Maroons settle for fourth

Butte Central won’t be hoisting any trophies at the Class A State girls’ basketball team.

The Maroons ran out of gas but not out of fight tonight, falling 51-41 to Browning in the consolation game at the Butte Civic Center.

Freshman Tiara Gilham scored 14 points and pulled down 18 rebounds to lead the Indians, who took command with a 10-0 run in the fourth quarter.

Senior Hannah Stajcar closed out her prep hoops career by scoring 14 of her game-high 18 points in the first half to help BC lead for much of the first three quarters.

The Maroons led 22-17 at halftime, and BC held a 27-20 after senior Aleesha LaBreche buried a 3-pointer with 6 minutes, 17 seconds left in the third quarter.

Gilham answered with an inside bucket before Stajcar made it 29-22 at the 5:20 mark.

That was the end of the good news for the Maroons.

The Indians ran off seven straight, capped by a Gilham 3-pointer to tie the game at 29 with 2:50 left in the quarter.

Stajcar hit one of two free throws 28 seconds later to give the Maroons their final lead of the night at 30-29.

Marti EagleFeathers hit a jumper and Jessica Magee grabbed a rebound and sank a turn-around jump shot on back-to-back Browning possessions, giving the Indians a lead they never surrendered.

Butte Central cut that lead to 33-32 when senior Danika Neumann buried a base-line jump shot late in the  third.

Mariah Cooney grabbed a rebound and pulled BC to within 35-34 with a pair of free throws. Over the next 5 minutes, Browning outscored BC 13-1.

Neumann and junior Shelby Paffhausen hit 3-pointers to pull BC within 48-41. The Maroons, however, couldn’t get any more long balls to fall, even though the Indians left the door slightly ajar by struggling at the free throw line down the stretch.

Brooke Carlson and Magee each scored 10 points or the Indians.

Neumann added eight for the Maroons. Senior Alysea Pica scored four points, while LaBreche, Paffhausen and Cooney each scored three and senior Annie Ossello tossed in two.

Cooney, who fouled out with just under 2 minutes left in the game, grabbed 13 rebounds. On the day — including a loser-out win over Havre — Cooney pulled down 32 rebounds.

Junior Chandra McCurdy and freshman Shawnee Hjelt also contribute for the Maroons.

Senior Danee Leary, BC’s leading scorer during the regular season, ended her prep hoops career on the bench. The future Montana Tech Oredigger suffered a head injury last week and had to sit out the entire tournament.

This year marks the first since 2010 that BC didn’t hoist a trophy at the end of the State tournament.

The Maroons won it all in 2011 before placing second last year.

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