Some of the numbers seemed astronomical.
Not only did the Dillon/Anaconda-led Treasure State boys hit for triple digits in a 101-84 win over the Butte High/Butte Central-headed Big Sky boys, but some other totals were eye-widening.
Danny Mannix of Drummond scored a game-high 22 points to lead five double-figure scorers for Treasure State. Derek Walker of Deer Lodge was a perfect 5-for-5 from the field, solely from 3-point, range, too, in scoring 15, next-most on the winning team.
Brian Smith of Butte High led Big Sky with 16 points. The team put four shooters in double numbers.
The math test was the annual Southwest Montana All-Star Basketball Classic involving the region’s best high school hoops players from the recently completed season. This year’s version was held Wednesday night at the Maroon Activities Center (MAC) instead of the usual venue, the Montana Tech HPER Complex, which was unavailable this year because of a scheduling conflict.
Still, the MAC sported a good, appreciative crowd.
“The kids played together pretty well for not having played together,” winning coach Mel Rice, a retired longtime mentor at Dillon, said at the post-game spaghetti feed held for the participants. “It was fun for me.”
The teams combined for almost 200 shots from the field with 74 launched from 3-point range. Twenty-one of the long shots stretched the nets. Boardmen pulled down 117 rebounds and the inside was tough as seven shots were blocked. Treasure State chalked up 35 points in the fourth quarter, 62 over the second half.
The only statistics that seemed to be down compared to regular play were the those often referred to as bad ones — turnovers and fouls. They committed 23 total turnovers and only 20 fouls.
Play was a little streaky and it was fast. Nobody was shy. Shooters shot from all over and rebounders crashed the boards hard. Defense was pretty good, if not, sometimes, accidental.
Big Sky raced ahead 14-9 i the early moments as Butte Central senior Dalton Sessions scored four of the first six on a rebound putback and on a layup. A baby hook from Butte HIgh post Dylan Cook put the team ahead at 8-7 and Smith followed with a pullup jumper. Butte Central’s Chad Peterson finished the run with a reverse layup to finish a baseline drive.
Treasure State answered with its first run, eight straight points as Philipsburg’s Chase Cummins tallied twice from inside to start the spree, Walker netted his second 3-pointer and Anaconda freshman Braxton Hill canned one free throw and a field goal. Treasure State led 19-14 after the surge.
The quarter ended with Big Sky ahead, though, 20-19, after Marcus Ferriter of Butte Central capped a 6-0 run by putting a rebound through the hole. The 6-foot-4 Ferriter went on to finish with a game-high 13 rebounds.
The teams were tied 39-all at halftime with a Dillon-charged rally for Treasure State late in the second quarter. Justin Ferris scored five points on two long jumpers, one from outside the 3-point arc and one from just inside it, and fellow Beaver Trae Williams converted a basket-and-one play.
After Chanse Kremer of Butte High scored inside off a pass from Ennis star Walker McKitrick, Big Sky caught up at the end of the half on a tough basket from underneath by Jacob Simpson of Deer Lodge.
The break for intermission included a dazzling performance by the Dynamic Tumbling Academy of Butte, and the Southwest Montana All-Star Basketball Classic girls’ 3-point shooting contest, won by Alex Rouse of Dillon over McKaul Ori of Butte High by a thin 13-12 margin in shots made. The two made 12 apiece in the preliminary round to qualify for the final round.
The second half of the boys’ game saw Treasure State take control right after the intermission. Dillon Ferris cousins Jason and Justin combined for seven straight points and Walker drilled another 3-pointer and the Treasure State squad led 49-39. The team held the advantage the rest of the way.
Big Sky did rally back and cut the margin to 66-60 by the end of the third quarter as Smith nailed three of his four 3-point baskets in the period. The start of the fourth frame saw Wylie Leo of Ennis score on a drive and Cook hit a shot from inside the key to cut Treasure State’s lead to 66-64 with 9 minutes, 23 seconds left in the game.
The format of the game called for 10-minute quarters.
Treasure State fought back Big Sky’s rally with a three-point play by Anaconda’s Caleb Stetzner and two free throws made by Jason Ferris. Treasure State shooting hands heated and Mannix clinched the win with a personal 12-point run over about a minute-and-a-half span. It included back-to-back 3-pointers at the 4:18 and 3:43 junctures of the last period.
Hill finished with 11 points, and Jason Ferris and Cummins had 10 each in the win, backing Mannix and Walker in the scoring totals. Justin Ferris, Stetzner and Cummins scored eight each, Williams had five, Parker Love of Dillon and Quade McQueary of Deer Lodge each put in two points, and J.D. Ferris of Dillon also played. Rice and Curtis Fox, former Deer Lodge coach, guided the squad.
Cook and Twin Bridges’ Nolan Konen scored 12 points each for Big Sky, just behind Smith’s 16.
Ferriter registered 10 points to go with his 13 rebounds. Also, Danny Peoples of Butte Central scored eight points, Peterson tallied seven, Killian O’Leary of Butte High six, Sessions and Kremer four apiece, Braden Larson of Whitehall had three points and Leo had two. Former Butte Central coaches and players Brian Yelenich and Ryan Murphy directed the Big Sky squad.
Jason Ferris 3-10 4-4 10, Justin Ferris 3-9 0-0 8, Trae Williams 2-9 1-1 5, J.D. Ferris 0-6 0-0 0, Parker Love 1-7 0-0 2, Braxton Hill 5-6 1-2 11, Caleb Stetzner 3-9 1-1 8, Danny Mannix 6-14 6-6 22, Jacob Simpson 4-4 0-1 8, Quade McQueary 1-3 0-0 2, Derek Walker 5-5 0-0 15, Chase Cummins 5-10 0-0 10. Totals 38-92 13-15 101.
Marcus Ferriter 5-13 0-1 10, Danny Peoples 2-9 2-4 8, Chad Peterson 3-14 0-0 7, Dalton Sessions 2-5 0-2 4, Brian Smith 6-11 0-0 16, Killian O’Leary 3-7 0-0 6, Chanse Kremer 2-10 0-0 4, Dylan Cook 6-8 0-0 12, Walker McKitrick 0-2 0-2 0, Wylie Leo 1-8 0-0 2, Braden Larson 1-2 0-0 3, Nolan Konen 5-10 1-1 12. Totals 36-99 3-10 84.
Treasure State 19 20 27 35 — 101
Big Sky 19 20 21 24 — 84
3-point goals — Treasure State 12-37 (Jason Ferris 0-1, Justin Ferris 2-5, Williams 0-5, J.D. Ferris 0-2, Love 0-5, Stetzner 1-5, Mannix 4-7, McQueary 0-2, Walker 5-5). Big Sky 9-37 (Peoples 2-8, Peterson 1-10, Smith 4-7, O’Leary 0-1, McKitrick 0-1, Leo 0-1, Larson 1-2, Konen 1-7). Fouled out — none. Total fouls — Treasure State 8, Big Sky 12. Technicals — none. Rebounds — Treasure State 56 (Jason Ferris 8, Cummins 7), Big Sky 61 (Ferriter 13, Smith 7). Blocks — Treasure State 5 (Jason Ferris 3), Big Sky 2 (Ferriter 1, Cook 1). Assists — Treasure State 5 (J.D. Ferris 4), Big Sky 7 (Larson 2). Steals — Treasure State 6 (Stetzner 1, Love 1, McQueary 1, Jason Ferris 1, Justin Ferris 1, Mannix 1), Big Sky 6 (Sessions 1, McKitrick 1, Smith 1, O’Leary 1, Peterson 1, Konen 1). Turnovers — Treasure State 12, Big Sky 11.