Tinkle, Knights bring down Bulldogs

Butte High fans packed the Richardson Gymnasium Friday night to watch the Bulldogs play Missoula Hellgate in a non-conference boys’ basketball team.

Bulldog coach Terry Hauser is hoping they at least kind of liked what they saw in a 68-44 loss to the defending Class AA state champions.

“I hope that we played well enough to keep them coming back,” Hauser said after his team went toe-to-toe with the mighty Knights for most of the first half. “We played with what I still feel is the best team in the state, and (Tres) Tinkle had the best game he had all year.”

Tinkle, a 6-foot-6 junior who is the son of University of Montana coach Wayne Tinkle, tossed in a season-high 30 points despite missing all eight of his free throw attempts.

“This crowd kind of had him going,” Hauser said. “This is the biggest crowd they played in front of all year.”

Tinkle scored 12 straight Hellgate points in the first quarter. The Bulldogs, though, kept pace thanks largely to the play of Dallas Cook.

Butte High’s senior post scored 10 of his team-leading 13 points in the first eight minutes to keep the Bulldogs close.

After falling behind 17-9 and 19-11, the Bulldogs trailed 19-16 after an inside hoop from Cook and a 3-pointer by Peter Granger.

Hunter Mahlum answered with one of eight Hellgate 3-pointers 2 seconds before the end of the first quarter to extend the lead to 22-16 at the break.

Brian Smith and Granger opened the second half with 3-pointers around a Pat Colberg long ball to make it a 25-22 game. Then Tinkle ran off a 6-0 run to pull away.

Hellgate led 35-25 at halftime, and Tinkle ignited the Knights with two quick buckets to open the second half. Hellgate outscored Butte High 43-19 in the second.

“It was a bad second half,” Hauser said. “But there’s more positives than negatives.”

Granger hit four 3-pionters and scored 12 points for the Bulldogs. Smith hit three long ball sand scored nine.

Also for Butte High, Killian O’Leary came off the bench to score four points, while Colten Billteen, Cory Farstveet and Chanse Kremer each scored two.

Tucker Thatcher, Sam Maloney, Trey Hoagland, Dylan Cook and Gabe McClafferty also saw time for Butte High, which fell to 1-4.

Rhett Baerlocher scored 12 points for Hellgate (2-2), which saw nine different players score. Devin Bray and Pat Colberg each scored seven.

Butte High is off until Thursday when they head to Great Falls High.

Tres Tinkle 14 0-8 30, Rhett Baerlocher 5 0-0 12, Brady Henthorn 1 0-0 3, Devin Bray 2 2-2 7, Pat Colberg 3 0-0 7, Dylan Harvala 0 1-2 1, Josh Seaton 0 0-0 0, Peter Vandam 0 1-2 1, Hunter Mahlum 1 0-2 3, Mark Lebsock 0 2-2 2, Kole Swartz 1 0-0 2. Totals 27 6-18 68.
Brian Smith 3 0-0 9, Colten Billteen 1 0-0 2, Peter Granger 4 0-0 12, Cory Farstveet 1 0-0 2, Dallas Cook 5 3-6 13, Tucker Thatcher 0 0-0 0, Sam Maloney 0 0-0 0, Trey Hoagland 0 0-0 0, Dylan Cook 0 0-0 0, Killian O’Leary 0 4-4 4, Chanse Kremer 1 0-0 2, Gabe McClafferty 0 0-0 0. Totals 15 7-10 44.
Hellgate          22   13   17    16 68
Butte               16     9     9    10
3-point goals — Hellgate 8 (Tinkle 2, Baerlocher 2, Henthorn, Mahlum, Bray, Colberg), Butte 7 (Granger 4, Smith 3). Fouls — Hellgate 13, Butte 16. Fouled out — Cook. Technicals — none.

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