By Bill Foley
What a week the Maroons are having.
Butte Central scored the first 23 points Saturday afternoon, and the Maroons rolled to a 66-25 win over East Helena in a Southwestern A boys’ basketball game at the Maroon Activities Center.
Central led 28-6 after the first quarter and 40-12 at halftime.
“It was a pretty good start,” BC coach Brodie Kelly said. “Both sides played pretty well. We played pretty good defense, and the offense continued the momentum we had from Thursday. We played well.”
Central went 3-0 on the week. The Maroons beat Livingston 67-40 Tuesday in Butte before going to Corvallis Thursday for an 87-51 win.
Kelly said the 87 points was the most his team scored in one game since he took over as head coach during the 2004-05 season.
The Maroons, who improved to 12-1 overall and 8-1 in conference, wasted little time getting started Saturday, too.
Bryson Sestrich fed Dougie Peoples for a baseline 3-pointer to give BC the lead for good just 10 seconds into the game.
Peoples drove up the middle for a bucket before Kyle Holter took a steal for a hoop. It was 10-0 after Holter grabbed a rebound and turned it into a three-point play.
Peoples drove for a three-point play with 2 minutes, 17 seconds left in the first quarter. That made it 23-0.
Curtis Corzine hit a turn-around jumper to put the Vigilantes on the board at the 1:57 mark.
Despite not playing in the fourth quarter — and sitting out much of the second — Peoples scored 24 points. Of those, 13 came in the first quarter. He also dished out six assists.
Zane Moodry took a pass from Peoples and scored at the buzzer to make it a 60-20 BC lead after three quarters. The fourth quarter was played with a running clock because of the mercy rule.
As a team, the Maroons racked up 15 assists. Sestrich had three of those, while Holter and Jack Keeley each had two.
Three Maroons scored in double figures, with Holter tossing in 13 and Eric Loos scoring 10. Keeley finished with five, and George Riojas joined Sestrich with a 3-pointer. Moodry finished with four, and Drew Badovinac and Joseph Sehulster each scored two.
Riley Gelling and Gage Guldseth also contributed in the win.
Kelly said he was happy that his team kept its focus even after having the huge lead.
“The one thing you are susceptible to is lack of concentration and just getting sloppy,” Kelly said of playing with a lead. “We had one issue in the second quarter where we didn’t match up, but after that we got things cleaned up.”
The coach could not have been happier with his team’s performance over the last three games.
“This week, Kyle has been lights out,” Kelly said. “He has been unbelievable. The whole package — steals, rebounds and run outs. Dougie this whole week on offense has been rolling, too. Eric has been a presence banging, and Bryson shooting. Everybody has been kind of clicking this week.”
Colter Charlesworth and Trevor Held each scored seven points to lead the Vigilantes.
Corzine scored four points for East Helena, which fell to 2-12 and 1-8 with its eighth straight loss. Tucker Petty and Talgen Hager each scored three, and Jacob Spencer scored one.
East Helena, which is playing its first year in varsity, was missing leading scorer Kaeden Sager.
Central struggled with the Vigilantes before picking up a 49-31 win Dec. 16 in East Elena.
“In East Helena, it was a grinder in the first half,” Kelly said. “It was a close, competitive game.”
The Maroons will play three games again next week, starting with Tuesday’s makeup game at Anaconda. That game will tip off at 6 p.m.
Central will play host to Frenchtown on Thursday before heading to Livingston on Saturday.
EAST HELENA (2-12, 1-8) — Colter Charlesworth 3 0-1 7, Curtis Corzine 2 0-0 4, Trevor Held 3 0-0 7, Tucker Petty 1 0-0 3, Kobe Mergenthaleer 0 0-0 0, Wyatt Carrell 0 0-0 0, Talgen Hager 1 1-2 3, Jacob Spencer 0 1-2 1, Slade Olson 0 0-0 0. Totals 10 2-5 25.
BUTTE CENTRAL (12-1, 8-1) — Bryson Sestrich 1 0-0 3, Drew Badovinac 1 0-0 2, Dougie Peoples 9 4-5 24, Kyle Holter 6 1-1 13, Eric Loos 5 0-0 10, Jack Keeley 2 1-1 5, Joseph Sehulster 1 0-0 2, Zane Moodry 2 0-0 4, George Riojas 1 0-0 3, Riley Gelling 0 0-0 0, Gage Guldseth 0 0-0 0. Totals 28 6-8 66.
East Helena 6 6 8 5 — 25
Butte Central 28 12 20 6 — 66
3-point goals — E. Helena 3 (Charlesworth 1, Held 1, Petty 1), BC 4 (Peoples 2, Sestrich 1, Riojas 1). Fouls — E. Helena 11, BC 9. Fouled out — none. Technicals — none.