Lady Bulldogs overpower Lady Maroons in the Mining City Championship

Lady Bulldogs overpower Lady Maroons in the Mining City Championship
Cadence Graham knocks down a triple against Butte Central Tuesday night. (Photo by John Robbins Butte Sports.)

By: Logan Parvinen

Stats compiled by Bruce Saylor

Butte High Lady Bulldogs 62, Butte Central Lady Maroons 32

Butte has always been about hometown spirit, regardless of whether you bleed purple or you bleed maroon. However, there are only two days of the year that can separate households and bring heated tensions across the city of Butte. The first day is the Cat-Griz game, also known as the Brawl of the Wild. The second day is the historic Mining City Championship basketball game between the Butte High Bulldogs and the Butte Central Maroons.

In the 56th meeting between the Lady Bulldogs of Butte High School and the Lady Maroons of Butte Central, the Dawgs emerged victorious for the 5th consecutive time. The Lady Bulldogs won by a score of 62-32, the largest margin of victory since 2009. This is the second victory for the Lady Bulldogs this season and the first win since December 15th of last year.

The evening started with Chief Executive JP Gallagher giving a message of support for both teams. A message of sportsmanship between the two inner city rivals.

Both teams were still trying to find a groove that worked for them offensively. The first points of the game were not scored until 5:46 in the first period when senior Emmarie Richards drained a three-pointer for Butte High. The first quarter ended with a score of 15-7 in favor of the ladies in purple.

The Lady Bulldogs extended the deficit but not without a strong push from the Lady Maroons midway through the quarter. The first half ended with a 28-17 Butte High lead.

In terms of offensive strategies for Butte High, it was a simple “shoot if you’re open” gameplan which worked to an extent. The biggest takeaway for Butte High was the second-chance opportunities thanks to the offensive rebounds. Laura Rosenleaf tallied 10 total rebounds in the first half alone. Her rebounding efforts are enough to make someone like Dennis Rodman smile with approval.

Laura Rosenleaf blocks a Mollie Drew shot attempt Tuesday night at the Butte Civic Center. (Photo by John Robbins Butte Sports.)

Butte High’s defensive effort to double-team Butte Central’s Brooke Badovinac was a main part of their defensive strategy in the first half. Butte Central’s defensive strategy was to let Butte High shoot from beyond the arc and limit the amount of baskets from inside the paint.

The third quarter would open with a shooting clinic from the Lady Bulldogs as they would score six times in their first six possessions. The third quarter would end with Butte High senior Brooke Groesbeck putting the final nail in the coffin with a clutch two point basket and free throw. The Lady Bulldogs scored 22 points from 9-13 shooting in the third quarter. Middle-schooler Cadence Graham went 3 for 4 with 7 points to add to her 9 points from the first half.

The effort was too much for the Lady Maroons to keep up with as they added nine points in the third quarter. Four points came from future Lady Oredigger Brooke Badovinac and five came from junior Mollie Drew.

The fourth quarter was a good opportunity for both teams to let everyone on their respective rosters get an opportunity to play. With Butte High sweeping the quarter scoring by outscoring the Lady Maroons 12-6 in the fourth, the Lady Bulldogs left the Civic Center with a 62-32 win.

Butte Central’s strategy of letting Butte High shoot from deep backfired in the third quarter. Especially when Cadence Graham got the hot-hand. Butte Central showed immense heart throughout the entire game. Butte Central junior Kathryn Lalicker played the entire game with a metal brace on her knee. Without a doubt, Maycee was the toughest player on the floor for both teams.

Eighth-grader Cadence Graham notched a season-high 18 points as she led the Bulldogs in scoring. Laura Rosenleaf, the queen of rebounds, achieved a double-double by scoring 12 points to go along with her team leading 13 rebounds. Emmarie Richards scored 9 points and led the team in blocks and steals with 3 of each. Sophomore Dylann Bartoletti sank a pair of three-pointers in the third quarter for 6 points in total. Sophomore Brityn Stewart scored 4 points. Brooke Groesbeck, Payton Clary, and Elli Quist scored 3 points. Taylor Bushman and Rian Ferriter added two points each to round off Bulldogs scoring.

Butte Central was led by Brooke Badovinac as she scored 17 points, grabbed 5 rebounds, and had two nice blocks in her last Mining City Championship game. Mollie Drew added 10 points to go along with her 6 rebounds. Freshman Arika Stajcar also had 6 rebounds to go with her three points. The warrior Maycee Anderson scored 2 points and led the team with 3 steals on the evening.

Special shoutout to Bruce Saylor for keeping stats of the game and showing me how to decode his stat taking method.

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