Broncs toss Maroons in boys’ title tilt OT thriller

By Bruce Sayler

Canaan Magness was the spoiler in Butte Central’s hopes to win a divisional basketball championship Saturday night. However, if not for Zane Moodry’s stellar game-long defense on the 6-3 sophomore Hamilton star, overtime would have never happened.
The title-game thriller ended in a 73-64 overtime win for Hamilton over the Maroons to finish the boys’ portion of the Western A Divisional high school basketball tournament at the Butte Civic Center.
Magness’ deep 3-point basket from the top of the key with 27 seconds left in the fourth quarter tied the score 59-all and, after a missed long 3-ball attempt by Butte Central, sent the game to overtime.
“We had to get a stop late in the game and didn’t,” Brodie Kelly, head coach of the Maroons said calmly and easily after an emotional pressure-packed game that delighted more than 4,000 fans in the Civic Center. “He hit one even deeper than that against us in Hamilton.
“Magness is a real complete offensive player.”
What a game. The teams split two regular-season games by three points total and then took the divisional title tilt to overtime.
“We’re just two really evenly matched teams,” Hamilton head coach Travis Blome said in the hallway afterward.
Kelly agreed, talking minutes later.
“We’re really evenly matched,” he said. “We both have potent offenses, everybody on the floor has skills and both teams have trouble guarding the other’s players.”
Butte Central was the tournament defending champion while Hamilton placed fourth in last year’s Western A tourney.
A big first half by Owen McPartland kept Butte Central in the thick of the game, and some amazing shot-making by freshman Parker Robertson in the fourth quarter played a large part in extending the contest. Everybody contributed to the classic.
“There were some amazing shots,,” Kelly agreed. “The strong competition was part of (creating the opportunities), but so did the skilled players. Parker made two very huge plays in the fourth quarter.”
McPartland’s 14 points in the first half on his way to his second consecutive 29-point game helped keep within 30-26 reach by intermission. He scored all 10 of the Maroons’ second quarter and popped in eight more while BC took a 48-43 edge through three quarters.
The Broncs closed to within 52-50 on a layup by Tristan Koerner with 5 minutes, 20 seconds left in the fourth period. The 5-8 Robertson then got surrounded while cradling the ball before driving into the key where he fell away and flipped up a floater while tumbling to the floor. The shot found the net and Butte Centrral led 54-50.
However, Jackson Jessop then connected from 3-point range for Hamilton, making for a one-point game. Dependable senior Jack Keeley caged two foul shots for the Maroons as the clock ticked to 3:31 left. Cole Dickemore responded for Hamilton with a 3-pointer that tied the score at 56-all.
The teams combined for 21 3-point goals in the game. The BC boys were 10-for-24 from deep while the Broncs were good on 11 of 21.
Butte Central went into deliberation mode as the clock dropped below a minute to go. Seemingly desperate against the fiercely attentive Hamilton defense, Keeley kicked out a pass from the key to Robertson alone way outside beyond the right elbow. He calmly drilled the 3-ball.
“Parker is not afraid,” Kelly said after the game.
Then, 21 seconds after Robertson’s trey, Magness swished his answer and the rivals checked in for overtime.
Butte Central took the first OT lead on a Keeley drive to the hoop. However, the Broncs scored the next three baskets while collecting seven points. Jessop convinced a toughly challenged short turnaround jumper to funnel through the net, Magness converted a basket-and-one and Koerner put back a rebound, again against challenging defense.
Hamilton then led 66-61 with 1:47 remaining in overtime.
McPartland cut the difference to three points with a driving layup and Magness responded with short jumper from inside the paint. The clock showed a minute left.
McPartland sank one of two charity tosses. Tyler Jetter grabbed the rebound for the Broncs. Keeley quickly fouled him and Jette made both freebies. Keeley’s 3-point attempt was off the mark and Magness took down the rebound. Ryan Peoples fouled him to stop the clock and maybe set up a rebounding opportunity off a missed free throw. Magness missed the first, but made the second.
McPartland’s cross-country 3-pointer missed and Cole Dickemore got the rebound for Hamilton. He tossed in both foul shots after being fouled by Peoples. Only 13 seconds were on the clock.
They were not enough.
Both teams will be at the state Class A tournament in two weeks, also at the Butte Civic Center.
“Class A basketball is anybody’s game this season,” Kelly said. “There’s a lot of parity.”
Hamilton will go to state with a 16-4 record. Magness’ 22 points were followed by Dickemore’s 17 and Jessop’s 14 in the Broncs’ totals. Koerner corralled 12 rebounds.
Butte Central, 17-5, was led by McPartland with 29 points, Peoples with 11 and Keeley with 10. Robertson scored seven points, Joshua Sutton four and Patrick Stimatz three. Moodry and GG Fantini also delivered key efforts. Keeley led the team on the boards with eight rebounds.
The game official boxscore follows:
BUTTE CENTRAL (17-5) – Joshua Sutton 1-3 2-2 4, Jack Keeley 4-14 2-2 10, Owen McPartland 11-20 2-3 29, Zane Moodry 0-0 0-0 0, Ryan Peoples 3-8 2-2 11, Parker Robertson 3-4 0-0 7, GG Fantini 0-0 0-0 0, Patrick Stimatz 1-1 0-0 3. Totals 23-50 8-9 64.
HAMILTON (16-4) – Cole Dickemore 5-10 2-2 17, Canaan Magness 8-11 4-5 22, Tristan Koerner 3-4 1-2 6, Tyler Jette 2-6 4-4 9, Jackson Jessop 2-6 4-4 7, Lucas Lant 0-0 0-0 0, Landen Wetzel 0-0 0-0 0, Francesco Baruffini 2-4 0-0 5. Totals 26-46 10-12 73.
Butte Central 16 10 22 11 5 – 64
Hamilton 16 14 13 16 14 – 73
3-point goals – Butte Central 10-24 (Stimatz 1-1, Sutton 0-1, Keeley 0-4, McPartland 5-10, Peoples 3-7, Robertson 1-1), Hamilton 11-21 (Dickemore 5-9, Magness 2-2, Jette 1-4, Jessop 2-4, Baruffini 1-2). Fouled out – none. Total fouls – Butte Central 11, Hamilton 12. Technicals – none. Rebounds – Butte Central 18 (Keeley 8), Hamilton 30 (Koerner 12). Blocks – none. Assists – Butte Central 2 (McPartland 1, Robertson 1), Hamilton 2 (Magness 1, Jessop 1). Steals – Butte Central 2 (Moodry 1, Robertson 1), Hamilton 5 (Koerner 2, Jessop 2). Turnovers – Butte Central 10, Hamilton 10.