Butte Central captures 3rd at Class A State, look back on an absolutely amazing 4-year run

Butte Central bounced right back from their loss the previous night to go on and beat both Billings Central and Frenchtown to capture 3rd place at the 2023 State Tournament. The Maroons played the Beavers for a 4th time this season and that’s a tough task for any team at any level.

Getting to cover Central this season has been a great joy, the team was electric all year and so fun to watch, coach Kelly was great to interact with and talk about his team, this group is truly special.

Now even though they were not able to repeat, this groups fight, hustle, determination, and willingness to learn and have each other’s backs has not gone unnoticed. This group alone has made 4 state tournament appearances, with a 3rd place finish, two state titles, and perhaps ones of the most cherished and amazing performances and memories in Montana sports history last year, and although we won’t see a rematch the doesn’t take away from what these young men did.

These players are just kids still, while some get ready to start the real world, the fact that at such a young age these guys were able to keep a positive head and never really seemed to let emotions get the best of them, the last few seasons everyone wanted to see Butte Central lose because well that is what happens when you’re the best.

While other news and sports reporters are down doing their jobs with very little emotion, any time I watched our hometown Maroons play I was always fired up and cheering them on from the media table, most of the time getting goofy looks, like wow this guy really enjoys his job and this team.

I was able to watch Dougie torch defenses on a nightly basis, I watched Kyle Holter soar out of the gym like he is going to be in Space Jam 3, I watched Eric Loos be a great powerhouse and undeniable x factor, Zane Moodry shot an extremely high field goal percentage rate, and undeniable heart when on the floor.

I got to witness an 8th grader Josh Sutton play and make Butte Central history, Jack Keeley did a lot of dirty work, rebounding or hitting a big shot after big shot, whenever Owen “Big Shot” McPartland had the ball in his hands there was a good chance it was going to go in, an unreal sharpshooter. Konnor Porchervina who brought his hustle and physicality to every game he played, and watch his team match that energy when he come in off the bench. Senior Riley Gelling come in so hyped off the bench and constantly hyping his team up in all situations.

In the past two seasons the Maroons never lost back-to-back times once, after their first loss this season, they went on an absolute tear torching the competition including their Class AA rival Butte High Bulldogs.

It still feels like the season just started and I’ll be heading to the MAC later this week to cover them again, but its already March and we are sad to see this group go, but even happier to see where life takes these amazing Butte Central senior boys. Be proud of yourselves you have accomplished more in your high school careers then most people have in their adult lives, truly amazing feat.

Never change and always keep that fire.

Butte 69 vs Billings Central 57

Dougie led the way with 28 points, Eric Loos had 17, Kyle Holter had 11, Owen McPartland had 7 and Zane Moodry had 6.

Butte Central 66 VS Frenchtown 48

Dougie went out with a bang and had 33 points, Kyle Holter had 10, Jack Keeley had 7, Eric Loos had 6, Zane Moodry had 5, Owen McPartland had 3, and Konnor Porchervina had 2.