Slow start ‘destroys’ Butte boys

Butte High’s boys’ soccer team made a little school history Tuesday night.

Billings Senior apparently didn’t care.

The Broncs scored four quick goals and then held off a feisty Bulldogs squad in a 4-0 Class AA win at Bulldog Memorial Stadium. The match was the first home night contest Butte High has ever played.

“This is probably one of the best halves of soccer we ever played,” Butte High coach Eric Zahler said. “That first half just destroyed us.”

The first two shots of the match found the net, and the Broncs did all their scoring in the first half.

Mason Luse scored off a Ethan Brown corner kick in the match’s sixth minute. Three minutes later, Luse assisted a Clay Callihan goal.

Brown found the net off a Colin Gregory assist in the 15th minute, before Justin Dreessen scored off a Brown corner kick in the match’s 31st minute.

As the lights shown bright in the second half though, the Bulldogs (1-7-1) went down fighting against one of the top teams in the state.

“They played so hard in the second half,” Zahler said. “That is so hard to do when you’re down 4-0. That says so much about our guys.”

Jonathan Sholey and Cullen Sehulster got solid looks at the goal in the second half. Sehulster, who is playing with a cast on his surgically-repaired hand, hit the top bar. That was as close as the Bulldogs go.

The match was the last in a home uniform for seniors Sholey, Sehulster, Riley McNabb, Noah Loomis and Jack Staples.

Senior Jake Howery is out for the season with an injury for the Bulldogs, who need the services of junior goal keeper Chad Hicks in the second half.

Jacob Williams aggravated an ankle injury he suffered in open gym for basketball in the second half. The Bulldogs were already without injured goal keeper Noah Johnson.

Hicks, made a couple nice saves that drew ovations from the small, yet vocal home crowd.

The game got a bit chirpy late, and McNabb was ejected with a red card in the final two minutes. That means he’ll have to sit out Butte High’s next match, which, as coincidence has it, is at Billings Senior on Friday.

Tuesday’s matches were originally scheduled for Sept. 15 but postponed by smoke in the Mining City air.

The air was clear Tuesday, and Zahler left the stadium impressed with his team, even though it didn’t have anything to show for its second-half effort.

“They’re the cream of the crop. Senior is a classy team,” Zahler said. “For us to play a full 40 minutes with them like that shows that we can compete with anybody.”

Butte High’s Jonathan Sholey and Billings Senior’s Clay Callihan battle for the ball in the first half.