First Half Play by Play, Austin Davis, Color Ron Davis
Story from Buttesports.com
By Derek Hendrickson
The Hamilton Broncs played keep away for 95 seconds before junior Carter Kearns drilled a 15-foot jump shot at the buzzer to knock off the Butte Central Maroons 57-55 Thursday night at the Maroon Activities Center.
The final score was the first lead since the opening minute of the second half for the undefeated Broncs, who will head to the break at 6-0 overall and 2-0 in Southwestern A play.
The Maroons played strong throughout but a couple missed opportunities late set up the final sequence of events, including missing back-to-back front end free throws while in the bonus with under 2 minutes to play.
After the second misfire Hamilton gathered in the rebound and called timeout with 1:35 showing on the clock. Bronc head coach Travis Blome channeled his inner Dean Smith and went to a four corners like offense, milking away most of the last minute and a half before calling another timeout with just under 12 seconds to play, setting up the isolation play that Kearns ran to perfection.
“That was a really smart play the way they handled the last minute thirty four, but that is the exact reason that high school basketball needs a shot clock,” BC coach Brodie Kelly said after the game. “He’s (Coach Blome) using the rules to his advantage, a good offensive team can run that clock all the way down and to their credit they did.”
Central built a lead as big as nine points, 27-18 behind a strong run from freshman Aaron Richards, who scored all eight of his points in the frame.
Hamilton bounced back at the end of both the second and third quarters with their three point shooting.
The Broncs ended the second frame with three trifectas in three trips as sophomores Hunter Omlid hit two and Tanner Goligoski nailed another to send the game to the break at 33-30.
Hamilton’s hot shooting carried into the second half as they opened with a couple more treys to take a 36-33 lead before Tanner Kump answered with two of his own, making it 39-38.
Central put together an 8-2 run to build some momentum, capped by freshman Luke Heaphy’s only bucket of the game.
Goligoski drained another in the final minute of the third before Tyler Chouinard ended the scoring to close what was a seven-point Central lead to 47-46 heading to the fourth.
Both teams came out on fire as the Maroons connected for 21 first quarter points behind some hot outside shooting of their own. Sophomore Dan McCloskey had 2 threes to go with one each from seniors Sam Johnston and Kump.
Freshman Matt Simkins poured all 6 of his points in during the opening eight minutes and Nate McGree had three of his five.
All twelve of the Maroons points in the second frame came inside as the frantic pace of the opening 8 minutes slowed down.
Central’s defense dug in initially, keeping the Broncs from scoring for the first 4 minutes of quarter No. 2, but the late threes got Hamilton back close.
The Maroons finally went cold in the 4th from outside and struggled from the line as well, going three for 6 in the final frame after entering the quarter 3-4.
Hamilton went 6 for 6 from the line on the night and had over twice as many three point baskets as the did from two, with 13 of their 19 field goals coming from outside.
“I felt like we played pretty good basketball tonight, much better than Tuesday,” Kelly said. “Gave up a lot of threes. We’re terribly frustrated but driven to get better. We’ve got a lot of things to fix and room for improvement.”
The game was extremely well played by both teams and featured very few whistles. There was a total of 20 fouls called, 12 by the Broncs and eight by BC. The Maroons had 8 turnovers on the night, while Hamilton was guilty of just five , none of which occurred in the fourth.
Central got a strong defensive effort from Cade Holter, who has been limited with a tailbone injury that kept him out of action earlier this week in Belgrade.
Holter filled up the stat sheet in his first minutes of the game to start the second quarter, recording three steals to go with 4 rebounds to help Central build their lead. He would get another board and steal in the 3rd before adding 2 points in the fourth and should be able to get close to full strength during the Christmas break.
McCloskey and Kump led the Maroons with 14 points apiece. Omlid paced the Broncs with 13 and was joined in double figures by Goligoski and Burch who both scored 11. Central did well to contain Kearns, who is probably Hamilton’s best player, as he totaled 6 on the night but had the 2 that counted most.
“We are three possessions away from being five and one right now, that’s a fact,” Kelly said. “In three games that we’ve lost we’ve had opportunities to make free throws or layups at the end of games to have leads at the end. The margins are slim. Our record shows we are 2-4 and we are 2-4, but we’re three possessions from being 5-1.”
The three loses include close road defeats at Stevensville and Anaconda by a total of four points to go with tonight’s nail biter. The only game the Maroons did not win or take the wire was against Belgrade on Tuesday. In addition to the overall record Central falls to 0-2 in conference and will face the defending State Champion Dillon Beavers to open the New Year.
“We’re so close,” Kelly added. “We just have to finish the plays.”
HAMILSTON (6-0) — Cameron Rothie 1 0-0 3, Ky Burch 4 0-0 11, Ty Chouinard 3 0-0 9, Hunter Omlid 4 2-2 13, Jaylen Taggart 0 4-4 4, Tanner Goligoski 4 0-0 11, Carter Kearns 3 0-0 6.
BUTTE CENTRAL (2-4, 0-2) — Butte Central-Sam Johnston 1 0-2 3, Matt Simkins 3 0-0 6, Tanner Kump 4 3-4 14, Dan McCloskey 5 0-0 14, Luke Heaphy 1 0-0 3, Cade Holter 1 0-0 2, Aaron Richards 4 0-0 8.
Hamilton 16 14 16 11 — 57
Butte Central 21 12 1 4 8 — 55
3-point — Hamilton 13 (Burch 3, Chouinard 3, Omlid 3, Goligoski 3, Rothie 1), Butte Central 9 (McCloskey 4, Kump 3, Heaphy 1, Johnston 1). Fouled out — none. Total fouls — Hamilton 12, Butte Central 8. Technicals — none. Turnovers — Hamilton 5, Butte Central 8. Rebounds — Hamilton 18 (Taggert 6), Butte Central 24 (Holter 5). Blocks — Hamilton 0, Butte Central 2 (Heaphy, Richards). Assists — Hamilton 12 (Rothie 5), Butte Central 16 (Johnston 8). Steals —Hamilton 4 (Kearns 2), Butte Central 5 (Holter 4).