MISSOULA — Helena Capitals' Paige and Dani Bartsch are quickly making a case for being one of the more prolific sister duos in Montana sporting history. Their performance Tuesday night against the Missoula Sentinel Spartans only added another paragraph to their already impressive resume as they combined for 18 points and stifled the Spartans offense down the stretch in a 48-36 win.
The Bartsch sisters came to play from the jump, with Paige scoring the game's first two field goals, both assisted by Dani. Undeterred by the Bruins' hot start, the rest of the first quarter was marked by a Spartan resilience.
Looking to rebound from a 49-point loss to Helena High last Saturday, Sentinel held its own against the third-ranked Bruins. They recovered from the early 7-1 deficit to lead 10-7 at the end of the quarter after freshman Kodi Fraser nailed a huge momentum changing 3-pointer.
The second quarter belonged to the Spartans' Lexi Deden, who unleashed an arsenal of spinning layups, one at the buzzer, to score all nine of Sentinel's points in the quarter.
Deden kept up her torrid pace well into the third quarter, stopping a 10-3 Bruin run with a leaning triple and a turnaround jumper just outside the paint. She put an exclamation point on this sequence of dynamic plays with a huge block on the other end. Kodi Fraser and Sandee Sepulveda each chipped in a 3-ball in the quarter to keep pace.
Not to be outdone by Deden, the Bruins' Megan Lindbo found her shot and applied pressure with two buckets from the 3-point line in the quarter.
In the end, the physicality and depth and experience of Helena Capital was too much for the Spartans to overcome. Despite trailing by only one point to start the final quarter, they fell by 12 points as Dani Bartsch orchestrated a 15-4 run.
Deden finished the game with 19 points to lead the Spartans. She was complimented by eight points from Fraser.
All five Bruin starters finished with over eight points, led by Paige Bartsch's 10.
The Bruins move to a perfect 5-0 and take on the Missoula Hellgate Knights at home on Thursday.
Sentinel drops to an even 3-3 and will look to rebound at Ronan next Tuesday.