Maroon girls complete sweep of Beavers

Butte Central has plenty in reserve when it comes to high school girls’ basketball effort.

It was evident Friday night when the Maroon reserves contributed 14 points and terrific defense to a 43-21 thumping of Dillon in Southwestern A Conference hoops in the Maroon Activities Center.

The backups saw a lot of time, including Danika Neumann stepping into a starting role with leading scorer Danee Leary sidelined by a hamstring injury. Neumann, the usual first reserve off the bench, responded with nine points. Hannah Stajcar led the offense with 11 points.

However, it was the stifling defense BC played that pleased head coach Meg Murphy. The effort included a 34-22 difference in rebounds, and limiting the Beavers to 13 second-half shots from the floor. They made three of them while scoring only nine points after halftime.

Senior starters Mariah Cooney and Annie Ossello led Butte Central on the boards with 13 and nine rebounds, respectively.

None of the Dillon scorers reached double figures. Cierra Lamey led the team with eight points and the other four Beaver starters combined for just three points, two of them being held scoreless.

The Maroon victory capped a sweep of the regular-season two-game series between the two teams.

“It was a great defensive effort by every kid who stepped on the floor for us,” Murphy said. “We focused on it all week and you could tell the difference. I can’t say enough about what we did defensively.

“Annie Ossello and Mariah Cooney boarded the heck out of it. We missed some easy shots, but went right back after it. Overall, I thought this was the best we’ve played as a team, and we played a lot of kids tonight.”

Dillon led four times —  2-0 on a Lamey rebound cleanup, 4-2 on a Lamey pullup jumper, 10-8 on a steal and layup by Shay Parke that tallied the first points of the second quarter, and 12-10 after two free throws were made by Alex Rouse.

The Butte Central girls then went on a 13-0 tear to close the half and take over the lead for good. Cooney and Neumann accounted for all of the scoring in the run.

The Maroons widened the gap in the second half.

They caged five of their six free throws awarded over the game. Dillon was 4-for-9 from the foul line in a contest that saw just 20 fouls called, 10 on each team.

“After last week’s dismal performance at the free throw line (in a loss to Hamilton), it was nice to see,” Murphy said of the Maroons’ shooting from the line Friday. “I’m pleased with how all our kids played. They played hard and gave me all they had.”

Alysea Pica scored nine points for the Maroons, Cooney finished with six, Ossello with three, and Aleesha Breche and Sierra Pica put in two points each. Shelby Paffhausen sank a free throw.

Chandra McCurdy and Taylor Templin also played.

Butte Central will play at Livingston on Saturday at 4 p.m. in a non-conference Class A game.

Rouse finished with seven points for the Beavers. Parke and Janet Moore tallied two points each, Kayla Milne and Holly Andersen netted one apiece, and Courtney Linder, Audrey Schurg, Tiffany Hayden and Jordan Peterson all saw duty.

DILLON (8-5, 3-4) — Courtney Linder 0-9 0-0 0, Audrey Schurg 0-1 0-0 0, Kayla Milne 0-2 1-2 1, Shay Parke 1-4 0-0 2, Cierra Lamey 4-7 0-2 8, Tiffany Hayden 0-3 0-0 0, Janet Moore 1-2 0-0 2, Alex Rouse 2-5 2-3 7, Jordan Peterson 0-0 0-0 0, Holly Andersen 0-0 1-2 1. Totals 8-33 4-9 21.

BUTTE CENTRAL (10-4, 7-1) — Hannah Stajcar 5-9 0-0 11, Alysea Pica 4-7 1-1 9, Annie Ossello 1-5 1-1 3, Danika Neumann 3-7 2-2 9, Mariah Cooney 3-10 0-0 6, Chandra McCurdy 0-0 0-0 0, Aleesha LaBreche 1-3 0-0 2, Shelby Paffhausen 0-1 1-2 1, Taylor Templin 0-0 0-0 0, Sierra Pica 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 18-44 5-6 43.

Dillon               8          4           6           3 —  21

Butte Central    8         13         10        12  —  43

3-point goals —  Dillon 1-12 (Linder 0-4, Schurg 0-1, Milne 0-1, Parke 0-1, Hayden 0-1, Moore 0-1, Rouse 1-3), Butte Central 2-7 (Stajcar 1-2, A. Pica 0-1, Neumann 1-3, Paffhausen 0-1). Fouled out — none. Total fouls — Dillon 10, Butte Central 10. Technicals —  none. Rebounds — Dillon 22  (Lamey 7), Butte Central 34 (Cooney 13, Ossello 9). Blocks — none. Assists — Dillon 3 ((Parke 2), Butte Central 7 (Neumann 2, LaBreche 2), Steals — Dillon 7 (Parke 3), Butte Central 9 (A. Pica 3), Turnovers — Dillon 18, Butte Central 14.