By Bill Foley
It not something you will see every day.
Actually, you might not have ever seen it before.
Butte Central’s boys’ basketball team turned back-to-back-to-back three-point plays — the old-fashioned way — Tuesday night at the Maroon Activities Center.
The nine points in the span of 39 seconds turned around a slow start against old foe Anaconda into a rout. When the dust had settled, the Maroons brought the mercy rule into play with a 67-27 victory in the non-conference game.
“That was kind of a momentum changer for us,” Butte Central coach Brodie Kelly said of the three-point plays from Kyle Holter and Dougie Peoples. “We had gotten off to a really slow start — mentally. We were just not playing at the right pace on defense or offense. On offense we were just patterned and not really playing with a scoring mentality.
“Those three or four possessions changed the game.”
Anaconda led 10-5 when Kelly called time out just after Eli Saltenberger sank a 3-pointer for the Copperheads with 2 minutes, 58 seconds left in the first quarter.
Thirty seconds later, Holter took the ball to the hoop for a bucket and a foul. Thirty seconds after that, Peoples turned the three-point play to give the Maroons the lead for good.
Nine seconds after that, Peoples did it again. The sophomore tipped the ball to his classmate Holter, who fed Peoples for a bucket and another foul.
Peoples drove for another bucket to cap the 11-0 run that helped the Maroons take a 16-4 lead into the second quarter.
From there, the Maroon defense took over, holding the Copperheads to just four points each of the next two quarters.
“Our concentration was much better over that stretch of the game,” Kelly said. “A guy who deserves some credit in the second quarter is Isaac Sholey. He played really good defense. He kind of gave us a spark there.”
BC led 31-16 at halftime and 50-20 after Peoples and Joseph Sehulster hit 3-poitners 34 seconds apart to close out the third quarter.
Sehulster pointed to some Anaconda hecklers in the corner before running down court spinning an arm in celebration.
The fourth quarter gave the Maroons a whole lot more to celebrate.
Konnor Pochervina, a sophomore who does not see a ton of varsity time, scored 11 straight points for the Maroons. That included a pair of 3-pointers that ignited the BC bench.
“How ‘bout Porchy. He played great,” Kelly said. “He just came in and played fearless. He got in to the lane, hit some shots and played good defense.”
Starters on the Central bench went absolutely crazy as time ran down and senior John Fisher, a player on the team mostly for practice, buried a 3-pointer from the corner.
Peoples, who sat out much of the second half, finished with 22 points to lead all scorers in the game. He tossed in 16 points in the first half.
Bryson Sestrich sank three 3-pointes and scored 13 points in the win that evened Central’s record at 4-4. Holter finished with seven, while Sehulster scored five, Bryan “Hugo” Holland tossed in four, Fisher finished with three and Drew Badovinac scored two.
Rye Doherty, Gage Guldseth and George Rioas also saw time for the Maroons.
Salternberger’s 11 points paced the Copperheads (1-4). Jacob Greenwood scored five, while Gabe Galle, Braedon Sawyer and Dillon Guiberson each scored three points. Cael Mikalatos tossed in two. Ryder Hofland, Sean Kellegher and Landon Hurley also contributed for the Copperheads.
Central is back in action Saturday when the Maroons travel to Dillon for a Southwestern A rematch with the undefeated Beavers. Kelly pointed out that Tuesday’s game started a stretch in which the Maroons will have nine games and nine practices in 21 days. That includes a divisional play-in game.
“That counts the game were’ going to be playing for our lives on Feb. 22,” Kelly said. “We’ve just got to keep getting better until then.”
ANACONDA (1-4) — Gabe Galle 1 1-2 3, Braedon Sawyer 1 0-0 3, Eli Saltenberger 5 0-0 11, Ryder Hofland 0 0-0 0, Landon Hurley 0 0-1 0, Jacob Greenwood 1 2-2 5, Dillon Guiberson 1 1-2 3, Sean Kellegher 0 0-2 0, Cael Mikalatos 0 2-3 2.Toatls 9 6-12 27.
BUTTE CENTRAL (4-4) — Bryson Sestrich 5 0-0 13, Dougie Peoples 7 6-6 22, Egan Lester 0 0-0 0, Kyle Holter 1 5-5 7, Bryan Holland 1 2-3 4, Drew Badovinac 0 2-4 4, Joseph Sehulster 2 0-0 5, Isaac Sholey 0 0-0 0, Rye Doherty 0 0-0 0, Konnor Pochervina 4 1-2 11, George Riojas 0 0-0 0, John Fisher 1 0-0 3, Gage Guldseth 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 16-20 67.
Anaconda 12 4 4 7 — 27
Central 16 14 19 17 — 67
3-point goals — Anaconda 3 (Greenwood, Sawyer, Saltenberger), BC 9 (Sestrich 3, Peoples 2, Pochervina 2, Sehulster, Fisher). Fouls — Anaconda 26, BC 19. Fouled out — none. Technicals — none.