Both defenses made good cases in Thursday night’s city championship boys’ basketball game at the Butte Civic Center.
Butte Central’s was able to rest a little easier after attaining a 49-41 win over Butte High, using two late steals to seal the Maroons’ third straight win in the rivalry. The Bulldogs hold a 95-75-1 lead overall in the series. The night’s preceding girls’ game between the two schools saw Butte High prevail, 55-52.
The BC boys saw their lead dwindle to 41-38 after Peter Granger sank two free throws and then Cory Farstveet netted a 13-footer with 3 minutes, 7 seconds left on the clock. Butte Central responded with a three-point play conversion by Brady Tippett and a Connor McGree foul shot.
Only a minute remained to play when Marcus Ferriter stole the ball for the Maroons, leading to two freebies caged by McGree. Almost immediately, Tippett committed a theft and passed to Kale Guldseth for the easy fast-break basket. The BC lead grew to 49-38.
The last points of the game came on a 3-pointer by Butte High’s Zach Bunney before the last 10 seconds ticked off the clock.
“I was very happy with the way we played,” Butte Central head coach Brodie Kelly said. “We overcame some poor shooting from the perimeter and found a way to get it done.”
One of the ways was in receiving help from senior Emmett McCarthy, who came off the bench to augment strong efforts by Tippett, Guldseth, Marcus Ferriter, McGree, Nate Bolstad and Co. The 6-foot-5 McCarthy wound up with seven points and five rebounds.
Kelly said it was McCarthy’s best game of his Maroon days and McCarthy agreed, but said it should have been better.
“I had a lot of opportunities on free throws I didn’t capitalize on,” McCarthy said.
Tippett was the BC scoring leader with 18 points and Guldseth was next with eight. Ferriter and Bolstad pulled down six rebounds each. Butte High leaders included Granger and Dallas Cook with 10 points each, and Farstveet with 10 rebounds and nine points.
“We played hard, but we couldn’t execute anything,” Butte High first-year head coach Terry Hauser said. “They took us out of our offense. We battled, but we struggled offensively. They made us do things on offense we didn’t want to do. They’re a good team and will do very well this year.
“Our defense played well. It was a defensive battle. They got a few steals and transition baskets. We have to force turnovers and get some easy baskets.”
The transition game was definitely a factor. Butte Central stole the ball from the Bulldogs 13 times while Butte High came up with just two pilfers. The Maroons were flagged for only six turnovers. Maroons did a nice defensive job on the usual Butte High leader, Cook, who may have been playing hurt, Hauser said.
“He will have an MRI on one of his feet (Friday),” the coach said. “He’s such a tough kid that to see he is hurting right now (is worrisome).”
The 6-4 Cook notched 10 points, but was held to four rebounds. He came into the game as Class AA’s top rebounded.
The game of rivals matched a Class AA school in Butte High against the Class A Maroons in non-conference play. It was their only game against each other on this year’s basketball schedule.
“Emmett’s coast-to-coast steal was a big moment for him and us,” Kelly said about a key play in the BC victory. “And I have to say what a luxury for us it is to have Kale Guldseth on the floor.”
Kelly spoke to Guldseth’s tremendous quickness and instinctive play.
“He manages to do it without fouling,” the coach said. “He did a great job. Brady Tippett did a nice job getting into the lane for us. It was a big deal for us.”
Kelly probably would’ve like to have seen his shooters open a comfortable lead with good, long-range shooting early in the contest. However, the Maroons were 3-for-16 from the hotdog stand and resorted to attacking the Bulldogs in the key.
“ We tried to attack hard,” McCarthy said. “We weren’t really knocking down shots from the perimeter and so we forced it inside a little bit.”
The game was back-and-forth early and enticed fans to watch a renewal that was to be good and typical of previous basketball battles between the two schools. Butte High’s last lead was 19-17 after Brian Smith drove to the basket with 2:08 left in the first half.
BC strung a 5-0 run on a Tippett floater, McCarthy’s coast-to-coast steal and layin, and a McGree charity toss. The half ended after Killian O’Leary drove the hoop for Butte High, which cut the Butte Central advantage to 23-21
The Bulldogs sliced another point off the deficit when Granger downed a free throw 16 seconds into the third quarter. Ferriter stepped back and drilled a surprise 3-pointer to answer for the Maroons and they rebuffed the Butte High rallying attempts. BC took a 35-27 lead into the last period.
Ferriter and Bolstad finished with five points each for Butte Central, McGree with four and Dalton Sessions with two. Danny Peoples also contributed to the effort.
The Maroons, now 6-3 this season, will play at home against Corvallis on Saturday in a Southwestern A Conference game.
O’Leary had five points for 2-6 Butte High. Bunney scored four and Smith three. Kyle Peterson, Gabe McClafferty, Connor Lee and Dalton Daum also saw ample court time. It was Daum’s varsity debut after recovering from surgery on his feet following his standout football season.
Most in the arena,where about 4,000 spectators watched, agreed it was a good, entertaining contest.
“It was a great atmosphere,” Hauser said. “It was a fun game.”
BUTTE CENTRAL (6-3) — Kale Guldseth 3-10 1-2 8, Connor McGree 0-1 4-6 4, Brady Tippett 6-11 5-5 18, Marcus Ferriter 2-6 0-0 5, Nate Bolstad 1-8 3-7 5, Emmett McCarthy 3-5 1-4 7, Dalton Sessions 1-1 0-0 2, Danny Peoples 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 16-45 14-24 49. —
BUTTE HIGH (2-6) — Peter Granger 2-10 5-6 10, Brian Smith 1-3 1-2 3, Zach Bunney 1-5 1-2 4, Cory Farstveet 2-4 4-5 9, Dallas Cook 4-5 2-3 10, Killian O’Leary 2-6 0-0 5, Kyle Peterson 0-0 0-0 0, Gabe McClafferty 0-0 0-0 0, Connor Lee 0-0 0-0 0, Dalton Daum 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 12-33 13-18 41.
Butte Central 10 13 12 14 — 49
Butte High 8 13 6 14 — 41
3-point goals — Butte Central 3-16 (Guldseth 1-5, Tippett 1-4, Ferriter 1-1, Bolstad 0-4, Peoples 0-2), Butte High 4-10 (Granger 1-2, Smith 0-1, Bunney 1-2, Farstveet 1-1, O’Leary 1-4). Fouled out — none. Total fouls — Butte Central 16, Butte High 21. Technicals — none. Rebounds — Butte Central 31 (Ferriter 6, Bolstad 6), Butte High 30 (Farstveet 10, Granger 7). Blocks — Butte Central 3 (McGree 1, Tippett 1, Bolstad 1), Butte High 1 (Smith). Assists — Butte Central 6 (Tippett 3), Butte High 6 (Smith 2, Bunney 2). Steals — Butte Central 13 (Guldseth 3, Ferriter 3), Butte High 2 (Cook 1, Daum 1). Turnovers — Butte Central 6, Butte High 14.