BUTTE -- The Mining City received an early Christmas gift as the annual crosstown rivalry basketball games between Butte and Butte Central were moved up from February to late December this year. It was a battle inside the Butte Civic Center as the Maroons and Bulldogs split the series on Monday.
On the girls side, Butte Central started the game on a 7-0 run to lead 7-3 after the first quarter. But the second frame belonged to the Bulldogs, who went on an impressive 22-4 run jumping out in front 25-11 at halftime. Butte kept its foot on the gas in the third quarter, holding Central to only five points for a 37-16 lead on the way to a 50-24 victory.
MacKenzie Tutty led the way for the Bulldogs with a game-high 19 points. Emma Keeley led the way for Central with seven.
The boys game was a back-and-forth contest. Like in the girls game, the Maroons jumped out in front early, taking an 13-8 lead after the first quarter. But Butte came alive later in the second quarter to cut the lead to 29-27 at the break. The Bulldogs finally took their first lead 35-33 with 5:56 to play in the third quarter with the help of Billy Kelly, who scored 24 points on the night. Jake Olson also added 16 and Andrew Booth finished with 12.
But the Maroons are undefeated on the year for a reason, and they took the lead back moments later and never looked back on their way to a 72-66 win. Braden Harrington led Central with 18 points and Trevor Nuemannn followed closely behind with 16 on the evening.