Bruins top Bulldog boys

A handful of possessions spoiled an otherwise solid outing by the Butte High boys’ basketball team Thursday night.

Helena Capital made the Bulldogs pay for key turnovers at the end of each half, and the Bruins escaped the Ross J. Richardson Memorial Gymnasium with a 69-63 non-conference win.

“The effort was there,” Bulldog coach Terry Hauser said. “We just turned it over four or five times in the last two and  a half minutes. Those possessions are crucial.”

Butte High overcame a turnovers spell in the first half, scoring eight straight points to close out the first half to take a 37-35 lead into the locker room.

Brian Smith and Peter Granger hit back-to-back 3-pointers before Dallas Cook scored off a pretty pass from Zach Bunney as Butte High turned a 35-29 deficit into a two-point advantage.

That Capital lead was the product of the Bruin press finally getting to the Bulldogs.

“All in all, we handled the ball well except for the a couple minutes at the end of the second quarter and a couple minutes at the end of the game,” Hauser said. “We only had 16 turnovers. That’s half as many as we had against Helena High.”

Butte High couldn’t overcome the big turnovers in the second half.

After trailing by as much as 53-43 late in the third quarter, the Bulldogs battled back. Butte cut the lead to 58-56 when Cook fed Gabe McClafferty for a hoop with 4 minutes, 55 seconds left in the game.

Butte High then got a stop on defense.

The Bulldogs though, didn’t get a chance to tie the game because Kyle Harrington stole the ball under the basket and laid in an easy bucket. That started an 11-4 run that put the win game away for the Bruins.

“We got some steals late,” Capital coach Guy Almquist said. “Kyle Harrington really got a lot of deflections in the last three minutes that saved our bacon.”

Harrington’s steal started a run of three straight Butte High possessions that ended in turnovers.

“That was the name of the game,” Hauser said.

Carson Dummer, a 6-foot-7 junior, and senior David Lindgren each scored 16 points to pace the Bruins (1-1). Harrington tossed in 12, while Levi Dawes scored 10.

“I’m proud  of our kids for battling back and getting a win on the road against a team that was competing,” Almquist said. “Butte was really competing.”

Cook scored a career-high 26 points to lead the Bulldogs, who also got 13 points from Peter Granger and 12 from Brian Smith.

Granger hit three 3-pionters. Cook and Smith each sank two.

“They stroked it,” Almquist said of the Bulldogs. “When they were open they didn’t miss many shots.”

Corey Farstveet added eight points. Bunney joined McClafferty with two. Killian O’Leary and Chase Plum also contributed for the Bulldogs, who fell to 1-2.

Butte High is back in action Saturday when they play Missoula Big Sky in a non-conference game at the Butte Civic Center.

Bozeman is next up for Capital.

HELENA CAPITAL (1-1) — David Lindgren 6 2-3 16, Kyle Harrington 5 0-0 12, Hunter Beto 1 0-0 2, Levi Dawes 3 4-4 10, Carson Dummer 8 0-0 16, Aaron Gilman 2 1-2 5, Kyle Nickol 1 0-0 2, Keeley Larson 1 0-0 3, Sean Carroll 1 1-2 3. Totals 28 8-11 69.
BUTTE HIGH (1-2) — Peter Granger 4 2-2 13, Brian Smith 5 0-0 12, Zach Bunney 1 0-0 2, Cory Farstveet 4 0-0 8, Dallas Cook 11 2-4 26, Chase Plum 0 0-0 0, Gabe McClafferty 1 0-0 2, Killian O’Leary 0 0-0 0. Totals 27 4-4 63.
Capital                        10   25   20   14 — 69
Butte                           16   21   12   14 — 63

3-point goals — Helena 5 (Lindgren 2, Harrington 2, Larson 1), Butte 7 (Granger 3, Smith 2, Cook 2). Fouls — Helena 10, Butte 14. Fouled out — none. Technicals — none.

The following photos were taken by Bret Graden. To buy high-quality copies of these photos or others by Graden, go to

Zach Bunney
Dallas Cook is fouled by Aaron Gilman.
Disappointed Butte High players leave the court after the tough loss.