Bulldog girls cruise past Beavers

Last Feb. 10, the Dillon Beavers beat Butte High 34-29 in a girls’ basketball game at the B.W. Lodge Gym in Dillon.

The loss was the fifth of eight straight suffered by the Bulldogs. It was a loss they didn’t forget.

“We kind of wanted revenge,” Butte High junior Sammy McGree said.

The Bulldogs wasted little time enacting that revenge Tuesday night when they welcomed the Beavers to the Butte Civic Center.

No. 3-ranked Butte High scored the game’s first 16 points and rolled to a 57-30 non-conference win. This time around the Bulldogs are streaking the other way, winning their ninth straight game to improve to 13-2 overall.

The key for the Bulldogs Tuesday was defense. The Bulldogs stymied the Beavers with their full-court press to take the commanding lead.

“We worked on defense a lot, especially this week,” said McGree, who scored six of her 10 points during the opening run. “There’s still room for improvement, but I think we’re coming along pretty good.”

McGree scored the game’s first points off a nice pass from Hattie Thatcher to start the run. The Bulldogs didn’t allow any points until Janet Moore scored off an Alex Rouse pass with 1 minute, 7 seconds left in the first quarter.

“We tried to set up our full-court zone press, and the kids did a nice job with it,” Butte High coach Jeff Arntson said. “We played aggressive ‘D’ and got after them.”

The Bulldogs led 18-5 after the first quarter and 26-11 at halftime. Butte High put the game away with a 13-0 lead to close out the third quarter with a 43-18 advantage.

Arntson said he wasn’t pleased with the Bulldogs’ play in the second quarter.

“We were relying on the 3-pointer too much,” the coach said. “We made some adjustments and the kids did a good job getting it inside first then kicking it outside. We hit the shots then.”

Natalee Faupel scored 11 points to lead the Bulldogs. Thatcher and Hailey Hoagland each scored nine points in the win.

Maria Michelotti scored five points off the bench, while Mariah Richardson, Ashten McCloskey and Kassidy Caprara scored three, and Carlie Haeffner and Erika McLeod both scored two.

Bethany McLean, Andie Hogan, McKaul Ori, Lexie Murphy and Allie Metz also played for the Bulldogs, who used 15 players in the win.

Rouse, a freshman, came off the bench to hit three 3-pointers and scored a game-high 15 points. Cierra Lamey scored 10 points for Dillon, which fell to 8-6 overall.

The Bulldogs are back in action with another Class A foe Thursday in Anaconda. Butte High is in a battle for first place in the Eastern AA, and the Bulldogs jump back into conference action next weekend at home against Billings Skyview and Billings West.

McGree said the key to winning that top spot and a bye to the Class AA State tournament is obvious. It was also on display Tuesday night.

“We need to work on defense,” McGree said. “There’s still a lot of room for improvement.”

DILLON (8-6) — Janet Moore 1 1-2 3, Courtney Linder 0 0-0 0, Kayla Meine 0 0-0 0, Shay Parke 0 0-0 0, Cierra Lmey 2 6-6 10, Alex Rouse 6 0-0 15, Tiffany Hayden 1 0-0 2, Jordan Peterson 0 0-0 0. Totals 10 7-8 30.
BUTTE HIGH (13-2) — Hailey Hoagland 3 3-4 9, Natalee Faupel 5 1-1 11, Sammy McGree 5 0-0 10, Hattie Thatcher 3 0-0 9, Carlie Haeffner 1 0-0 2, Mariah Richardson 1 0-0 3, Bethany McLean 0 0-0 0, Ashten McCloskey 1 0-0 3, Erika McLeod 1 0-0 2, Maria Michelotti 2 1-2 5, Andie Hogan 0 0-0 0, McKaul Ori 0 0-0 0, Lexie Murphy 0 0-0 0, Alli Metz 0 0-0 0, Kassidy Caprara 1 0-0 3. Totals 23 5-7 57.
Dillon   5    6     7   12 — 30
Butte   18    8   17   14 — 57

3-point goals — Dillon 3 (Rouse 3), Butte 6 (Thatcher 3, Richardson, McCloskey, Caprara). Fouls — Dillon 5, Butte 12. Fouled out — none. Technicals — none.