

1967      Central          72      Butte       71      OT             Dean Gerke                           Otto Simon

1967      Butte             45      Central    42                         Dean Gerke                           Otto Simon

1966      Central          49      Butte       42                         Bob Rae                                Otto Simon

1966      Central          65      Butte       49                         Bob Rae                                Otto Simon

1965      Butte             75      Central    61                         Bob Rae                                Otto Simon

1965      Butte             66      Central    53                         Bob Rae                                Otto Simon

1965      Central          69      Butte       57                         Bob Rae                                Otto Simon

1964      Butte             67      Central    38         DIV       Bob Rae                                Chuck Goligoski

1964      Butte             54      Central    43                         Bob Rae                                Chuck Goligoski

1964      Butte             52      Central    30                         Bob Rae                                Chuck Goligoski

1963      Butte             53      Central    40         ST           Bob Rae                                Chuck Goligoski

1963      Butte             48      Central    30                         Bob Rae                                Chuck Goligoski

1963      Butte             43      Central    33                         Bob Rae                                Chuck Goligoski

1963      Butte             39      Central    28                         Bob Rae                                Chuck Goligoski

1962       Butte             56      Central    46                        Bob Rae                                Chuck Goligoski

1962       Central          53      Butte       49                         Bob Rae                                Chuck Goligoski

1962       Central          56      Butte       43                        Bob Rae                                Chuck Goligoski

1961       Central          54      Butte       49                         Bob Rae                                Chuck Goligoski

1961       Butte             70      Central    55                        Bob Rae                                                Chuck Goligoski

1961       Butte             57      Central    50                        Bob Rae                                Chuck Goligoski

1960       Central          57       Butte       53                       Bob Rae                                               Chuck Goligoski

1960      Central          56      Butte       30                         Bob Rae                                Chuck Goligoski

1960      Central          40      Butte       34                         Bob Rae                                Chuck Goligoski

1959       Butte             70      Central    58        ST           Forrest Wilson                      Chuck Goligoski

1959      Butte             43      Central    39                         Forrest Wilson                      Chuck Goligoski

1959      Central          49      Butte       38                         Forrest Wilson                      Chuck Goligoski

1958      Butte             55      Central    48         ST           Bob Rae                                John Frankino

1958       Central          59      Butte       58                        Bob Rae                                John Frankino

1958      Central          50      Butte       46                         Bob Rae                                John Frankino

1958       Butte             44      Central    43                        Bob Rae                                John Frankino

1957      Central          57      Butte       48                         Bob Rae                                John Frankino

1957      Butte             67      Central    57                         Bob Rae                                John Frankino

1957      Butte             62      Central    55                         Bob Rae                                John Frankino

1956       Central          63      Butte       58        DIV       Bob Rae                                John Frankino

1956       Central          63      Butte       55                        Bob Rae                                John Frankino

1956       Central          57      Butte       41                        Bob Rae                             John Frankino

1955       Central          53      Butte       48                        Bob Rae                                Jim Sweeney

1955       Butte             39      Central    38                        Bob Rae                             Jim Sweeney

1954       Central          80      Butte       68                        Bill Hawke                         Jim Sweeney

1954       Central          58      Butte       57                        Bill Hawke                         Jim Sweeney

1954      Central          78      Butte       59                         Bill Hawke                         Jim Sweeney

1953       Butte             75      Central    63                        Bill Hawke                         Jim Sweeney

1953       Butte             60      Central    52                        Bill Hawke                         Jim Sweeney

1952       Butte             59      Central    44                        Bill Hawke                         Ed Roy

1952       Butte             73      Central    43                        Bill Hawke                         Ed Roy

1952       Butte             65      Central    38                        Bill Hawke                         Ed Roy

1951       Butte             61      Central    56      OT             Swede Dahlberg                 Ed Roy

1951       Central          58      Butte       44                        Swede Dahlberg                   Ed Roy

1950       Central          65       Butte       47                       Swede Dahlberg                   Ed Roy

1950       Central          50      Butte       41                        Swede Dahlberg                   Ed Roy

1949       Central          59      Butte       39                     Swede Dahlberg                Frank Callen

1948       Central          37      Butte       35                     Swede Dahlberg                Frank Callen

1948       Central          48      Butte       43                     Swede Dahlberg                Frank Callen

1947       Central          36      Butte       28                     Swede Dahlberg                Ed Simonich

1946      Central          42      Butte       24                     Swede Dahlberg                Ed Simonich

1945      Central          37      Butte       33                     Swede Dahlberg                Ed Simonich

1944       Central          40       Butte       31                       Swede Dahlberg                   Bob Satterthwaite

1943       Butte             30      Central    23                        Swede Dahlberg                   Bob Satterthwaite

1942       Central          30      Butte       28                        Swede Dahlberg                   Howard Ruegamer

1941       Butte             32      Central    30                        Swede Dahlberg                   Howard Ruegamer

1940      Butte              35     Central    22                         Swede Dahlberg                   Al Zupan

1939       Butte              42     Central    26                        Swede Dahlberg                   Al Zupan

1938       Butte              40     Central    25                        Swede Dahlberg                   Al Zupan

1937       Central           31     Butte       29                        Swede Dahlberg                   Johnny Good

1936       Central           23     Butte       14                        Swede Dahlberg                   Johnny Good

1935       Butte              17     Central    16                        Swede Dahlberg                   Johnny Good

1934       Butte              26     Central    12                        Swede Dahlberg                   Johnny Good

1933       Butte              35     Central    14                        Swede Dahlberg                   Johnny Good

1932       Central           16     Butte       13                        Swede Dahlberg                   Champ Vaughn

1931       Butte              23     Central    19                        Swede Dahlberg                   Champ Vaughn

1930       Central           29     Butte       23        DIV        Swede Dahlberg                   Champ Vaughn

1930       Central           27     Butte       14                        Swede Dahlberg                   Champ Vaughn

1929       Central           29     Butte       18        DIV        Swede Dahlberg                   Harold Eaton

1929       Butte              19     Central    18                        Swede Dahlberg                   Harold Eaton

1929       Butte              29     Central    27                        Swede Dahlberg                   Harold Eaton

1928       Butte              23     Central    16        ST CH    Swede Dahlberg                   Harold Eaton

1928       Central           20     Butte       19      DIV           Swede Dahlberg                   Harold Eaton

1928       Butte              24     Central    23                        Swede Dahlberg                   Harold Eaton

1928       Central           22     Butte       20                        Swede Dahlberg                   Harold Eaton

1927       Central           31     Butte       13        ST           Swede Dahlberg                   Steve Sullivan

1927       Butte              10     Central      9                         Swede Dahlberg                   Steve Sullivan

1927       Butte              11     Central    10                        Swede Dahlberg                   Steve Sullivan

1927       Butte                4     Central      2                         Swede Dahlberg                   Steve Sullivan

1926      Butte              17     Central    12                         Swede Dahlberg                   Steve Sullivan

1925      Butte              25     Central    10                         Swede Dahlberg                   Steve Sullivan

1924       Butte              17     Central      8         ST           Swede Dahlberg                   Steve Sullivan

1924       Central           13     Butte         9         DIV        Swede Dahlberg                   Steve Sullivan

1924       Central           21     Butte       16                        Swede Dahlberg                   Steve Sullivan

1924       Butte              15     Central      9                         Swede Dahlberg                   Steve Sullivan

1923       Central           11     Butte         4                         Swede Dahlberg                   Steve Sullivan

1923       Central             5      Butte         5   2 OT tie      Swede Dahlberg                   Steve Sullivan

1922       Butte              27     Central    20                        Mike Danahey                     Jim Peoples

1921       Butte              14     Central      9         DIV        Mike Danahey                     Jim Peoples

1921       Butte              17     Central      5                         Mike Danahey                     Art Leahy

1920       Butte              20     Central      8         DIV        Mike Danahey                     Art Leahy

1920       Butte              30     Central      6                         Mike Danahey                     Art Leahy

1919       Butte              17     Central    15                        Mike Danahey                     Art Leahy

1918       Butte              24     Central      9                         Dan Shirley                           Wreck Donnelly

1916       Butte              22     Central    10                        Mike Danahey                     Otis Lee

1916       Butte              25     Central    17                        Mike Danahey                     Otis Lee

SERIES                                 BUTTE                 95           CENTRAL           74           1 TIE

OVERTIMES                      BUTTE                   4            CENTRAL             3                                           

DIVISIONAL                      CENTRAL             8            BUTTE                   5                           

STATE                                  BUTTE                   5            CENTRAL             1

                                         GIRLS CITY CHAMPIONSHIP BASKETBALL GAME

Butte High  –  Butte Central 

 1976    Butte High      62        Central           45

1976    Butte High      58        Central           32

1977    Butte High      71        Central           54

1978    Butte High      45        Central           40

1979    Central           52        Butte High      50

1979    Central           48        Butte High      42

1980    Butte High      42        Central           41        OT

1981    Central           53        Butte High      44

1982    Central           51        Butte High      44

1983    Butte High      46        Central           37

1984    Butte High      70        Central           36

1985    Butte High      58        Central           34

1986    Butte High      71        Central           30

1987    Central           55        Butte High      52

1988    Butte High      44        Central           24

1989    Butte High      58        Central           25

1990    Butte High      68        Central           25

1991    Butte High      52        Central           30

1992    Butte High      59        Central           55

1993    Butte High      62        Central           50

1994    Butte High      51        Central           47

1995    Central           56        Butte High      47

1996    Central           52        Butte High      45

1997    Butte High      51        Central           37

1997    Butte High      61        Central           40

1998    Central           49        Butte High      39

1998    Central           36        Butte High      33

1999    Butte High      43        Central           34

1999    Central           60        Butte High      58

2000    Butte High      35        Central           27

2000    Butte High      57        Central           33

2001    Butte High      25        Central           21

2001    Butte High      39        Central           23

2003    Butte High      45        Central           35

2003    Butte High      55        Central           44

2004    Central           51        Butte High      45

2004    Central           42        Butte High      36

2005    Central           55        Butte High      44

2005    Butte High      46        Central           37

2006    Butte High      50        Central           23

2006    Butte High      47        Central           26

2007    Butte High      69        Central           53

2008    Butte High      61        Central           37

2009    Butte High      62        Central           30

2010    Central           52        Butte High      48

2011    Central           57        Butte High      47

series               Butte leads     30-15

overtimes        Butte leads       1-  0



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