The season couldn’t have started any better for the Butte Central boys’ basketball team.
The Maroons hit their first three shots — all 3-pointers — and BC never trailed in a 67-49 win over Browning Friday night at the Butte Civic Center. The game was the nightcap of the Butte Central Tip-Off Tournament.
“They came out and zoned us, and we found open shooters,” said BC senior Brady Tippett, who scored a game-high 22 points. “We have good shooters. We can knock down shots.”
Junior Nate Bolstad hit a 3-pointer from the baseline to get the Maroons started.
The next time down court, Tippett knocked down a three pointer. The next time it was junior Kale Guldseth.
Tippett said the big lead allowed the Maroons to settle into the game.
“You’re more confident, obviously, when you make your first couple of shots,” Tippett said. “You get your first one down, and you’re ready to play.”
When the Maroons finally missed a shot, Bolstad got the rebound for a putback and an 11-0 run.
“Nate’s been playing great offensively in practice, and Kale is miles ahead of where he was last year,” Tippett said. “He’s a great player.”
Butte Central led 16-2 with 3 minutes left in the first quarter.
“You couldn’t ask for a better start really,” BC coach Brodie Kelly said. “The guys found the open man, were ready to shoot, were in the right spots. Everybody sees the made shot, but there was some good plays to get those shots first. Guys were doing things right.”
Danny Peoples hit one of his two 3-pointers in the first quarter, and Butte Central led 23-11 after the first eight minutes. The Maroons rolled into the locker room with a 44-19 lead over the Indians, BC’s biggest rival for all those years the Maroons played in the Central A Division.
Tippett scored 13 points in the first half, while Peoples and Bolstad each scored eight.
The Indians outscored made things interesting in the second half, pulling to within 14 points. The Maroons, though made sure it didn’t get too interesting.
“They’re going to come back, they’re always one of those teams,” Tippett said of Browning. “I was telling people right after halftime, I said ‘Don’t let up because Browning is going to come back.'”
Deejay Lazyboy hit two 3-pointers and scored 10 of his team-leading 15 points in the second half.
“It’s hard to play with a 25-point lead,” Kelly said. “Browning, to their credit, plays hard, and they hit some tough shots in the second half.”
Emmett McCarthy, a senior who came off the bench, scored 12 points for the Maroons, while Bolstad ended with 10. Marcus Ferriter joined Peoples with eight points.
Kelly praised Ferriter, a 6-foot-3 sophomore.
“I don’t know what the stats were, but I know he had a ton of rebounds,” Kelly said. “And his energy level, he kept so many balls alive. He was diving on the floor, he was boxing out well. He did a lot of good things.”
Guldseth scored seven points, while Connor McGree, who started, and Dalton Sessions contributed to the win.
“We had great balance,” Kelly said. “I loved our rotation in the first half. Dalton, Danny and Emmett came in and gave us good minutes.”
Kelly was able to empty his bench and get all 12 players in the book on the court. Jimmy Martz hit a pair of free throws, while Kaemen Richards, Wyatt Kingston and Chad Peterson also saw time.
“It was a good first game,” Kelly said.
Tippett said a lopsided win over the Indians definitely gets the 2012-13 season off on the right foot.
“They’re a great team, a great program,” Tippett said. “To beat them like that was a big step for us.”
The Maroons are back in action Saturday. They play perennial Class A contender Laurel at 2:30 p.m. at the MAC.
BROWNING (0-1) — Dan Hall 0 3-4 3, Issac MKay 2 0-0 4, Clarence McNabb 3 0-1 6, Deejay Lazyboy 6 0-1 15, Jalen Croff 3 2-2 9, Wyatt Madplume 0 0-0 0, George Hall 1 2-2 5, Rylee Heavyrunner 1 0-0 2, Jake Bell 0 1-2 1, Trever Gray 0 1-2 1, Emmett Dustybull 1 0-0 3. Totals 17 10-15 49.
BUTTE CENTRAL (1-0) — Kale Guldseth 1 4-9 7, Connor McGree 0 0-0 0, Brady Tippett 6 9-14 22, Marcus Ferriter 3 2-3 8, Nate Bolstad 3 3-3 10, Danny Peoples 3 0-0 8, Dalton Sessions 0 0-1 0, Emmett McCarthy 4 4-4 12, Kaemen Richards 0 0-0 0, Wyatt Kingston 0 0-0 0, Jimmy Martz 0 2-2 2, Chad Peterson 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 24-36 67.
Browning 11 8 18 12 — 49
Central 23 21 11 13 — 67
3-point goals — Browning 6 (Lazyboy 3, Croff 2, Hall), BC 5 (Peoples 2, Guldseth, Tippett, Bolstad). Fouls — Browning 27, BC 17. Fouled out — none. Technical — Lazyboy.