Panthers halt BC girls’ run

It’s not the end of the world that the Butte Central girls’ basketball team suffered its first loss of the season Thursday night.

It just might have felt like that for the Maroons after falling 46-42 to rival Belgrade in a non-conference game at the Maroon Activities Center.

“This time of the year doesn’t mean a whole hell of a lot,” BC coach Meg Murphy said after her teams fourth game in a week. “Like I told the kids, our ultimate goal is to win the conference.”

Murphy called the Maroons’ performance “flat” the entire game. It was particularly dull in the fourth quarter, when Belgrade stole the BC momentum and scored the first 11 points of the quarter to take the lead for good.

The Panther run came after the Maroons closed out the third quarter with a 13-3 run to take a 35-28 lead into the final frame. That was the Maroons first and only lead of the game.

Erin Singleton hit a free-throw and Leighton Hirsch followed with a 3-pointer to start a 13-2 run that put the Panthers up 41-37.

BC didn’t score in the fourth quarter until Danika Neumann sank a pair of free throws with 1 minute, 33 seconds left in the game.

Then, when things started to go good for the Maroons, they couldn’t catch a break.

Danee Leary, who scored a game-high 15 points in the loss, sank a contested 3-pointer to cut the lead to 41-40 with 1:10 left in the game. Murphy called for a timeout, but the coach apparently didn’t call it loud enough.

As the BC players slowed up to go to the bench, the game continued. Taylor Woolman threw a dart to Tanna Holliday for an easy layup and a three-point lead.

The Maroons never got so close again.

“I guess I don’t yell loud enough,” Murphy said. “I shouldn’t have called the time out.”

Holliday scored eight of her 10 points in the first half to help the Panthers take a 21-20 lead into halftime.

Every time the Maroons made a run in the first half, the Panthers answered. BC used a full-court press for 6-0 run to tie the game at 18 after a steal and a pair of free throws by Neumann. That tie with 1:37 left in the half, by the way, was the first tie of the game.

Belgrade, though, answered when Becca Tilleman sank a base-line 3-pointer to make it 21-18 with 25 seconds left.

Alysea Pica scored off a Neumann pass just before half.

Neumann scored off a nice pass from Leary to tie the game at 22 early in the third quarter. After Dylan Fowler answered with a 3-pointer, Leary hit a free throw to start BC’s 13-3 run. That run included a 3-pointer and 2-point jumper by Leary and buckets by Neumann, Pica and Hannah Stajcar, and it gave the Maroons the momentum heading into the final 8 minutes.

That momentum didn’t last long.

Fowler, who sank three 3-pointers, scored 12 points to lead the Panthers. Holliday scored 10. Holliday also pulled down 10 rebounds to help Belgrade win the battle of the boards 40-24.

Pica and Neumann each scored 11 in the loss. Mariah Cooney scored three points and grabbed nine rebounds. Stajcar added two.

Annie Ossello, Chandra McCurdy, Shelby Paffhausen, Shawnee Hjelt and Aleesha LaBreche also played for the Maroons, who fell to 5-1. Belgrade is 3-2.

The Maroons are 3-0 in Southwestern A play as they head to the Christmas break. BC is back in action Jan. 4 when the Maroons play a conference game at Dillon.

BELGRADE (3-2) — Holly Dahinden 0-6 4-4 4, Leighton Hirsch 1-5 2-6 5, Dylan Fowler 3-9 3-4 12, Tanna Holliday 5-9 0-0 10, Taylor Woolman 2-4 4-6 6, Becca Tilleman 1-1 0-0 3, Alexis Clingingsmith 0-1 1-2 1, Madison Page 0-1 0-0 0, Erin Singleton 0-1 3-5 3. Totals 12-37 17-27 46.
BUTTE CENTRAL (5-1) — Hannah Stajcar 1-5 0-0 2, Danee Leary 4-16 5-6 15, Alysea Pica 4-10 3-7 11, Annie Ossello 0-0 0-0 0, Mariah Cooney 1-3 1-4 3, Danika Neumann 2-5 6-7 11, Chandra McCurdy 0-0 0-0 0, Shelby Paffhausen 0-0 0-0 0, Shawnee Hjelt 0-1 0-0 0, Aleesha LaBreche 0-0 0-0 0. Totals  12-41 15-24 42.
Belgrade                     12   9   7   18 — 46
Central                        8   12   15   7 — 42

3-point goals — Belgrade 5-15 (Folwer 3-5, Tilleman 1-1, Hirsch 1-3, Dahinden 0-5, Singleton 0-1), BC 3-9 (Leary 2-7, Neumann 1-1, Pica 0-1). Rebounds — Belgrade 40 (Holliday 10), BC 24 (Leary 9). Assists — Belgrade 11 (Hirsch 5), BC 6 (Lear 2, Pica 2, Cooney 2). Steals — Belgrade 11 (Dahinden 2, Hirsch 2, Page 2, Singleton 2, Woolman 2), BC 11 (Neumann 4, Paffhausen 2, Leary 2). Blocks — Belgrade 8 (Fowler 3, Holliday 2, Tilleman, Singleton, Woolman), BC 7 (Cooney 4, Pica 2, Leary). Turnovers — Belgrae 18, BC 14. Fouls — 18, BC 18. Fouled out — Fowler, Cooney. Technicals — none.




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