Friday’s was a game the Bruins needed to have.
With the Western AA race tightening, Capital entered the contest one game back of third-place Glacier, which had defeated the Bruins earlier this season. Katie Culver and Taylor Sullivan helped to ensure the Wolfpack didn’t earn the season sweep, though, guiding the Capital High girls to a 49-40 win at the Bears’ Den to pull into a tie with Glacier at 4-3.
The victory improves the Bruins to 10-5 overall, while Glacier slips to 6-9.
“It was definitely a good win after the way we played up there earlier in the season,” said Sullivan, whose team lost to Glacier last month, 31-26. “It just showed how far we’ve come overall.”
Sullivan led a defense that harried the visitors into contested shots all night, and Glacier finished shooting just 30.8 percent. They hit on only 25 percent in the first half. Sullivan had four blocks down low, while Kacie Gross and Aryn Cummings also recorded a stuff. Sullivan also led the team with eight rebounds while scoring six points.
The top scorer was Culver, with 14 points, and she also grabbed a half-dozen rebounds.
The Bruin defense helped make up for an offense that struggled a bit to connect in the first half, and Capital led 14-6 after one. The lead was 27-14 at the half.
Capital opened the second half with a pair of buckets to stretch the lead to 17, 31-14, but the visitors weren’t about to pack it in.
Glacier made up a handful of points by the end of the third quarter, and kept chipping away into the fourth.
A strong half by Nikki Krueger and a 3-pointer from Anna Schrade made Capital’s double-digit lead shrink all the way to five points, 43-38, with 1:28 to play.
Capital broke through Glacier’s press and Culver hit under the basket and Megan Lindbo then rebounded a Wolfpack miss at the other end with 57.8 seconds remaining.
The visitors had life when she missed the front end of her one-and-one, but then turned the ball over with an errant pass 10 seconds later.
Put back on the free-throw line, Lindbo hit a pair to make it 47-38.
Two desperation shots sailed well off the mark at the other end of the floor, and when Sydney Sheridan hit another two free throws for Capital with 15.1 seconds to play, it was again a double-digit game.
Glacier’s Cadie Williams was fouled with 8.2 seconds left and hit both of her attempts to result in the final margin.
While the late-game lapse wasn’t great to see – Capital contributed to the Glacier run with several turnovers – assistant coach Katie Garcin was happy with the way the team responded.
“What’s neat about this group is that we’re young, but they’ve got a sense of maturity about them,” said Garcin, coaching the team this weekend while head coach Bill Pilgeram is out of town for daughter Sadie’s Senior Night at Corban University. “It’s, ‘OK, we’re just going to regroup and the next person’s gonna go make a play,’ and that’s what is really special about this group. When a team makes a run, we knew they were going to do that and we just responded.”
Capital will be back on the floor Saturday taking on Kalispell Flathead, which fell Friday night to Helena High.