Both Glacier basketball teams are off to Billings for the Class AA state tournament after fourth-place finishes at the Western AA divisional tourney, March 1-3 in Helena.
The top four boys and girls finishers at the divisional tournaments advanced to state.
In the boys bracket, a spot in the state tourney came down to an epic Saturday morning Flathead-Glacier matchup, the third meeting of the year between the two teams. After Flathead won both regular season games, the Wolfpack (10-12) punched their ticket to state with a 63-60 triple-overtime win. It was the second overtime matchup of the season between the crosstown rivals, who played three games decided by a combined 10 points.
Collin Kazmier scored 19 points to lead Glacier to the win. Drew Engellant added 14. Flathead (13-8) was led by senior Sam Elliott’s 21 points and classmate Eric Seaman’s 20 in their final high school games. The Braves finished third in Western AA in the regular season.
Glacier lost to upstart Helena in the third-place game later Saturday, 42-38. The sixth-seeded Bengals, playing on their home court, upset Flathead in the first round Thursday.
The Wolfpack girls followed a similar path as the boys to state, beating Missoula Hellgate 42-27 Saturday morning to lock up a berth. Ellie Stevens led Glacier (13-9) with nine points in the win over the Knights. Fellow senior Cadie Williams chipped in eight more.
Glacier fell to Helena Capital in the third-place game.
Flathead’s girls saw their season ended with a pair of losses at the divisional tournament. The Bravettes (5-15) fell 30-20 to Glacier in the tourney’s opening round before a 55-37 loss to Capital in the consolation semifinals on Saturday.
Glacier’s girls open the state tournament March 8 at 5 p.m. against Billings West, the top seed from the Eastern conference. The Wolfpack boys get Eastern AA divisional champion Great Falls C.M. Russell at 1:30 p.m. that same day. The Class AA state tournament will be played at Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark in Billings.