Rustlers roll past Bulldog boys

Butte High's Trey Hoagland battles for a rebound with CMR's Trevor Pepin Saturday at the Butte Civic Center. (Bill Foley photo)

By Bill Foley

Saturday was a day the Butte High boys’ basketball team would just as soon forget.

The Bulldogs struggled in their first home game in more than two weeks, dropping a 65-45 Eastern AA game to Great Falls Russell at the Butte Civic Center.

“We weren’t ourselves, or what I think we’re becoming, tonight,” Butte High first-year head coach Luke Power said. “We didn’t show it tonight, but I think we are ahead of where I thought we would be.”

The Bulldogs turned the ball over 14 times in the first half, and the Rustlers took advantage of it. After trailing just 20-16 after the first quarter, Butte High turnovers led to an 8-0 Rustler run to open the second quarter.

The Bulldogs never recovered. Butte High trailed 39-24 at halftime and 54-37 after three quarters.

Despite the big deficit, the third frame ended with Butte High’s best play of the day.

As time expired, Ryson Lovshin threw a baseball pass three quarters length of the court to Dylan Cook for a perfect alley-oop pass as to beat the clock.

CMR, though, had too many good moments to mention.

Sam Vining had a huge game for the Rustlers. The sophomore hit six 3-pointers to score a game-high 22 points. He scored five threes and scored 17 points in the first half.

Karl Tucker II added 19 points for CMR, which improved to 3-4. Trevor Pepin tossed in 13.

Evan Anderson’s 12 points led Butte High, which got 10 from Cook. Also, Travis Williams and Brock Powell each scored six points, Lovshin tossed in five, Will O’Connor tossed in three, Kyle Klapan netted two and Kiley Caprara scored one.

Trey Hoagland, Lathan Ricketts, Riley Riordan, Kash Kelly and Austin Lee also played for the Bulldogs in a game that Powers said turned into a teachable moment.

“It’s going to be a lesson for our kids,” Powers said. They didn’t plan to come here and get their butt kicked, but that’s what happened today.”

Powers pointed out that his team didn’t have a strong practice on Friday after getting back in town at 1 a.m. following Thursday’s tough loss at Great Falls High.

Instead of blaming fatigue for a performance the coach called “lethargic,” Powers shouldered the responsibility.

“We weren’t very prepared,” Powers said. “We didn’t execute anything I thought we were prepared for, and that’s on me.”

Butte High, which fell to 1-6 overall and 0-2 in league play, will be back at home Friday to take on Helena Capital.

“We’ve got to come back Monday and get to work,” Powers said. “Hopefully we can refocus a little bit and get our intensity up.”

GREAT FALLS RUSSELL (3-4) — Sam Vining 7 2-2 22, Zavier Pace 0 2-2 2,, Karl Tucker II 7 4-6 19, Trevor Pepin 5 3-4 13, Caleb Gagne 0 0-0 0, Daniel Bonilla 0 1-2 1, Garrison Rothwell 2 0-0 5, Dylan Marzion 0 0-0 0, Wyatt Bleskin 0 0-0 0, Isaiah Chorgois 2 0-0 5, Russell Gagne 0 1-2 1. Totals 22 13-18 65.
BUTTE HIGH (1-6) — Ryson Lovshin 2 0-1 5, Evan Anderson 5 0-0 12, Travis Williams 2 0-0 6, Dylan Cook 4 2-4 10, Brock Powell 2 2-2 6, Trey Hoagland 0 0-0 0, Kyla Klapan 0 2-2 2, Austin Lee 0 0-0 0, Will O’Connor 1 0-0 3, Kiley Caprara 0 1-3 1, Lathan Ricketts 0 0-0 0, Riley Riordan 0 0-0 0, Kash Kelly 0 0-0 0. Totals 16 7-12 45.
CMR               20        19        15        11 — 65
Butte High     16        8          13        8 — 45

3-point goals — CMR 8 (Vining 6, Rothwell 1, Tucker 1), Butte 6 (Anderson 2, Williams 2, O’Connor 1, Caprara 1). Fouls — CMR 17, Butte 14. Fouled out — none. Technicals — none.

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