By Bruce Sayler
The medicine lay in the hard work by many for Butte Central Tuesday night when the Maroons overcame a sudden strike of doldrums and defeated a determined Corvallis boys’ basketball opponent.
The BC boys came out on top 53-37 in the Southwestern A Conference game at the Maroon Activities Center. Three Maroons scored in double figures, led by Dougie Peoples with 15 points, then augmented by Eric Loos’ double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds, and Kyle Holter’s quick start to a personal 11-point night.
The Blue Devils made Butte Central work for every edge it got.
“It was a good win for us,” Brodie Kelly, head coach of the Maroons, said. “And, it was the second time this season already we’ve had to overcome a poor shooting night to win a game. It was very reminiscent of the Bigfork game.”
Defense save the offense. The points were not coming easily so BC needed to prevent needing many for them to be enough.
“We played good defense and then found our rhythm in the second half,” Kelly said. “We knew we had to come out on Corvallis at the arc and they would still make some 3s. Our transition defense was not good, even when after scoring a basket we were not good at getting back.
“We did get all 10 (BC players) in. I thought Joseph Sehulster did a good job bringing a little spark when we needed him to.”
Sehulster said it is job to come off the bench and try to lift his teammates somehow where a little bit extra might be needed. He said he usually doesn’t know how that is to happen until the opportunity presents.
In this matter, unbeaten Butte Central grabbed a 10-point lead, 12-2, to start the game with Holter working the Blue Devils over for a three-point play and two baskets in the first five minutes. However, Corvallis absorbed the fire and stomped back, tying the score at 12-all on an Aaron Powell 3-point basket with 6 minutes, 36 seconds left in the first half. Dillon Potter and Powell tacked on two more baskets and Corvallis had a 16-12 lead.
Sehulster came off the bench and ignited a 13-2 Maroons run to close the half. A fast-break basket by Drew Badovinac off a long pass from Peoples ended the 9-0 Blue Devils spree. Sehulster then tied the score 16-all by taking an inside pass from Holter and laying it up and in.
Potter caged two free throws for Corvallis’ last lead of the game. Loos passed to Holter for a close-in basket, Peoples nailed a 3-pointer, and Loos knocked down a pullup jumper from the key before fielding a nice pass to the paint from Sehulster. Loos converted the assist and BC owned a 25-18 lead at intermission.
Sehulster added a basket and a steal in his relief role before the game was over.
“I just go to practice every day and try to help the team get better,” the sturdy 6-0 senior post said. “I try to come In and give them a spark, find something. I felt like I did my job tonight.”
David Broch netted a 3-pointer for the Blue Devils at the beginning of the second half and then Butte Central scored the next 18 points. Peoples, Loos and Holter racked up the points and the Maroons had a 43-21 cushion.
Limiting Corvallis’ shots with the high-pressure and sticky man-to-man defense helped the Maroons shake off an icy shooting night, Kelly said. So did taking care of the ball. BC allowed the Blue Devils just one steal.
The gap was 20 points, 46-26, through three quarters. A basket by Sehulster and a foul shot by Jack Keeley stretched the difference to 49-26 and the Blue Devils refused to quit. They scored the next 10 points and Kelly and crew couldn’t relax.
“Give Corvallis credit,” the BC coach said. “We knew Corvallis could score and they made some good runs at is, even late, in the fourth quarter.”
Butte Central chopped off the Blue Devils’ comeback by making free throws. Keeley and Loos sank two apiece and Corvallis was unable to catch the Maroons again.
“What I really like about us as a team right now is we have been playing well within ourselves,” Kelly said. “And, I think our defense has been really good, and that’s been the difference for us.”
Committing only seven fouls and six turnovers kept Butte Central from giving Corvallis many extra opportunities. Sehulster said he thought cohesiveness has been a positive factor for BC.
“This team is really good,” he said, “and it clicks together.”
Butte Central will take a 5-0 record into its Thursday night clash with in-city rival Butte High I the Civic Center. The Maroons are 3-0 in conference play. Bryson Sestrich had six points in the win over Corvallis while Sehulster had four, Keeley three and Badovinac two in support of the scoring by Peoples, Loos and Holter that led the team. Zane Moodry, Gage Guldseth and George Riojas also saw court time.
Corvallis fell to 0-5 for the season, 0-2 in conference play. Donovan Potter led the Blue Devils with 11 points, and Powell tallied eight.
CORVALLIS (0-5, 0-2) — Aaron Powell 3-4 0-0 8, Tyler Weis 2-5 0-0 5, David Broch 2-8 0-0 6, Donovan Potter 2-9 7-8 11, Leif Jessop 0-1 0-0 0, Dillon Potter 2-7 0-0 5, Ryan Hutchison 1-1 0-0 2, Lucas Jessop 0-1 0-0 0, Derek Criddle 0-0 0-0 0, Wyatt Miles 0-0 0-0 0, Trey Joseph 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 12-34 7-8 37.
BUTTE CENTRAL (5-0, 3-0) — Bryson Sestrich 2-7 0-0 6, Drew Badovinac 1-3 0-1 2, Dougie Peoples 6-15 0-0 15, Kyle Holter 5-9 1-2 11, Eric Loos 5-12 2-2 12, Zane Moodry 0-0 0-0 0, Jack Keeley 0-3 3-4 3, Joseph Sehulster 2-2 0-0 4, Gage Guldseth 0-0 0-0 0, George Riojas 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-51 6-9 53.
Corvallis 7 11 8 11 — 37
Butte Central 12 13 21 7 — 53
3-point goals – Corvallis 6-15 (Powell 2-3, Weis 1-1, Broch 2-5, Donovan Potter 0-3, Leif Jessop 0-1, Dillon Potter 1-2), Butte Central 5-21 (Sestrich 2-6, Badovinac 0-1, Peoples 3-8, Holter 0-2, Loos 0-2, Keeley 0-2). Fouled out – none. Total fouls – Corvallis 16, Butte Central 7. Technical – Holter. Rebounds – Corvallis 26 (Powell 6), Butte Central 30 (Loos 11). Blocks – Corvallis 2 (Leif Jessop 1, Dillon Potter 1), Butte Central 1 (Holter). Assists – Corvallis 8 (Powell 4), Butte Central 14 (Sestrich 4, Holter 3). Steals – Corvallis 1 (Powell), Butte Central 8 (Sestrich 3, Holter 3). Turnovers – Corvallis 18, Butte Central 6.