Raptors cage Bulldogs in scrappy #2 vs #3 matchup

The #3 seeded Butte High Bulldogs took on the #2 Gallatin Raptors to kick off their first game of the State AA basketball tournament in Missoula Montana, at Dalberg Arena on Thursday. The Raptors controlled the opening tip and wasted no time to get on the board off a nice post entry pass for 2.

The Bulldogs found an offensive board by Dylan Bache, and he then found Hudson Luedtke who casted up a three ball from the left wing and netted it home for 3. After a stop at the other end, Rueso Battterman made a nice reverse layup and Butte led 5-2 early on.

Gallatin found a bucket their next time down, but Luedtke responded by attacking the rack, scoring, and drawing the foul, he would complete the 3-point play to give the Dogs a 4-point edge. Gallatin off a long miss and rebound, skated down court for a fastbreak lay in and it was 8-6 Butte High with 4 minutes to play in the first quarter.

Tocher Lee got his afternoon going on a very similar shot that sent the Dogs to state as he drilled home a triple, and it was 11-6 Butte High. It was followed up by a missed Raptors 3 ball and Luedtke cashed it in the next time down for Butte High. Butte played great team ball to start the game as Bo Demarais drove on his defender and scored 2 more, but it was immediately followed up by a Raptors triple and it was 15-11 with 2:11 to go in the first period.

Bobby Bache found his spot on the floor as he hit a nice turnaround jumper from the elbow, but it was a slugfest early on as both teams continued to trade buckets. After one period of play Butte led 17-13, on 46 percent shooting from the floor.

The Raptors came out in the second and drilled a triple that then led to a Butte High turnover at the other end of which Gallatin would capitalize on, and less than a minute in the Raptors led by 1.

The Raptors were disruptive on the defensive end that led to another Gallatin fastbreak bucket, and it was 20-17 with 2 minutes gone by in the 2nd. Butte went cold to start the period and Gallatin caught fire after hitting another deep ball leading to a Matt Luedtke timeout and it was 25-17 Raptors with 3:45 to play in the half. Hudson Luedtke finally broke the ice for the Dogs as he spun his way to the bucket and drew the foul, he missed the freebie at the line, 25-19 Raptors with 2:28 to play.

The Raptors kept working their inside game and creating turnovers as they cashed in another two down low as they imposed their size on the undersized Bulldogs and took a 10-point lead with them to the locker room. Hudson Luedtke led the way for the Dogs in the first half with 10 points. Jack Repscher led the Raptors with 9 points.

Hudson began the half with a layup for the Dogs and the Raptors hit 1 of 2 free throws their next trip down to start the second half. Luedtke found Battermann under the basket the next trip down and completed the old fashioned 3-point play to cut into the Raptor lead, 30-24 Gallatin.

The heart attack kids wouldn’t go away that easy as Butte kept working their offense and chipping away at the lead and cut it to just 5 points after a Battermann bucket. Braylon Larson secured an offensive board and went back up for 2 and we had a 32-29 ball game with 5:32 to play in the third period, timeout Gallatin.

Troy Hugs let one rip from the top of the key for Gallatin the next time down a buried it, but Bo Demarais responded at the other end with a bucket and a foul for a 3-point play and the Raptor lead was still 3, 35-32. Luedtke kept up his hot play with a left-handed scoop and score, but Gallatin’s Troy Hugs was having none of it as he let another one rip from long distance and drilled it to give the Raptors a 39-34 lead with 3:34 to play in the quarter. Mac Malin came back after a Bulldog empty possession and splashed home a triple himself and the lead was back to 10, timeout Bulldogs.

Torre Tempel casted home a triple for the Bulldogs to stop the bleeding just before time expired in the 3rd, and the Raptors would take a 13-point led to the final quarter after Zad Rodarte cashed one in as time expired, 52-39 Gallatin.

Gallatin kept the foot on the glass to start the 4th, Torre Tempel hit another 3 to help chip away at the deficit, followed next time down by a Tocher Lee 3 ball to cut the lead to 13 with 5:23 to play, 58-45 Gallatin, timeout Bulldogs.

Torre Tempel hit his 3rd three ball to cut the lead to 10 with just under 5 to play in the game. 8th grader Brady Hanson started a block party that led to more Bulldog points at the other end, but the Raptors responded with a 3 ball at their next time down to push the lead back to 11 with 3:26 to play.

Tocher Lee was fouled on a 3-point attempt where he hit 2 of 3 at the line to cut the Raptor lead to just 9. Jack Repscher hit a 3 for Gallatin but the Bulldogs fearless leader Hudson Luedtke answered back with a 3 of his own, he would then skate down court the next time and hit another 2 to make it a 64-57 Raptors with 2:03 to play.

Tocher Lee and the heart attack kids gave it one last push as Lee drilled a triple to cut the lead to 5, but the Raptors responded at the other end. Rueso Battermann hit a 2 ball with just under a minute to go and it was 67-62 Gallatin.

The Bulldogs turned up the defensive pressure leading to a Raptors timeout with 28.2 seconds to play. The Dogs made a great run, but it was just a little too late and Gallatin finished the Dogs off with free throws the rest of the way and went on to win it 71-65 after Tempel connected with his 4th three of the contest at the end of the game.

Hudson Luedtke had 22 points for the Bulldogs, he also notched 6 boards, 1 steal, and 5 assists, Tocher Lee had 13 points and 2 rebounds, Torre Tempel had 12 points on 4-5 from behind the arc to go along with 1 rebound, Rueso Battermann had 9 points, and 7 boards, Bo Demarais had 5 points 3 rebounds, 1 steal, and 1 assist. Braylon Larson had 5 rebounds and 2 points, Dylan Bache had 2 points, 2 rebounds, and 1 steal, and youngster Brady Hanson had 2 blocked shots.

Jack Repscher had 22 points, 3 boards, and 1 assist to lead the Raptors, Troy Hugs had 12 points 3 rebounds, 1 assist, and 2 steals, Mac Melin had 11 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 steals. Gallatin moves to the semifinal round tomorrow at 6:30 and the Bulldogs will face Hellgate at noon.