Calling it a breakout game doesn’t do it justice.
Butte Central junior guard Kale Guldseth scored a career-high 24 points Saturday night to lead the way as the Maroons beat Anaconda 61-40 in a Southwestern A boys’ basketball game at the Maroon Activities Center.
Guldseth, who scored a total of 16 points in Butte Central’s first three games, buried five 3-pointers, four of which came in the second half.
“I’ve had a tough year,” Guldseth said. “I haven’t been hitting the shots. Tonight I came out and I felt like I had a certain confidence, and I hit the shots that were open. My teammates got me open.”
Guldseth’s previous high point total came last Dec. 20 when he tossed in 16 points in a win at Hamilton.
Friday’s 24 points, though, only begins to tell the story Guldseth had for the Maroons.
“He wreaked havoc defensively and bailed us out tonight,” Butte Central coach Brodie Kelly said. “I’m not sure without him we would have won. He was making a ton of plays for us.”
Still, the Copperheads, under first-year head coach Bill Hill, wouldn’t go away quietly. The Maroons needed a big fourth quarter to secure their 100th win over their arch rival. (Anaconda still leads 118-100 in a series that dates back to 1916.)
Butte Central led 31-20 at halftime, before Anaconda made a run in the third quarter. The Copperheads pulled to within 38-36 after a Bradon Fode put-back and a Cory Stanberry bucket late in the third.
Connor McGree stopped the bleeding with a three-point play with 3 seconds left in the frame, to give BC a 41-36 cushion.
In the fourth quarter, it was all Maroons.
Brady Tippett turned a Ferriter pass into a three-point play to start the fourth quarter. The play kicked off a 9-2 run that gave the Maroons a 50-38 lead when Tippett scored off a nice pass from Guldseth.
After Stanberry took a steal for a bucket to make it 50-40, Tippett drove for a bucket to start an 11-0 run to close out the game.
In all, Tippett scored 11 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter.
“When we’re clicking it’s usually because of him,” Guldseth said of Tippett, BC’s leading scorer.
Ferriter scored six points for the Maroons, while Nate Bolstad and Emmett McCarrthy scored four and McGree and Dalton Sessions each scored three.
Wyatt Kingston, Jimmy Martz, Kaemen Richards and Chad Peterson also contributed for the Maroons, who improved to 2-2 overall and 1-1 in conference.
Brandon Fode, Jackson Wagner and Cory Stanberry each scored 10 points to lead the Copperheads, who looked much better than their 0-4 record.
“Bill has done a great job with these guys,” Kelly said. “They’re playing hard and playing organized, and they were tough tonight.”
Kelly said his team has “a little bit of schizophrenia.” The coach pointed to the Maroons nearly overcoming an awful first half in Thursday’s 62-61 loss at Stevensville as an example.
“You saw how good we can be in the fourth quarter and how bad we can be in the third,” Kelly said. “We were similar in Stevi. We’ve got to get that figured out.”
The Maroons will have to figure that out on the fly. Tuesday they jump right back into Southwestern A play when up-and-coming Hamilton visits the MAC.
ANACONDA — Eli Mathais 0 0-2 0, Dennis Stanberry 0 4-10 4, Jackson Wagner 3 1-2 10, Geoff Dierenfeldt 1 0-0 2, Brandon Fode 5 0-0 10, Cory Stanberry 5 0-0 10, Jade Green 2 0-0 4, Caleb Stetzner 0 0-0 0, Kelly Krumm 0 0-1 0. Totals 16 5-15 40.
BUTTE CENTRAL (2-2, 1-1) — Kale Guldseth 8 3-4 24, Connor McGree 1 1-2 3, Brady Tippett 7 1-1 17, Marcus Ferriter 3 0-2 6, Nate Bolstad 2 0-2 4, Emmett McCarthy 2 0-0 4, Dalton Sessions 1 1-3 3, Wyatt Kingston 0 0-0 0,Jimmy Martz 0 0-0 0, Kaemen Richards 0 0-0 0, Chad Peterson 0 0-0 0. Totals 24 6-13 61.
Anaconda 8 12 16 4 — 40
Central 17 14 10 20 — 61
3-point goals — Anaconda 3 (Wagner 3), BC 7 (Guldseth 5, Tippett 2). Fouls — Anaconda 16, BC 21. Fouled out — Guldseth. Technical — Tippett.