Central run ends with loss to Browning girls

MISSOULA — Close the book on the 2021-22 girls’ basketball season for Butte Central.

BC’s postseason run — a stretch that included 11 games and five wins in loser-out situations — ended this afternoon with a 71-63 loss to Browning at the Class A State tournament at Dahlberg Arena. (Stats)

The loss also closes the book on the remarkable career of head coach Meg Murphy, who is retiring with a record of 280-237 and two state championships with the Maroons.

Mecca Bull Child scored 24 points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished four assists to lead the Indians, who led 16-12 after the first quarter and 34-22 at the half.

The Maroons fought to the end, outscoring the Indians 24-19 after trailing 52-39 heading into the fourth quarter.

Amari Calf Robe and Suger Spoonhunter each scored 12 in the victory that sends the Indians to another loser-out game Saturday morning. Jerel Whitegrass tossed in nine.

Brooke Badovinac and Sofee Thatcher combined to score 54 of Butte Central’s 65 points. Badovinac poured in 30 points to close her junior season with 671 points.

No boy or girl in high school in Butte has ever scored more points in a single season than Badovinac, who scored 92 points in three State tournament games.

Thatcher shot 4 for 5 from the 3-point line to score 24 points. Ella Moodry added nine points for BC, which also got playing time from Brenna Foley, Payton Hartwick, Maycee Anderson and Mollie Drew.

The Maroons, who were down to six players at points in the post season, close the season to remember at 17-12. The loss closes the prep hoops career for seniors Thatcher, Foley and Hartwick.