Butte High boys get Senior Night win

The Butte High Bulldogs were attack ‘Dogs Friday night as their three seniors played their last high school basketball game in the Civic Center. They closed the regular season with 73-68 Eastern AA Conference victory over Billings Senior.

Butte High will play a playoff game sometime next week. It will be on the road against a conference opponent with the winner advancing to the state tournament. The Bulldogs finished the regular season with a 4-16 record, including a 2-10 Eastern AA mark.

“We got to the free throw line, 39 times, which gave us more opportunities (to score),” Butte High head coach Terry Hauser said after the win in a game that saw his team weather a spirited Bronc rally late. “It was nice to get to the line and to pound the ball inside.”

Hauser noted that the aggressive offensive play by the Bulldogs was highlighted by the double-doubles put up by juniors Dallas Cook (21 points and 14 rebounds) and Peter Granger (14 points and 11 rebounds).  The 24-for-39 shooting from the line was not so much a concern as it indicated stronger play in the key by Butte High than it had shown in terms of assertion in the more recent outings.

“We put together four quarters tonight,” the coach said. “Our confidence at the end showed the kids knew they were going to win instead of wondering if they were going to win.”

Cory Farstveet came off the bench to hoop 14 points as Butte High’s third double-digit scorer. The team effort nullified outbursts of 29 points by Tad Rose and 19 by Skyler Scheetz for Billings Senior. Scheetz’ total included five 3-point baskets, four in the second quarter.

Seniors Jake Denney, Zach Bunney and Kyle Peterson, and their parents, were recognized in introductions prior to tip-off, and all three players were in the starting lineup. Dennehy played strong inside defense and yanked down two rebounds. He scored two points. Bunney drained a pair of 3-pointers, both in the first quarter, and dished six assists. Peterson collected eight points and three rebounds, and he blocked two Bronc shots.

Butte High held a 49-44 lead through three quarters after being tied 33-all with Billings Senior at halftime. The Broncs then rallied in the last five minutes. The Bulldogs warmed up at the charity stripe and run of points on free throws by Killian O’Leary and Cook, mixed in with a basket by Farstveet,  helped create a 60-55 edge with 4 minutes, 11 seconds still left to play.

Billings Senior got  a 3-point basket from Scheetz that cut the difference to 69-67 with 1:01 showing. Trae Dolan netted a foul shot and the Broncs trailed by just a point with 37 seconds on the clock.

Dolan missed his second charity toss and Cook snared the rebound. Killian O’Leary controlled the ball for Butte High coming down the court and was fouled by Hunter Anderson. O’Leary caged both freebies and widened the Bulldog lead to a still narrow 71-68 with 18 seconds left.

Scheetz cast off a 3-pointer attempt with 5 seconds showing and the shot glanced off the rim, barely missing going through the hoop.  Farstveet grabbed the rebound and was quickly fouled by Rose. Farstveet wrapped up the win by canning both foul shots.

Hauser ordered the Bulldogs to stay away from the ball during the final ticks and Billings Senior received no more chances to score or stop the clock.

Hauser said paying better defensive attention to Rose and Scheetz in the second half was important in Butte High controlling the lead most of the way after intermission. Rose was held to three points in the third quarter before getting away for 12 in the fourth. Scheetz tallied only five points after halftime.

Brian Smith scored two points for Butte High, getting the basket during a loose ball scramble that saw him finish it with a leaner to the basket after scooping the ball off the floor only a second before scoring the goal. O’Leary had six points. He was not entered in the scorebook prior to the tip-off and so was an ineligible player when he entered the game.

Hauser accepted the penalty, two free throws and continued possession of the ball for Billings Senior on the automatic technical foul, rather than keep the key reserve on the bench for the whole game.

The Broncs fell to 6-13 overall and 1-10 in the conference.

Hauser said the plan to attack the Broncs on the inside was at least partly dictated by the five-guard lineup employed by the Billings team in hopes of keeping the game out on the perimeter.

Cook, Granger, Farstveet and Peterson, however, were able to take advantage on the inside as the Bulldogs outrebounded their opponents by a 45-25 difference.

BILLINGS SENIOR (6-13, 1-10) — Trae Dolan 3-6 3-7 9, Joe Zimmer 0-2 0-0 0, Kelly Tipton 2-6 1-3 5, Skyler Scheetz 7-13 0-0 19, Tad Rose 7-17 12-14 29, Hunter Anderson 0-1 0-0 0, Brennan Nielsen 0-3 0-0 0, Nickos Vlahos 2-4 0-0 4, Tristan Bends 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 22-55 16-24 68.

BUTTE HIGH (4-16 2-10) — Jake Dennehy 1-4 0-5 2, Peter Granger 5-120 3-4 14, Zach Bunney 2-4 0-0 6, Dallas Cook 7-14 7-12 21, Kyle Peterson 3-4 2-2 8, Brian Smith 1-4 0-0 2, Cory Farstveet 4-6 6-8 14, Killian O’Leary 0-1 6-8 6. Totals 23-47 24-39 73.

Billings Senior               14          19          11          24  —  68

Butte High                     15          18          16          24  —  73

3-point goals — Billings Senior 8-27 (Tipton 0-4, Scheetz 5-11, Rose 3-10, Anderson 0-1, Bends 0-1), Butte High 3-9 (Granger 1-3, Bunney 2-3, Smith 0-1, Farstveet 0-1, O’Leary 0-1). Fouled out — Zimmer, Rose, Dennehy. Total fouls — Billings Senior 27, Butte High 19. Technicals — Zimmer, Butte High bench (scorebook infraction). Rebounds — Billings Senior 25 (Rose 7), Butte High 45 (Cook 14, Granger 11). Blocks — Billings Senior 1 (Zimmer), Butte High 3 (Peterson 2, Cook 1). Assists — Billings Senior 7 (Tipton 3), Butte High 13 (Bunney 6). Steals — Billings Senior 12 (five with 2 each), Butte High 4 (Cook 2, Smith 2). Turnovers — Billings Senior 17, Butte High 20.