Maroons battle back to edge Cowgirls in opener

Brooke Badovinac joins 600 club with 31 points

MISSOULA — Butte Central made two huge comebacks Wednesday afternoon.

The second one sends the Maroons to the quarterfinals of the Class A State girls’ basketball tournament at Dahlberg Arena.

Butte Central beat Miles City 61-59 in the opening round of the tournament Wednesday. The win sends Central (17-10) a date with Dillon at 5:30 p.m. Thursday. (Stats)

Miles City (12-10) will head to loser-out play. (Bracket)

Brooke Badovinac scored 31 points to lead the Maroons, who trailed 11-0 and 14-3 early. They stormed back to take the lead and then went into halftime tied at 27.

The Cowgirls again built a big lead in second half, but BC outscored Miles City 22-15 for the win.

For the second time this postseason, the Maroons won largely because of an incredible performance at the free throw line. As a team, the Maroons shot 22 for 24 from the stripe. That includes a 10-for-10 effort by Badovinac.

Badovinac, incidentally, became Butte’s second member of the 600-point Club. She now has 610 points on the season.

The only Butte boy or girl to score more in a high school season was Butte Central’s Joe Antonietti. The Butte Sports Hall of Famer tossed in 638 points in 27 games in 1969.

Wednesday’s win means Badovinac will have at least two games to pass Antonietti.

Sofee Thatcher sored 17 points in the victory. BC teammate Ella Moodry added 12 points, nine rebounds and four assists.

Brenna Foley scored one point for BC. Payton Hartwick and Mollie Drew also contributed for BC, which used just six players.

Alora Baker’s 15 points paced Miles City. Jullian Kanduch came off the bench for 14 points and eight rebounds, and Veronica Turck tossed in 12 points. Lainey Smith added eight points, Reagan LaPlante scored four, and Heidi Phaeln, Sam Peila and Alli Glassock scored two apiece.