Dogs ruffle Eagles feathers in another Ross J Thriller

For the 2nd time in 2 trips, hoops at Ross J. Memorial Gymnasium did not disappoint, especially the 4th quarter. Butte welcomed the Big Sky Eagles to town in an absolute slugfest of a game.

Dylan Bache started the scoring for Butte High off the shooters touch and roll from long distance after Big Sky scored the opening bucket. Bache started the game 2-2 beyond the arch and Butte led 6-4 with 2 minutes gone by.

Buttes first 9 points were from long distance as junior Tocher Lee netted one from deep to push the lead to 5. Big Sky was able to respond with a triple of their own at the other end and we had ourselves a shootout in the first period.

After an empty offensive possession for the Dogs Big Sky nailed another triple from the corner to take a 1-point lead, but it was short lived after a Hudson Luedtke drive and score on a pull up jumper.

Big Sky responded yet again as they had a hot hand from deep and hit another three from the opposite corner to take a 13-11 lead with 2 minutes to play in the opening frame.

Bache and Lee went a combined 4-4 from deep as Lee stepped into another rhythm three for the Dogs to regain the lead.

On their 4th straight possession Big Sky casted another triple up and drilled it. Lee was fouled on Buttes next possession on a 3-point attempt and hit 1 of 3 at the line. After a stop at the other end Hudson Luedtke found freshman big man Braylon Larson for a nice shot inside the key for a quick Bulldog 2.

Butte led 17-16 after an exciting opening quarter. Bo Demarais began the 2nd period with a score inside the paint to push the Bulldog lead to 3. After a defensive rebound and great ball movement, Battermann found a cutting Demarais for 2 who was fouled and missed the shot at the line, but it was cleaned up by Dylan Bache for 2 and a quick 4 points for the Dogs.

Two more shots at the foul line were good for Butte and a fast break bucket on back-to-back possessions saw the Bulldog lead grow to double digits.

Big Sky would finally respond as they cashed in on back-to-back possessions with a two ball and another corner 3 to cut the lead to 6. Luedtke responded with a triple himself on the Bulldogs next possession, 29-21 Butte High with 3.28 to play in the half.

Luedtke would again come back down on the next possession and splash home another triple for Butte and the Dogs lead was back up to 9 leading to a timeout with 2:53 to go.

Big Sky netted yet another triple to chip away at the lead with just over a minute to play at 32-29 leading to a Bulldog timeout. After a hot shooting half from both teams Big Sky would sneak one more bucket in just before the buzzer and trail by 1 at the half, 32-31 Butte High.

The Eagles began the second half where they left off as they captured a 3-point lead early on, but Bo Demarais got things going for Butte with an old fashioned 3-point play to tie things up at 39. With just over 3 to play in the 3rd Luedtke put one in for the Dogs to give them a 41-39 advantage.

Braylon Larson outworked everyone on the next possession and went back up for two more Bulldog points. Demarais would then find Torre Tempel on the wing for 3 and the Dogs led 46-39 with 2:41 to play in the 3rd.

Hudson Luedtke made a great drive to the bucket with his opposite hand to push the lead to 9, he would then find a streaking Larson on a fast break, and he’d lay it in for 2 and Butte led by 11 with a minute to play in the period.

After 3 quarters of play Butte took a 9-point edge to the final frame. Rueso Battermann began the 4th with a quick 2 for the Bulldogs. Big Sky would respond with a quick two and a trip to the line for a 3-point play but missed the freebie.

After a Bulldog turnover, the Eagles splashed in a 3 ball for a quick 5-point swing, 52-48 Butte High. Big Sky tried to cut the lead to 2 with a quick slash and drive to the bucket but Hudson Luedtke did his best Dikembe Mutumbo impression as he swatted it to Main Street. Big Sky was in the penalty and sent Lee to the line where he hit both to push the lead to 54-48 with 5 minutes to play.

Hudson Luedtke was in his bag with his handles as he hit his defender with the 3 piece and a soda combo, maneuvering his way to the rack and draped it in for a beautiful bucket and 2 more Bulldog points. Big Sky would answer right back with another triple and the lead was 6 with three minutes to play.

Off a Bulldog turnover, Big Sky came right back down after a pair of free throws and cashed in another triple to cut the Bulldog lead to just 2 with 2:26 to play.

Big Sky would recapture the lead with 1:32 to play off an offensive board and scoop and score for two and lead 58-57 with a minute to play. Timeout Big Sky.

Out of the timeout on their next possession, as the shot clock was winding down Big Sky again found nylon for two and a foul but couldn’t complete the 3-point play and led by 3 with 24 seconds to play. Luedtke skated down court, down 4 and found Larson for a quick 2 and timeout by Matt Luedtke, and the Dogs trailed by 2 with 13 seconds to play.

Big Sky had a chance to seal the deal but missed two crucial free throws with 10 seconds to play and Luedtke was able to find Rueso Batterman who then found Dylan “Bobby” Bache as time expired and forced OT at 61 apiece.

Butte began the extra frame with 2 quick trips to the foul line and a Hudson Luedtke pick pocket to take a 3-point lead, and the momentum began to shift as the Eagles turned the ball over on a traveling violation that tuned into another Bulldog triple, 66-61 with 2:10 to play.

Big Sky went cold, and Butte High kept their foot on the gas and for the second straight game at Ross J it’s a thriller and the Dogs escape with a 72-63 victory over Big Sky.

Another great night of team hoops as the Dogs see 4 score in double figures, Hudson Luedtke led the way with 18, Dylan Bache tossed in 16, Braylon Larson had 11, Tocher Lee had 10, Bo Demarais had 9, Rueso Battermann had 5 and Torre Tempel had 3 in the win. Butte moves to 8-4 in conference play and 10-6 overall and will play Helena High on the 22nd.

Isaiah Reed led the way for Big Sky with 15 points.