Every time things got tight, Michael Schwarz was there to relieve the pressure.
The junior guard sank five 3-pointers, including when his team needed them most, and the Glacier Wolfpack swept crosstown rival Flathead on Friday night at a packed Glacier High School.
The Wolfpack (3-4, 2-0 Western AA) boys won 46-35 in a game they never trailed, but the Braves kept making mini-pushes to raise the blood pressure of Glacier fans. That’s when Schwarz had the answer.
With a 20-5 lead down to 23-18 at halftime, the home team came out of the locker room and scored five quick points, capped by a Schwarz triple, to push the margin back to 10. When Flathead closed to within 31-26 at the end of the third quarter, Schwarz opened the fourth with a 3-pointer, and when the Braves made their final thrust midway through the fourth, Schwarz delivered the dagger to extend the lead to 41-29.
Other than Schwarz, both teams had a tough time finding points. No other player scored in double-figures and the game marked the lowest scoring output for both teams this season. Tannen Beyl had nine points to lead Flathead (4-4, 1-1).
Points were even tougher to come by in the girls game, but once again the home team came out on top with the Wolfpack earning a scrappy 32-24 victory.
Glacier (5-2, 2-0) trailed most of the second quarter before two late Aubrie Rademacher free throws made it 12-11 Wolfpack at halftime.
The second half started all Glacier, with the Wolfpack scoring 12 points in the third quarter to match their first half output and open a 24-17 lead entering the fourth. But Flathead rallied early in the fourth behind five quick points by Maddie Walter to shrink the Glacier lead to 24-22. With the Wolfpack in front by four with a little over a minute to go, a shooting foul on the Bravettes was exacerbated by a subsequent technical foul on Head Coach Tricia Dean, and Ellie Keller made all four free throws to put the game away.
Rademacher led the victorious Wolfpack with 12 points. Walter also had 12 for the Bravettes (5-3, 1-1).
The teams will rematch on Feb. 5 at Flathead High School.