West boys end Bulldogs’ season

GREAT FALLS – The good news was Butte High’s boys made it to the State Class AA Basketball tourney for the first time in six years.

The bad news? Butte lost its first two, falling hard to Kalispell Glacier on Thursday then again, 70-49 to West in a Friday morning loser-out affair at ExpoPark Arena in Great Falls, site of the 2013 State AA tournament.

Butte High never got much of a game together Friday, as West rattled off an 11-2 run to end the first quarter with an 18-9 lead. The Golden Bears saw their lead expand to 19 at half, and further extended it through the third quarter.

West subbed in its bench early in the fourth, soon followed by Butte’s reserves taking the court. The Bulldog starters received a good round of applause from the purple-clad fans for a season that ended with a 5-18 record.

Butte’s Cory Farstveet paced the Bulldogs with 14 points and six rebounds, but some of the best play for Butte was turned in by sub Brian Smith. The sophomore came off the bench and drove hard inside to tally 13 points and four rebounds.

“We came out playing pretty well,” first-year Bulldogs coach Terry Hauser said. “West just hit some tough shots and got out on us early. When you play a team that’s potentially better, you like to hit those shots yourself and get the early lead.”

West saw 10 players reach the scoring column, led by Andrew Campbell’s 17 and 15 more from Brennan Whittmeyer.

The Bulldogs got another excellent effort from Dallas Cook, who scored eight of Butte’s first 11 points on the way to 10 total points and five boards before sitting much of the second half. The junior forward also blocked a shot in dramatic fashion in the first half.

The game was the last for seniors Jake Dennehy, Zach Bunney and Kyle Peterson. Dennehy had five rebounds, two points and an assist, while Bunney scored three points and dished three assists. Peterson came off the bench to get two points and two rebounds.

“We only had our three seniors, so we’ll have a lot of kids coming back,” Hauser noted. “I’m confident we can make our way back here (to state) and maybe win a couple next time.”

Peter Granger played well, with four rebounds, three points and a pair of assists, while Killian O’Leary had a point, a rebound and an assist. Gabe McClafferty  hit for two points and grabbed a rebound, Chanse Kremer had a blocked shot and two boards, and Chase Plum had two rebounds. Dalton Daum had a rebound and a blocked shot in relief.

“The kids competed all year,” Hauser said. “We got a tough draw this weekend, but we played right there with some of the best teams in the state this season.”

The Bears (18-4) will take on the loser of the Helena Capital-Billings Skyview game, scheduled for 5 p.m. Friday.

Butte High       9  11 16 13 –  49
Billings West  18 21 25  6   – 70
BUTTE (5-18) – Jake Dennehy 1-5 0-0 2, Peter Granger 1-6 1-2 3, Zach Bunney 1-6 0-0 3. Cory Farstveet 5-14 3-4 14, Dallas Cook 5-8 0-1 10, Killian O’Leary 0-3 1-2 1, Brian Smith 5-11 1-7 13, Kyle Peterson 1-2 0-0 2, Dalton Daum 0-2 0-0 0, Chase Plum 0-1 0-0 0, Gabe McClafferty 0-1 1-2 1, Chanse Kremer 0-1 0-0. TOTALS: 19-60 7-18 49.
BILLINGS WEST (18-4) – Josh Zeller 2 0-0 5, Nate Dening 4 0-0 8, Andrew Campbell 7 1-1 17, Jared Samuelson 4 1-1 9, Stewart Harris 2 0-0 4, Brennan Whittmeyer 4 4-4 15, Tanner Berg 2 0-3 5, Michael Tessmer 1 0-0 2, Danny Betcher 1 0-0 2, Jeremiah Coachran 1 1-2 3, Logan Laird 0 0-0 0, Wilson Brott 0 0-0 / TOTALS: 28 6-10 70.
3-point goals: Butte 4-16 (Smith 2-5, Bunney 1-3, Farstveet 1-3, Daum 0-1, O’Leary 0-2, Granger 0-1, Kremer 0-1), West 8-11 (Whittmeyer 3-4, Campbell 2-4, Berg 1-1, Zeller 1-1, Samuelson 1-1); Rebounds: Butte 33 (Farstveet 6, Cook 5, Dennehy 5), West 38 (Betcher 7); Assists: Butte 10 (Bunney 4, Farstveet 3), West 14 (Zeller 4); Blocks: Butte 4 (Farstveet, Cook, Daum, Kremer), West 5 (Campbell 2); Steals: Butte 8 (Dennehy 3, Bunney 2), West 12 (Zeller 3, Whittmeyer 3); Total Fouls: Butte 12,
West 18; Fouled Out: None; Turnovers: Butte 19, West 17.