The Glacier Wolfpack held off a late Butte surge to become Kalispell’s sole representative at the Class AA state tournament by finishing fourth at the Western AA divisional in Missoula on March 7.
Glacier (11-11) won twice at the divisional, handling three-time defending state champion Helena in the opening round, 52-49, and nearly springing an upset in the semifinals before succumbing to divisional champ Helena Capital, 44-41. On the tournament’s third and final day, the Wolfpack took care of Butte 57-52 to clinch one of the four bids in the state tourney. Missoula Hellgate claimed third place later on Saturday, beating Glacier 50-42.
This year marks the fourth straight season Glacier has qualified for the state tournament and the first with Head Coach Amanda Cram at the helm. The Wolfpack will travel to Bozeman later this week and begin the eight-team, double-elimination tourney with Eastern AA divisional champion Billings West on March 12 at 5 p.m. The Class AA state tournament is March 12-14 at Brick Breeden Fieldhouse on the campus of Montana State University.
The Glacier boys had a chance to join their counterparts in the state tournament field but were ousted by Butte in a loser-out matchup Saturday morning. The Bulldogs took down the Wolfpack 69-64, securing their spot in the state field despite entering the divisional seeded sixth. Glacier (10-11) opened the tournament with a 42-35 win against Helena before falling to eventual divisional champ Missoula Hellgate, 81-54, in the semifinals.
Flathead’s boys and girls teams both went two-and-out. The Braves (3-17) lost 74-40 to Capital in the first round and 69-64 to Butte in the loser-out game. The Bravettes (4-16) were toppled by Hellgate on Thursday and Butte on Friday in the final two games of coach Tricia Dean’s career. Dean confirmed earlier this year that she would be stepping down after four seasons in charge of the program.