HELENA — Less than 24 hours after an intense, down-to-the-wire, one-point win by the Capital High boys basketball team, the Bears' Den was again the site of a narrow girls basketball team victory by a single point.
The differences being Friday's contest was a crosstown boys Western AA Conference game against Helena, in front of a packed house, while Saturday's girls game took place against Class A Dillon, with about 1/10th the crowd from the night before.
And although the 40-39 come-from-behind win didn't have quite the furious electricity of the intra-city battle, it held its own share of excitement, including sibling heroes in both contests.
On Friday, Cade Kidder fired in a pair of bombs from 3-point land in the last four minutes to help maintain Capital's narrow lead. Emily Kidder picked up where her brother left off against the Beavers, draining a 3-pointer midway through the final period to spark the rally, and then scoring the game-winning basket with six seconds on the clock.
The Bruins trailed early in the fourth 30-25, after free throws by Dillon's Paige Rouse. A trey by Capitals's Kacie Gross made it 30-28, but moments later Beaverhead was again up by five, 35-30, after Brynley Fitzgerald's steal and coast-to-coast lay-up.
Kidder's 3-pointer got the Bruins to within two, and then a bomb from downtown by teammate Megan Lindbo pulled the hosts in front 36-35. Fitzgerald was then fouled twice, making both ends of each one-and-one, for her game-high 25th point, and a 39-36 Dillon lead with 47 seconds left.
Capital post Taylor Sullivan's lay-in narrowed the gap to one, 39-38. Next the Beavers were whistled for an offensive foul on their possession at 23 seconds, and CHS called a timeout at the :15 mark.
The Bruins in-bounded, worked several passes, and then Kidder hit a twisting, one-handed shot from near the top of the key that went in to pull the game out of the fire.
However, the game wasn't over when Beaverhead called timeout at five seconds. But it soon was, after Fitzgerald — who made 8 of 9 free throws — brought the ball downcourt and missed about a 20-footer at the buzzer.
Capital, listed No. 3 in the AA 406mtsports.com rankings, remained undefeated at 8-0. Dillon slips to 7-5.
"We executed that last play, just the way we drew it up in the timeout," CHS coach Bill Pilgeram explained. "We wanted to beat their swing zone on the second side, if Taylor was covered, which she was, and get the ball to Emily at the high post. Then we didn't want to foul (Fitzgerald), it was a running shot at the end, but they did get a decent look."
The evenly played, topsy-turvy contest saw nine lead changes, with eight tied scores. The first quarter ended deadlocked at nine-all, before Capital took a two-point edge into halftime 18-16, on Sullivan's lay-in after her rebound. She finished with team-highs of 17 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots.
The Beavers outscored the home team 12-7 in the third period, highlighted by Kyndall Petersen's trey before the stanza ended.
Kidder was next in Capital's scoring column with six points, while Lindbo, Gross and Sydney Sheridan each netted five points apiece. Lindbo passed for four assists.
"This was a trap game for us, with finals exams, crosstown boys last night, and our crosstown next Tuesday; so there's a lot of mental things going on," Pilgeram related. "But it was a great game to learn how to handle different situations, and the girls did a good job coming back from down by five in the middle of the fourth."
After Fitzgerald, Dillon's next top scorers were Rouse and Petersen, with five points apiece.
"It was a hardfought game on both sides," Beavers' coach Gabe Walker said. "I'm proud of how we executed on defense, but credit Capital, they made the plays. I know some people don't believe in moral victories, but I feel this game will springboard us as we head into the second half of our Class A schedule."