Turnovers sink Butte High boys … again

It’s not so much that the Butte High boys’ basketball team committed 20 turnovers Saturday at the Butte Civic Center.

It was more when the Bulldogs turned the ball over that killed the team in a 67-44 Eastern AA loss to Billings West.

Like they did the night before against Billings Skyview, the Bulldogs saw a few spurts of turnovers turn another game that seemed winnable into a double-digit loss.

“They’re dang near all layups,” Butte High coach Terry Hauser said of the result of his team’s too many turnovers. “It’s like 25, almost 30 points in turnovers. It’s in bunches, too, which is the terrible thing. It’s not like one every couple minutes, its three or four in 15 seconds for layups.”

Butte High led 15-14 after the first quarter and 17-14 early in the second. Back-to-back buckets by Jared Samuelson — one a 3-pointer — put the Golden Bears up for good at 19-17.

Butte High, though, was within striking distance at 25-21 at halftime.

Then came Butte High’s nemesis — the third quarter.

West opened the second half with a 6-0 run to make it a 10-point game.

Butte High turned things around briefly with a drive by Peter Granger and two free throws by Cory Farstveet to cut the lead to 31-25.

In a blink of an eye, though, the Bears turned a rash of Butte High turnovers into a 9-0 run to take complete command of the game.

“We haven’t had a good third quarter all year,” Hauser said. “I don’t know what I’ve got to do, but at some point we have to. At one point, we’ve got to jump on a team.”

Ty Webb said “thank you very little” and scored all of his 12 points in the second half to lead the Bears to the victory that lifted No. 5 Billings West to 8-2 on the season and 3-1 in conference play.

Jared Samuelson also scored 12 points in the win, while Nate Deming tossed in nine points and Tanner Berg scored eight.

Dallas Cook scored 12 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to pace the Bulldogs, who fell to 2-8 and 1-3.

Killian O’Leary, a sophomore who is emerging as a potential star for the Bulldogs, and Kyle Peterson each scored nine points for Butte High.

“He’s been playing really good,” Hauser said of O’Leary. “He had a good weekend.”

Peter Granger scored six points and joined Peterson with six boards. Zach Bunney scored five points, while Cory Farstveet tossed in two and Dalton Daum netted one.

Connor Billteen, Chance Kremer, Connor Lee, Chance Plum and Gabe McClafferty also saw time for the Bulldogs, who are back at home Thursday when they take on Great Falls Russell.

Hauser said his team will have work on controlling the ball before the Rustlers come to town.

“It’s back to the drawing board,” the coach said. “Sometime we have to learn to take care of the ball and quit panicking so much.”

BILLINGS WEST (8-2, 3-1) — Josh Zeller 2 0-0 5, Andrew Campbell 3 0-0 6, Ty Webb 5 2-6 12, Jared Samuelson 5 1-2 12, Stewart Harris 1 0-0 2, Brennan Whittmeyer 1 0-0 2, Nate Deming 4 0-0 9, Tanner Berg 2 3-3 8, Michael Tessner 3 1-1 7, Christian Kappel 0 0-0 0. Totals 27 9-14 67.
BUTTE HIGH (2-8, 1-3) — Peter Granger 3 0-1 6, Zach Bunney 1 3-4 5, Cory Farstveet 0 2-2 2, Dallas Cook 2 8-9 12, Kyle Peterson 2 5-5 9, Killian O’Leary 4 1-4 9, Dalton Daum 0 1-2 1, Connor Billteen 0 0-0 0, Chance Kremer  0 0-0 0, Connor Lee 0 0-0 0, Chance Plum 0 0-0 0, Gabe McClafferty 0 0-0 0. Totals 12 20-27 44.
Billings West   14   11   19   23 — 67
Butte High      15    6      8   15 — 44

3-point goals — West 4 (Zeller, Samuelson, Deming, Berg), Butte 0. Fouls — West 21, Butte 14. Fouled out — none. Technical — Campbell.