To say the Hamilton Bronc’s game against Butte Central was a bit strange is a bit of an understatement. With some strange plays, calls and a missing coach, the game was entertaining but in the end, heartbreaking for Hamilton. Hamilton’s head coach Travis Blome was missing in action due to an illness in his household so assistant coach Bryce Carver stepped up to fill Blome’s shoes.
Butte Central was 2020 co-champion with Hardin and although they have not had the best start this year, the game on Saturday was a boost for them. Both Hamilton and Butte Central are young quick teams with not a lot of size. However Hamilton is still trying to find that ‘one’ leader to hold the team together. Tyson Rostad, who lettered last year, had surgery right after football and is not playing as yet. Austin Drake has stepped up and become the team leader with his calm manner and strong outside shooting.
The Maroons took an early lead in the first quarter but a couple of easy baskets by Colter Kirkland gave Hamilton the momentum to pull ahead in the second quarter. The Broncs were up by three points at the half.
Although he came back to score 16 points, Hamilton was able to hold Dougie Peoples to only four points in the first half. He also fouled out with a minute left in regulation play. A successful shot by Central at the end of the third quarter gave them the lead but Hamilton quickly tied it back up again.
When both teams are quick and athletic, the game is often physical and this game was no different. Hamilton pulled out to a three point lead when Eli Taylor drove inside for a bucket, and then, Tyler Burrows made another inside shot to increase the lead. But Liam O’Connell fouled Peoples, sending him to the line and O’Connell to the bench for five fouls. Peoples sank both to bring the Maroons back into the game. Bryan Holland hit a trey for Butte Central to pull them within two points. With 4.9 seconds remaining, Butte Central had a two point lead and the ball. However the ref called a travel on them as the buzzer sounded. After a debate by the officials, .5 seconds was put back on the clock. Austin Drake took the ball out under Hamilton’s own basket. Each team took a timeout after looking at the play and then Drake got the ball to Burrows who put it up and in to tie the game. (One official thought the game was over and actually left the court.)
The game went into overtime and Hamilton went cold. They were unable to capitalize on their free throws while Butte Central shot 7-of-10 in the extra time. Hamilton struggled at the charity line all night. Butte Central won, 60-54.
Butte Central 60, Hamilton 54 (OT)
Butte Central – Dougie Peoples 16, Bryson Sestrich 12, Bryan Holland 11, Kyle Holter 10, Drew Badovinac 4, Joseph Sehulster 4, Egan Lester 3.
Hamilton – Austin Drake 15, Liam O’Connell 10, Eli Taylor 10, Tyler Burrows 10, Colter Kirkland 8, Tanner Hanson 1.
The Corvallis Blue Devils took down Frenchtown, 50-45, in Southwest A action. After being down by four points at the end of the third quarter, the Blue Devils scored 22 points in the final frame to take the win. Tanner Jessop poured in 20 points to lead all scorers.
Corvallis 50, Frenchtown 45
Frenchtown – Hayes 5, Finley 13, Arthur 2, Michaud 3, Shelton 4, Jacobs 12, Shepard 6 .
Corvallis – Tanner Jessop 20, Luke Wolsky 4, Donovan Potter 9, Bryce Mayn 4, Cole Trexler 6, Mitch Spinetta 7.
In Class B action, Florence lost to rival Loyola in a close battle, 61-58. Beau Neal had 21 points for Florence.
Loyola 61, Florence 58
Florence – J.P. Briney 2, Blake Shoupe 6, Caden Zaluski 10, Levi Posey 16, Beau Neal 21, Jaden Pedersen 3.
Loyola -Will Burns 28, Raef Konzen 8, Keenan Russell 11, Parker Pratt 5, Finn Richardson 8, Tommy Albrecht 1.
Although they lost, 70-55, Victor felt like they had a breakthrough against Seeley-Swan on Thursday night. The Pirates were able to play with the Blackhawks and never backed down in the loss. Carson Varner had 33 points to pace all players. Sophomore Jordan McLane added 10.
In Victor’s third game of the week, they took on Philipsburg and lost, 70-27. Caleb Rosen, the lone senior on the Victor squad, had nine points
Darby split their games, topping Lincoln, and then losing to Philipsburg. Darby defeated Lincoln, 60-14, in a lopsided win. Hooper Reed had 15 points to lead Darby. Will Martin had 10 points and Jackson Hundley added eight.
Darby fell to Philipsburg, 57-38. Reed finished with nine points as did Martin. Preston Smith had eight points, Hundley had seven and Cullen Duggan finished with five points.