Bulldog girls rope Rustlers

Butte High’s girls’ basketball team finally got to play in their home gym Saturday.

The Bulldogs wasted little time showing how much they liked it, and they showed Great Falls Russell very little hospitality.

Butte High opened the game with a 16-3 run and the Bulldogs never trailed in a 57-43 Eastern AA win at the Ross J. Richardson Memorial Gymnasium.

“We’re back in our home gym for the first time this season,” Butte High coach Jeff Arntson said. “We played four home games, but only one here. The kids got off to a good start today. We got some turnovers out of our press and did some good things.”

The Bulldogs also wasted little time shaking off Thursday’s overtime loss at Great Falls High.

“I think it woke us up a little bit,” said Butte High senior Natalee Faupel, who scored a game-high 16 points in the win.

Butte High’s 14-point win, though wasn’t as easy as the score might say.

The Rustlers hit six 3-pointers in the first half to cut Butte’s big lead to just 27-25 at halftime.

“I wasn’t happy giving up threes in the first half while we were playing man-to-man defense,” Arntson said. “It wasn’t like we were sitting back in a zone. In the second half we did a better job eliminating those threes.”

Butte High gave up just one 3-pointer in the second half.

“We kind of lost track who we had at times,” Faupel said. “We tried to limit them on threes. They were like 67 percent at the half, so we tried to get out on them.”

Hailey Hogaland hit two 3-pointers and added 11 points for the Bulldogs, who saw seven different players score. Sammy McGree scored nine points, while Hattie Thatcher and Carlie Haeffner each scored eight. Also Erika McLeod scored three points and Maria Michelotti tossed in two. Maria Richardson also played for the Bulldogs, who improved to 5-2 overall and 1-1 in conference play.

Haeffner grabbed 10 rebounds, while Thatcher dished out seven assists.

“Hattie did a very good job running the show for us,” Arntson said. “Natalee had her usual great game. Erika McLeod gave us good minutes off the bench. It was a good team win against a good team.”

The Bulldogs are back in action next Thursday when they take on Butte Central at the Butte Civic Center, Butte High’s home away from home.

GREAT FALLS RUSSELL (3-4, 1-1) — Ashlee Atchinson 3 2-2 8, Taylor Edwards 3 0-0 7, Maggie Reilly 0 0-0 0, Diedra Denton 2 1-2 6, Hannah Vining 2 0-0 5, Kaydee Parsons 2 0-0 6, Kirsten Kaste 0 0-0 0, Maddy Gregoire 2 1-2 6, Maddie Watkins 1 0-0 2. Totals 16 4-12 43.
BUTTE HIGH (5-2, 1-1) — Hailey Hoagland 3 3-4 11, Natalee Faupel 7 1-1 16, Sammy McGree 4 1-1 9, Hattie Thatcher 4 0-0 8, Carlie Haeffner 4 0-0 8, Maria Richardson 0 0-0 0, Erika McLeod 1 1-4 3, Maria Michelotti 1 0-1 2. Totals 24 6-11 57.
Great Falls        9    16    9     9 — 43
Butte               16   11   14   16 — 57

3-point goals — GF 7 (Parson 2, Gregoire 2, Edwards, Denton, Vining), Butte 3 (Hoagland 2, Faupel). Fouls — GF 11, Butte 9. Fouled out — none. Technicals — none.