The road to the State Tournament in Missoula starts in Butte this Thursday as the Western AA Divisional Boys and Girls Basketball Tournament gets underway, and the Butte High boys fully expect to be one of the four teams advancing to the State AA tournament the following week in Missoula.  And with good reason.  The Dogs are coming in red-hot, riding a six-game winning streak and winners of 7 of their last 8 games.  Let's take a look at their first-round matchup and potential opponents on the road to a berth at State.  Or better yet, a trip to State as Western AA champs.

Butte vs. Missoula Big Sky, Thursday 5PM

Photo: Tommy O/Townsquare Media
Photo: Tommy O/Townsquare Media

On January 19, Missoula Big Sky laid an 8-point loss on the Bulldogs in Missoula, 57-49 dropping Butte to 3-4 on the young season.  Since then, the Bulldogs have gone 9-2 including an overtime win over the Eagles in Butte, 72-63 behind some buzzer-beating heroics on February 16 from Hudson Luedtke, Rueso Batterman and Dylan "Bobby" Bache.  Butte comes into the game at 12-6 overall with a 10-4 mark in the Western AA.  Missoula Big Sky is 8-10 overall with a 5-9 conference mark.

Second-round opponent

On the Bulldogs side of the bracket are the third-seeded Helena High Bengals and the sixth-seeded Missoula Sentinel Spartans who will face off Thursday at 3:30pm.  During the regular-season the Bengals beat the Bulldogs 70-42 on January 27 but were the victims of a Hudson Luedtke buzzer-beater in Butte on February 22, 53-51. The Bulldogs swept the Missoula Sentinel Spartans during the regular season winning by a single point, 57-56 in Missoula on January 6 and by 8 in Butte on February 1, 62-54.

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