Falcons overcome Bulldog fast start

Butte High’s boys clearly played their best basketball of the season this weekend.

Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, that wasn’t quite enough to knock off Billings Skyview Saturday at the Butte Civic Center.

The Falcons overcame a fast start by the Bulldogs and left town with a 72-61 Eastern AA victory.

Bulldog coach Terry Hauser said his team wore down, which was evident by sending the Falcons to the free throw line 36 times.

“I think we were tired,” Hauser said. “When we’re tired we start making mental mistakes and we start fouling when we shouldn’t. We start reaching. I mean, we had 22 fouls.”

The Bulldogs opened the game with a 9-1 run, and Butte High led 15-12 in the first half. Skyview, though, outscored the Bulldogs 23-14in the second quarter to take the lead for good.

The Falcons did most of their damage late in the second quarter, taking a 35-29 lead into the break.

“We had a good third quarter until the last two minutes, too,” Hauser said. “We’ve got to start playing a little smarter.”

Kendal Manuel, a 6-foot-3 junior guard who came in averaging 21.7 point per game, poured in 23 points to lead all scorers as the Falcons improved to 6-4 overall and 3-1 in the Eastern AA.

“He’s unreal,” Hauser said of Manual, who scored 14 points in the second quarter.

Tre’von Strong and Jameson Williams each scored 15 points for Skyview.

“They’re better than I thought,” Hauser said. “I thought they only had Maunuel and (Nolan) McHugh, but, shoot, their strong inside. They’re big, tough kids who can finish around the hoop and rebound well. They’re a good team.”

Senior Dallas Cook and junior Brian Smith each scored 19 points to lead the Bulldogs (2-8, 1-3), who beat Billings Senior on Friday night.

Cory Farstveet added 10 points for Butte High. Peter Granger tossed in seven points, Killian O’Leary netted four and Dylan Cook scored two.

Colten Billteen, Tucker Thatcher, Chanse Kremer and Gabe McClafferty also contributed for the Bulldogs.

Despite the loss, Hauser was upbeat about his team, which he said is starting to come together.

“I’m so proud of the kids. They started gelling this weekend,” Hauser said. “I focus on three things that I think are most important in the game, and I learned it from Coach (Steve) Keller at Montana Western. Play together, play hard and play smart.

“For a while, all we were doing was playing hard. Now we’re playing together. We’ve got to get that third thing, and I think we’ll be a great team by the end of the year if we accomplish all three of those things.”

The Bulldogs play at Great Falls Russell on Thursday before returning home to take on Great Falls High next Saturday.

Kendal Manuel 8 6-7 23, Baylee Slevira 2 1-2 5, Nolan McHugh 0 5-8 5, Jalen Whitley 1 1-1 3, Tre’von Strong 6 2-3 14, Jared Lambrecht 2 0-0 4, Jacob Smyle 1 0-0 2, Payton Stott 0 2-4 2, Jameson Williams 4 6-10 14. Totals 24 23-36 71.
BUTTE HIGH (2-8, 1-3)
Colten Billteen 0 0-0 0, Dallas Cook 7 5-10 19, Brian Smith 7 2-3 19, Cory Farstveet 4 0-0 10, Peter Granger 2 3-4 7, Tucker Thatcher 0 0-0 0, Killian O’Leary 1 2-3 4, Dylan Cook 1 0-0 2, Chanse Kremer 0 0-0 0, Gabe McClafferty 0 0-2 0. Totals 22 12-22 61.
Skyview          12   23   21   16 — 72
Butte              15   14   15   17 — 61

3-point goals — Skyview 1 (Manuel), Butte 5 (Smith 3, Farstveet 2).Fouls — Skyview 15, Butte 22. Fouled out — Smith. Technical — McHugh.


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