Hawks top Butte High boys

Butte High experienced another night of “so close” Thursday night in Class AA high school boys’ basketball.
The Bulldogs fell to fourth-ranked Bozeman 59-51 in an Eastern Conference game at the Ross J. Richardson Memorial Gym in Butte High School. The Bulldogs have had many such close calls this season and were trying to play spoiler in the contest. They gave it a mighty go. The Hawks are contending for second place in the conference and a first seed in the nearing Eastern AA playoffs.
The Bulldogs led part of the way and were within four points of the lead with only a minute and a half to play in the game. Bozeman just got too much production out of athletic Aaron Weidenaar and 6-foot-6 Carroll College signee Oliver Carr. Each scored 20 points in the win, and Carr also pulled down 16 rebounds.
Still, Butte High did a pretty good job on Carr and forced him to miss several shots from inside the key as the denial defense either kept him under wraps from his teammates or pushed him back toward the perimeter with hands in the face.
Butte High’s last lead in the good, competitive contest was when Brian Smith converted a basket-and-one for a 38-34 edge with 3 minutes, 13 seconds left in the third quarter.
Bozeman responded, however, with a 7-0 run, tying the score at 38-all on a driving basket by Caleb Weidenaar and then going ahead as Carr took a pass from Adam Huse for a bucket.
Bennett Hostetler added a free throw and the Hawks led narrowly, 41-38, going into the fourth quarter.
Chanse Kremer stuck a rebound back through the hoop for Butte High nine seconds into the final period and the margin was only a point. Carr negotiated a three-point play and Smith answered with a successful drive to the hoop. Bozeman bounced back with five straight points — Aaron Weidenaar scoring baskets around a free throw by Carr — for a 49-42 advantage, the largest lead of the game.
Butte High still had rally in it. The Bulldogs clawed back and trailed by only 53-49 with 1:20 showing after Cory Farstveet scored off an offensive rebound.
However, the Hawks slowed the game to milk the clock. Butte High was forced to foul to stop time and try to gain possession.
Bozeman mopped up at the foul line. The Hawks were 6-for-8 from the freebie stripe in the last minute of play and Butte High was able to counter only with two free throws from Peter Granger.
It was a Granger drive just before the first-quarter buzzer that secured an 11-8 Butte High edge headed into the second frame. The gap widened to 16-10 after a free throw by Kremer and baskets by Dallas Cook and Farstveet midway through the second quarter.
Bozeman, though, persisted and steadily worked on cutting its deficit. Carr stole the ball and took to the hoop for a layin to put the Hawks ahead, 21-20, a minute before halftime and was the team’s first lead since taking a 3-0 edge at the beginning of the game on Aaron Weidenaar’s first of three 3-point baskets.
Cook gave the lead back to Butte High with a layup off a pass from Smith, but Bozeman led at intermission, 24-23, as Aaron Weidenaar canned a 3-pointer just before Kremer sank a foul shot.
The win put Bozeman at 7-4 in Eastern AA games and 14-5 for the season.
Butte High is now 1-10 and 3-16. The Bulldogs will close the regular season on Friday with a 7:30 home game against Billings West in the Richardson gym.
Smith scored 15 points to lead the Bulldogs Thursday night. Farstveet finished with 12 and also collected eight rebounds. Cook tallied eight points and paced the team on the boards by snaring 10 caroms. He also had a resounding block on a Hawk shot. Granger and Kremer finished with seven points each and Dylan Cook rounded out the scoring with two points.
Killian O’Leary, Colten Billteen, Gabe McClafferty and Tucker Thatcher also saw action.
The Friday finale will also see seniors Billteen, Granger, Farstveet, Dallas Cook and McClafferty to be honored before the game.

BOZEMAN (14-5, 7-4) — Adam Huse 2-7 2-2 7, Aaron Weidenaar 8-14 1-2 20, Caleb Weidenaar 2-10 1-2 5, Brandon Keim 1-5 1-4 3, Oliver Carr 8-19 4-5 20, Chris Johnson 0-2 0-0 0, Bennett Hostetler 0-2 3-6 3, Garrett Walters 0-0 1-2 1. Totals 21-59 13-23 59.
BUTTE HIGH (3-16, 1-10) — Brian Smith 6-11 1-1 15, Peter Granger 2-7 3-4 7, Cory Farstveet 5-11 0-0 12, Chanse Kremer 2-7 3-6 7, Dallas Cook 4-10 0-1 8, Killian O’Leary 0-3 0-0 0, Colten Billteen 0-0 0-0 0, Gabe McClafferty 0-0 0-0 0, Tucker Thatcher 0-0 0-0 0, Dylan Cook 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 20-51 7-12 51.

Bozeman 8 16 17 18 — 59
Butte High 11 12 15 13 — 51

3-point goals — Bozeman 4 -20 (Huse 1-5, A. Weidenaar 3-8, C. Weidenaar 0-4, Keim 0-1, Carr 0-1, Johnson 0-1), Butte 4-15 (Smith 2-7, Granger 0-2, Farstveet 2-5, Thatcher 0-1). Fouled out — none. Total fouls — Bozeman 10, Butte 18. Technicals — none. Rebounds — Bozeman 38 (Carr 16), Butte 37 (Dallas Cook 10). Blocks — Bozeman 1 (Keim), Butte High 1 (Dallas Cook). Assists — Bozeman 7 (Johnson 3), Butte 6 (Smith 3). Steals — Bozeman 5 (five with 1 each), Butte 1 (Smith). Turnovers — Bozeman 5, Butte High 14.

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