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East Helena, Butte Central split opening-night basketball doubleheader

Dymon Root
Posted at 11:06 PM, Dec 02, 2023

EAST HELENA — East Helena hosted Butte Central in a season-opening doubleheader Saturday.

After falling behind 9-0 in the first quarter, the Vigilante girls shook off the Game 1 jitters, besting Butte Central by one, 39-38, in a nail-biter. In the boys game, Central picked up a 69-41 victory.

In the girls game, East Helena’s Dymon Root took a charge against Central's Kathryn Lalicker with eight seconds remaining. But Lalicker stole the ensuing inbounds pass and had a chance at the game-winning basket at the buzzer, but it rolled off the rim and the Vigilantes preserved the win.

Butte Central’s Mollie Drew led all scorers with 19 points. Root finished with a team-high 16 for East Helena.

In the boys game, the Vigilantes started well as Tucker Petty knocked down a corner 3 to begin the game. But the Maroons took over from there, leading 32-15 at halftime on the way to victory.

Owen McPartland had 21 points to pace Central while Zane Moodry and G.G. Fantini added nine apiece. DeonDray Ellis' 12 points led the way for East Helena.