Nate Bolstad’s play in the second quarter sparked Butte Central to victory but the 6-foot-5 Maroon senior credited just about everybody else in his team’s 69-56 win over in-town rival Butte High Thursday night at the Civic Center, deciding this year’s city championship in high school boys’ basketball.
Bolstad buried 13 points, half of his team’s output in the period. The future Montana Tech Oredigger finished the game with 21 points and collected other team highs of 11 rebounds and three steals.
“I was looking for spots where I could get open,” Bolstad said. “My teammates helped me a lot. Everyone played their roles and it was a great win overall.”
Butte High held a 10-6 edge after one quarter despite senior leaders Dallas Cook and Peter Granger being withheld from the starting lineup by head coach Terry Hauser for disciplinary reasons. Both entered the contest later in the opening quarter, but Cook drew two quick charging calls that limited his play and forced him to lighten his defense against Bolstad. Granger was assessed a technical shortly after joining play when an official didn’t like his reaction to a call.
A large crowd also reacted, opinions differing according mostly to allegiances.
The gap widened to 16-6 in the Bulldogs’ favor in the first half-minute of the second frame as Brian Smith converted a three-point play and Granger stretched strings with a 3-point shot.
Bolstad missed three free throws, then canned two in a row to begin his tear after Butte High had been on top, 18-8. Bolstad scored 13 points the last six minutes of the half, including eight of 10 in a run that gave BC the lead,23-20. The go-ahead points came on Bolstad’s second of two 3-pointers in the quarter.
“I thought we showed a lot of character for coming back after a slow start,” Butte Central head coach Brodie Kelly said. “Nate deserves some credit for knocking down some shots (going 4-for-4 from the field in the period). His teammates did a good job of finding him on open-court plays.”
The Maroons controlled a 32-24 lead at intermission.
“It was fun,” Bolstad said. “But Butte High played well. They’re big and really athletic.”
So, the Bulldogs whittled at their deficit with buckets by Cook and Smith and trailed BC by only four points early in the second half. However, Butte Central steadily pulled away and used a 10-2 spurt at the end of the third quarter to construct a 50-37 advantage heading into the final frame.
“I felt like we had a lot of different guys stepping up in different situations,” Kelly said. “Chad Peterson made some momentum-changing plays, Danny (Peoples) did a nice job defensively on Smith and Kale (Guldseth) did a nice job of drawing fouls at the end.”
It was the Maroons fourth straight win in what is now a yearly one-game series. The rivalry, the oldest sports rival in Montana, confirmed Butte sports historian Pat Kearney, has been going since 1918, playing at least one game a year for 97 consecutive years. Some years they played two, even three or more times. The Bulldogs lead it overall, 95-76-1.
The early foul problems Butte High experienced factored into the outcome Thursday night. Cook saw limited action due to incurring four fouls. As a whole, too, BC benefited from shooting 41 free throws, making 21, the Bulldogs handed them by committing the fouls.
“Our kids did a nice job of anticipating the lob and drawing fouls,” Kelly said. “The kids on both teams play hard in this game. There’s always a lot of bumps.”
Butte Central’s biggest lead was 19 points, 58-39 after Guldseth meshed a pair of free throws at 5 minutes, 49 seconds of the fourth period. The Bulldogs battled back and had the deficit down to 10 points, 66-56, after Cook connected on two charity tosses with just under a minute left to play.
The Maroons, though, sealed the win on a free throw made by Guldseth and two more freebies funneled through by Bolstad.
“I thought Butte High competed hard, especially down the stretch” Kelly said. “Their kids always do. We had to play every last second.”
Marcus Ferriter scored 12 points and Guldseth finished with 11 to back Bolstad in the BC scoring totals. Peterson had nine points, Dalton Sessions seven, Peoples six, Dylan Goodell two and Cal Hollow one. Connor McGree contributed, too, for Butte Central. Guldseth dished six assists, tying Butte High’s Smith for game-high in the stat.
Smith led the Bulldogs with 16 points, Cook tallied 12 and Cory Farstveet 10. Granger finished with nine points, Chanse Kremer with six and Killian O’Leary gunned in a 3-pointer. Colten Billteen, Tucker Thatcher, Gabe McClafferty and Dylan Cook also all played several minutes. Farstveet led the team with seven rebounds. Butte High was deadly from the foul line, caging 16 of 19 attempts.
The win gave Butte Central an 8-1 record. The Maroons are ranked second in the statewide Class A boys’ basketball poll. Class AA Butte High fell to 1-7.
BUTTE HIGH (1-7)
Brian Smith 7-16 1-1 16, Colten Billteen 0-3 0-0 0, Killian O’Leary 1-3 0-0 3, Cory Farstveet 2-4 6-6 10, Chanse Kremer 1-1 4-4 6, Tucker Thatcher 0-2 0-0 0, Peter Granger 3-8 2-3 9, Dallas Cook 4-6 3-5 12, Gabe McClafferty 0-0 0-0 0, Dylan Cook 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-43 16-19 56.
BUTTE CENTRAL (8-1)
Kale Guldseth 2-7 7-12 11, Danny Peoples 2-5 2-3 6, Connor McGree 0-1 0-0 0, Marcus Ferriter 5-8 2-2 12, Nate Bolstad 6-8 6-9 21, Chad Peterson 4-7 0-0 9, Dalton Sessions 2-2 3-3 7, Dylan Goodell 1-2 0-0 2, Cal Hollow 0-1 1-2 1. Totals 22-41 21-31 69.
Butte High 10 14 13 19 — 56
Butte Central 6 26 18 19 — 69
3-point goals — Butte High 4-18 (Smith 1-5, Billteen 0-2, Thatcher 0-2, Granger 1-4, O’Leary 1-2, Farstveet 1-2, Dallas Cook 1-1), Butte Central 4-12 (Guldseth 0-1, Peoples 0-2, Ferriter 0-1, Bolstad 3-3, Peterson 1-4, Hollow 0-1). Fouled out — none. Total fouls — Butte High 23, Butte Central 18. Technical — Granger. Rebounds — Butte High 28 (Farstveet 7), Butte Central 27 (Bolstad 11). Blocks — Butte High 1 (Dallas Cook), Butte Central 0. Assists — Butte High 9 (Smith 6), Butte Central 11 (Guldseth 6). Steals — Butte High 4 (Smith 1, Dallas Cook 1, Granger 1, Farstveet 1), Butte Central 4 (Bolstad 3, Guldseth 1). Turnovers — Butte High 12, Butte Central 10. 4 comments