Basketball

Katie Garcin had quite a weekend as a head coach.

Filling in for Bill Pilgeram, with his daughter, Sadie, for Senior Night festivities at Corban University, the Capital High assistant led the Bruins to a weekend sweep. After first withstanding a late rally to down Kalispell Glacier on Friday night, the Bruins took down Flathead in overtime on Saturday, 59-58.

“I think it was actually tougher on Bill, being over in Oregon,” she said with a laugh.

It certainly wasn’t easy in the Bears’ Den, though.

Leading by as many as 15, Capital watched Flathead’s Tiana Johnson hit basket after basket in the second half, ultimately nailing a 3-pointer with seven-tenths of a second remaining to tie the game at 52 and send it to overtime.

“We did some really good defensive things on her, and she just kept hitting tough shots,” Garcin said of Johnson, who finished with a game-high 27 points. She hit 9 of 13 from the field – including 5 of 6 from 3-point range – and was a perfect 4 of 4 at the free-throw line.

“They shot the ball really well in the second half. And she hit that 3 to tie it up at the end. It was a tough shot – she had a hand in her face and the girls did just what I told them to do.”

Johnson wasn’t the only one hitting in the second half for Flathead, which hit a combined 7 of 10 from beyond the arc in the second half. Kylee Meredith finished 2 of 4 from deep, Kelsey Gillespie was 2 of 5 and Clara Vanderbosch was 1 of 1.

“I just told the girls keep to keep believing in each other and keep executing, and good things were gonna happen,” Garcin said. “At no point did the girls ever feel like we weren’t going to win that game. And I think that says a lot about where we’re at as a team.”

In the extra frame, Capital opened with a free throw and then started a back-and-forth battle that saw the visitors go up one with another well-defended Johnson basket with 10 seconds to play.

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Capital’s Kacie Gross answered, driving to the rim and finishing on her shot while drawing contact. She missed her free throw and, with five seconds left, Flathead had a chance.

Johnson managed to get to the rim, but the shot didn’t fall and Capital came out on top.

The Bruins were led by Taylor Sullivan’d 15 points and eight rebounds. Megan Lindbo added 11 points and Katie Culver chipped in nine.

The weekend sweep moved Capital to 11-5 overall. It also bumps the Bruins’ Western AA mark to 5-3, and the team is now one game ahead of Glacier for third place in the conference standings. Flathead falls to 7-9, 2-6.

Capital will face undefeated Missoula Sentinel on Thursday, before traveling across town to take on Helena High on Friday.

Follow IR sports editor Troy Shockley on Twitter @IR_TroyShockley.

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