Tocher Lee has ice in his veins late 3 ball sends Dogs to the State tournament

After a heart-breaking loss and their first one in 8 games the Bulldogs returned to action Saturday morning to take on the Glacier Wolfpack in hopes of punching their ticket to the AA State tournament next week held in Missoula Montana.

Glacier opened the scoring off an offensive rebound and a kick out for 3, they forced a turnover on the Bulldogs and skated down court for a lay in and led 5-0 early on. Hudson Luedtke broke the ice for Butte as he hit a nice little jumper from the free throw line.

Cohen Kastelitz used his size down low as he power dribbled and went up for two more Wolfpack points and it was 7-3 with 4 minutes to play in the first quarter. Torre Tempel continued his hot shooting as he wasted no time after checking into the game, Luedtke found him on the wing, and he splashed it home to cut the Glacier lead to 1.

Braylon Larson scored from the elbow after a Glacier missed possession and Butte took a 10-9 lead. Tocher Lee found a rhythm 3 ball from one of his favorite spots and the floor straight away at the top of the key and drilled it to extend the Bulldogs lead to 13-9.  Glacier was fouled their next time down and connected with two freebies at the line. Both teams traded buckets after another nice Larson jumper off the glass, and Butte led 15-13 after 1 quarter of play.

Tocher Lee was shooting lights out and came out in the 2nd stroking a deep 3 ball from the left wing to extend the Bulldog lead to 5. Lee continued to attack being fouled their next time down and he knocked down both at the line. Brantly Salmonsen responded for Glacier with a lay in at the other end, but Tocher Lee again let it fly from the right wing and netted home another triple and Butte led by 8 with 3 minutes gone by in the quarter.

Bo Demarais got his morning going off a drive to the right and kiss off the glass for 2 more Bulldog points and it was 25-17 Butte high with 5:15 to play in the half. Butte was energetic and playing with a chip on their shoulder diving all over the floor and spreading the ball around on offense as Bobby Bache got going off a scoop and score.

Tocher Lee was letting treys drop like a nervous cafeteria worker in the first half as he canned another 30-footer to blossom the Bulldog lead to 13 points leading to a Glacier timeout to try and decide how to stop the sharpshooter, Lee. Glacier just couldn’t find the bottom of the net and went scoreless for almost 4 straight minutes letting Butte High capitalize on each possession.

Glacier finally found a positive offensive possession on a nice post entry pass for a lay in and hitting the freebie at the line for a 3-point play, 30-20 Butte with 1:41 to play in the half. Glacier cut it to 7 after a corner 3 off an inbound pass. Glacier got a stop at the other end and raced down for a fastbreak bucket on back-to-back possessions and before we knew it, it was just a 2-point game after the 3-point play from Glacier.

After a sluggish 2nd Glacier stormed back in the final two minutes and trailed by just 2 points at the half, 30-28 Butte High. Tocher Lee led all scorers at the half with 16 points, he was also 4-4 from the foul line. Cohen Kastelitz was the high man for Glacier, and he had 6.

Rueso Battermann began the scoring right off the bat for the Bulldogs to begin the second half, but Glacier responded with a triple at the other end, and it was 32-31. Glacier continued the hot shooting and drilled home a 3 ball to capture a 2-point lead early in the second half, Bobby Bache responded at the other end and tied it up at 34 apiece. Luedtke hit a nice scoop and score at the other end but after a cold first half Glacier found the stroke and responded each time down the floor. Tocher Lee broke the tie screeching to the basket for two and Butte led 38-36 with 2:18 to play in the 3rd.

8th grader Brady Hanson stepped up huge for the Dogs defensively swatting Glacier left and right and knocking down foul shots to give the Dogs a 46-39 cushion heading to the final quarter of play.

Hudson Luedtke began the 4th at the foul line and knocked them both down to give the Dogs and 8-point lead, Bobby Bache would follow it up the next time down and hit a nice jumper from the foul line and Butte led 50-40 with 6:29 to play.

Hudson Luedtke hit beautiful turnaround jumper to end Glaciers mini surge to hold a 52-46 lead with 3:47 to play. Glacier responded at the other end on a given and go and cut the lead to just 4. Brady Hanson stepped to the line again hitting 1 of 2 to extend the Bulldog lead to 5.

Tocher Lee was fouled the next time down as he stayed perfect at the line, 55-48 Butte. Glacier wouldn’t go away with a trip to the state tourney on the line they found a bucket and foul and completed the old fashioned 3-point play, 55-52 Butte with 1:32 to play. Glacier came out of the timeout and cut the lead to 1 with 50 seconds to play.

Hudson Luedtke tried to ice the game and took an early shot and missed allowing Glacier to secure the rebound and call timeout out with 25 seconds to play down 1. Glacier hit jumper with 13 seconds to play to go up by one but none other than Tocher “Mr. Big Shot” Lee hit his 5th triple of the game as he drained a deep 3 with 2.5 play and sends the Butte High Bulldogs to the state tournament with the shot, 58-56 Butte High.

Tocher Lee had a huge game and led all scorers with 24 points he went 7-8 at the foul line and hauled in 3 boards. Hudson Luedtke had 13 points and 6 rebounds, Dylan Bache had 6 points and 5 boards. Bo Demarais, Rueso Battermann and Braylon Larson each had 4 points, 8th grade Brady Hanson had 2 points, 2 boards and, 2 blocks to help send the Bulldogs to the 2024 State tournament.

Josh Eagleton, Slate Burrington each had 11 points for the Wolfpack.

We will have a writer travel to cover the games in Missoula and keep everyone updated the best we can for state next week.