Missoula Sentinel scored just four points in the second half as Glacier clamped down defensively and reached the Class AA state tournament with a 39-26 victory at the Western AA Divisional tourney on March 2 at Glacier High School.
The Wolfpack (14-8) earned the Western Conference’s fourth and final berth at state by virtue of their win Saturday morning, erasing a five-point halftime deficit and outscoring the Spartans 22-4 after the break. Glacier would go on to lose to top-seeded Helena High 47-40 later on Saturday and finished the three-day divisional tournament with an even 2-2 record.
Playing on its home court, Glacier opened the weekend by dropping crosstown rival Flathead for the third time this season, 36-24, before falling to eventual tournament champion Helena Capital 47-37 in Friday’s semifinals. Missoula Hellgate pulled off the upset of the weekend in Friday’s other semifinal, handing Helena a 54-50 defeat, just the second loss for the Bengals this year.
Capital, Hellgate, Helena and Glacier all head to Butte to begin the double-elimination state tournament on Friday, March 2. The Wolfpack will tangle with Eastern Conference champion Billings West Thursday at 1:30 p.m. Both teams were seeded identically last season, when Glacier sprung a 50-40 upset in the opening round.
Flathead (7-14) picked up a win at the divisional tournament, 37-21, against Missoula Big Sky on Friday, but the Bravettes’ season ended the following day when Helena’s Jamie Pickens scored 33 points in a 63-34 Bengals win. Helena has won the last two Class AA state tournaments.