Sentinel girls top Bulldogs in Richardson Gym

Sentinel girls top Bulldogs in Richardson Gym
Butte High's Tylar Clary drives to the hoop as Kodi Fraser of Missoula Sentienl defends Friday night at the Richardson Gym. (Bill Foley photo)

By Bruce Sayler 

The stickout statistic was 1-for-18. 

Butte High shooters converted one of 18 attempts from 3-point range and lost 44-38 to Missoula Sentinel Friday night in a Western AA Conference high school girls’ basketball game in the Ross J. Richardson Memorial Gym at Butte High. 

Usually a pretty good shooting team, Payton Clary was the only Bulldog to connect from behind the arc and did so midway through the third quarter to end what had been a 7-0 Sentinel run.  

“A real tough game,” Bryan Arntson, head coach of the Bulldogs, said. “We didn’t shoot the ball very well. We gave up too many transition buckets. Every time we climbed back into the game, we gave up a big shot or momentum.” 

The misses were uncharacteristic in that the Bulldogs seemed to leave the 3-pointers short, missing on the front side of the rim. The game was only the second they’ve played in the gym this season, usually having the Butte Civic Center as their home arena. 

“But, we shoot in here all the time,” Arntson said, alluding to practice. “We got some good, open looks. We have to better understand (opposing teams’) defenses, them doubling down in the post and stuff.”  

Height flavored and favored Sentinel. The Spartans start three players 6 feet or taller and Arntson pointed to the defense that provided out toward the perimeter as maybe a factor in Butte High’s shooting woes.  

“They’re really long, defensively and that might’ve affected us,” he said in reference to the shorter Butte High shooters needing to pull back and extra step or so to launch a shot over the Spartans’ wall. 

Sentinel never trailed. 

The Spartans were 5-for-7 from 3-point land until intermission. 

Megan Hamilton gunned in a 3-point basket for the first points of the game. Ashley Olson sank two free throws for Butte High, then Lilly Allen picked up a loose ball for a Sentinel layup. Hamilton followed with another 3-pointer as the Spartans had a quick 8-2 advantage. It was 8-5 at the quarter break as the Bulldogs answered with a Kodie Hoagland charity toss and Brooke McGrath rebound basket. 

Butte High’s rally took the Bulldogs into an 8-all tie as McGrath scored off a feed from Tylar Clary and Olson drained another freebie just over a minute into the second quarter.  

Sentinel took the lead for good, outscoring the Bulldogs 8-1 over the next four minutes. Hannah Hart ignited the run with a 3-pointer, Kodi Fraser scored a basket and C.C. Size stretched net strings with a 3-ball. The Spartans’ lead was 20-15 at halftime. 

Emily McElmurry, a 5-9 sophomore, guard took over the show in the third quarter with 11 points for Sentinel as the Spartans roared to a 29-17 lead in the first 3:13 of the second half. She scored 12 of her game-high 13 points in the second half. Butte High ratcheted the gap down to six points twice, but was not able to get any closer. Sentinel’s lead after three quarters was 37-28. 

Butte High cut into the difference with a run in the middle of the quqrter that whittled the Sentinel lead to 40-36. Sentinel, though, controlled the outcome with ball control and making enough free throws to maintain the advantage. 

“We had some moments of playing well, but we gave up too many offensive rebounds, which gave them extra chances,” Arntson said. “And, I think they wanted it a little more than we did. I was a little disappointed with our effort. (The Spartans) definitely got all of the 50-50 balls. 

“As a coach, I need to do a better job teaching where the ball needs to go. It’s something we want to get better at. We don’t have a lot of time to lick our wounds. We have two tough conference games next week and it’s time to move ahead.” 

The Bulldogs are to play at Helena Capital on Tuesday, then be home against Helena High on Thursday. 

Butte High had no double-figure scorers Friday night as Olson led the team with seven points. She also had two blocks, three steals and five rebounds, though hindered by foul trouble. Tylar Clary and McGrath scored six points each, and Kodie Hoagland, Laura Rosenleaf and Payton Clary each tallied five. Rosenleaf also yanked down 10 rebounds coming off the bench. Emmarie Richards scored three points, and Rian Ferriter and Pieper Joseph also played. The Bulldogs are 2-3 in conference play and 5-4 overall this season. 

Sentinel is 3-2 and 5-4. The Spartans were led by McElmurry with her 13 points as the only double-digit scorer in the game. Brooke Stayner, Size and Allen each scored six points.  

MISSOULA SENTINEL (5-4, 3-2) — Olivia Huntsinger 0-3 0-0 0, Brooke Stayner 3-7 0-2 6, Kodi Fraser 1-4 2-4 4, Megan Hamilton 2-2 0-0 6, Emily McElmurry 4-8 5-8 13, C.C. Size 2-2 0-0 6, Lilly Allen 3-4 0-2 6, Hannah Hart 1-2 0-0 3, Kassidy Kirgan 0-0 0-0 0, Kaitlyn Hammett 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 16-32 7-16 44.
BUTTE HIGH (5-4, 2-3) — Kodie Hoagland 1-9 3-4 5, Tylar Clary 2-7 2-3 6, Emmarie Richards 1-2 1-2 3, Brooke McGrath 3-9 0-1 6, Ashley Olson 0-1 7-12 7, Laura Rosenleaf 1-3 3-6 5, Payton Clary 2-7 0-0 5, Rian Ferriter 0-0 0-0 0, Pieper Joseph 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 10-38 16-28 37.
Sentinel          8          12        17        7 44
Butte High     5          10        13        9
3-point goals – Sentinel 5-11 (Huntsinger 0-1, Stayner 0-2, Fraser 0-2, Hamilton 2-2, McElmurry 0-1, Size 2-2, Hart 1-1), Butte High 1-18 (Hoagland 0-7, T. Clary 0-3, Richards 0-1, McGrath 0-2, P. Clary 1-5). Fouled out – Huntsinger. Total fouls – Sentinel 21, Butte High 15. Technicals – none. Rebpunds – Sentinel 33 (Huntsinger 7), Butte High 32 (Rosenleaf 10, McGrath 7). Blocks – Sentinel 3 (Huntsinger 1, Stayner 1, McElmurry 1), Butte High 4 (Olson 2, Richards 1, Rosenleaf 1). Assists – Sentinel 11 (Hamilton 4, Fraser 3), Butte High 8 (T. Clary 3). Steals – Sentinel 11 (Hamilton 4, Fraser 3), Butte High 8 (Olson 3). Turnovers – Sentinel 20, Butte High 20.

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