BUTTE — The Butte Central boys basketball team closed out the pre-Christmas portion of its schedule with a marathon.
"It was our fourth game in eight days," said Central head coach Brodie Kelly a few days after the Maroons routed crosstown rival Butte High 65-37. "We were nursing some injuries, had some guys sitting out of a practice a little bit those days leading up to the game. It's good that we get some time to heal up over the break."
For Central, which has rolled to a 6-0 start to the season, it'll be some well-deserved rest before they get back to action against Livingston on Jan. 6.
Earning their second-straight win against the Bulldogs was special, but just getting to renew their rivalry with Butte was meaningful for the Maroons.
"It was awesome cause that was the first time all of us have played in a crosstown game," said junior Dougie Peoples who hit four 3-pointers against the Bulldogs. "I think we were all looking forward to it."
Bryson Sestrich, who also drained four 3-pointers, hit a triple at the halftime buzzer to put the Maroons up by double digits. Central didn't let up after the break and went on to beat Butte by 28 points for its second-straight crosstown victory.
"I think our guys have done a pretty good job of stringing together stops and we've got some guys that can make shots this year," Kelly said.
Beginning the season at 6-0 is great, but for a team that recently hung its 2020 Class A championship banner and last season came up one game short of the consolation final, it's hopefully just the first step toward another deep playoff run.
"That was huge for these guys to get to Saturday at state last year," Kelly said. "It was a team that nobody had much expectations for. And we were a few possessions from playing Saturday night. I think it gave these guys confidence."
The desire to still be playing basketball in March should provide plenty of motivation as Central gears up for the January and February grind.
"Playing at state was just fun," Sestrich said. "The atmosphere there is great and I think everyone on this team is ready to get back there. It's just a great thing to be a part of."