McParltand’s explosive offensive night and Keeley’s double-double send Maroons to Western A championship

There is really nothing like a great venue to watch sporting events. I mean let’s be honest sometimes the recliner is one of the best, but when it comes to local events, sure there is now NFHS Network to stream from your phone and if you’re savvy enough you can air cast it to the TV, but that’s neither here or there, especially for an event such as the Western A Divisional basketball tournament that is held at ever famous Butte Civic Center this year. It also makes it a little sweeter when you hear the echoes of Mining City announcing legend, Chris Fisk as his distinct voice again rattles the rafters of the Butte Civic Center.

It was that kind of setting as the (17-4) Butte Central Maroons took on the (15-6) Browning Indians as the visiting team in their own hometown. Browning attacked the bucket early to kick the scoring off out of the opening tip by Jude Revis. BC was empty on their first two possessions to begin the game, but Owen McPartland began his stellar night off a nice inbound pass, and he cashed home a Butte Central trey ball and it was 3-3 early on.

Off a Browning turnover Butte Central came back down and senior Jack Keeley cashed in a deuce for BC. Both teams traded buckets after an unfortunate tip in by Josh Sutton putting it in for 2 for Browning, the score was knotted at 7 apiece with 3:20 to play in the first quarter.

GG Fantini checked into the game and was found wide open on the wing and in front of a ruckus crowd splashed home a triple from long distance. Jack Keeley would again find a bucket for 2 more Central points to start a 7-0 run.

Browning ended the run with a bucket down low off the post entry pass and BC led 14-9. Browning played outstanding defense and used great ball pressure to keep themselves in the game, forcing another Maroon turnover, leading to 1 of 2 shots at the line their next trip down.

Parker Robertson hit 1 of 2 at the line for BC but Jack Keeley out muscled everyone for the rebound and turned it into a 3-point play for Central, and they took a 17-14 lead after one. Browning kept the defensive pressure up to begin the 2nd, forcing another Maroon turnover leading to 2 more fast break points from browning.

Josh Sutton answered back at the other end with a quick shot for 2, and BC led 19-18. Sutton cashed in another lay in and Browning responded with a lay in of their own. Jack Keeley was left open in the corner and made them pay as he dialed one up from long distance to give the Maroons an 8-point cushion with 3 minutes gone by in the period, 26-18 Maroons.

Josh Sutton continued to handle the pressure admirably as he sliced up browning for 6 straight points all on drives to the rack for the freshman speedster. Out of a timeout BC continued to attack the bucket and Jack Keeley sliced his way inside for 2 more first half points, and the Maroons led by 10.

Browning stopped the bleeding off a nice jumper for 2 and then forcing a Maroon turnover at the other end, leading to a 2 point bucket to cut the Maroon lead to 6. Zane Moodry responded at the other end for a Maroon deuce.

The crowd was electric and feeding off the hustle from both teams, Browning secured three offensive boards in a row and finally cashed in to cut the lead to 5 with 1:09 to play in the half, 32-27. Browning would cash in a jumper from the elbow just before the half ended and BC took a 3-point advantage to the locker room 32-29.


Browning began the second half with the ball and scored right off the bat and came out with the same defensive intensity, as both teams traded buckets early on but not before Owen McPartland casted another triple from long range and buried it, Browning responded by getting a steal and a score on a fastbreak to knot things up at 37 with 3:24 to play in the 3rd quarter.

After a sweet jumper from Sutton, Owen McPartland continued his great offensive play as he attacked the thick Browning defense and split two defenders with a beautiful whirl dribble to the rack for 2. Browning continued to play stone cold defense, causing a 5 second violation on Butte Central.

Browning would tie it all up with a nice fall away jumper for 2 and it was 41-41 with 35 seconds to play in the 3rd.  We had a tie ball game headed to the final quarter to see who survives and advances to tomorrow’s championship game against Hamilton.

Owen “Big Shot” McPartland was as cool as the flip side of a pillow as he came out to begin the 4th calm, cool, and collected, netting home another trey ball from the pro-3-point line to give the Maroons a 3-point edge.

McPartland would knock down 2 more shots at the line to hold their lead at 3 with 6 minutes to play, Browning turned the ball over on their next possession on a traveling violation, but it didn’t lead to any Maroon points after they came up empty on their next trip down.

Browning responded on their next possession with a 9-footer to cut the Maroon lead back to 1. McPartland was relentless in his pursuit of the basket, and he knocked all of his foul shots down going 12-12 from the line to push the Maroon lead to 48-45 with just under 5 minutes remaining.

You may have guessed it, but Owen McPartland again put the team on his back with all the confidence in the world with the shot clock winding down and splashed home another bucket from the short corner, leading to a Browning timeout with 4:05 to play, 51-46 Butte Central.

Jack Keeley stepped to the line after a Browing foul which put them in the penalty, and he hit them both to give the Maroons a 55-48 lead with 120 ticks left. Browning wouldn’t go away easily; they came right out of the timeout and drove the lane for a score and foul but couldn’t cash in the freebie at the line.

Josh Sutton, off another long rebound, found a streaking McPartland for another Maroon fastbreak score to go up by 7 with 1:14 to play. Browning was fouled on a 3-point attempt their next time down, but as they say, ball doesn’t lie after he missed all 3 attempts at the line.

Browning fouled McPartland and he again nailed both to give the Maroons a 9-point lead with 50 seconds to play. Ryan Peoples netted two shots at the line to help send the Maroons to the Western A Divisional championship game tomorrow for a showdown with the Hamilton Broncs, as BC wins it 63-51.

Owen McPartland led all scorers with 29 points, including 12-12 at the line he also hauled in 5 boards, Jack Keeley had a double double as he hauled in 13 boards and had 14 points, Josh Sutton had 9 points, he also had 3 rebounds, Zane Moodry had 4 points and 2 boards, GG Fantini had 3 points, while Parker Robertson and Ryan Peoples had 2 points apiece for the Maroons.

Browning was led by Christian Crawford who had 14 points in the loss.

Butte Central will play Hamilton tomorrow for the championship at 6:30 pm.