Basketball

Glacier Squeaks Out Crosstown Sweep

Senior Ellie Keller help Wolfpack narrowly slip past Bravettes in second rivalry matchup

By Micah Drew
Ellie Keller of the Glacier Wolfpack charges up the court against the Flathead Bravettes at Glacier High School in Kalispell on Jan. 22, 2021.The Wolfpack won 45-27. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

As first-year Flathead coach Sam Tudor called a timeout with 12 seconds left in overtime of the second crosstown game on Feb. 25, tensions were high. The Bravettes had remained ahead nearly the entire game, at one point leading by 10, but were just hanging on to a one-point lead.

Then, as the clock ticked down into single digits, a foul gave Glacier senior Ellie Keller the last-second chance her team needed. She hit two free throws, giving the Wolfpack a 49-48 victory. 

Despite the Bravettes leading for much of the game in a valiant attempt to split the crosstown series and claim their first win over the Wolfpack since 2018, the white-and-orange-clad home team fell to their crosstown rivals for the eighth consecutive time.

The Bravettes (2-12 Western AA) began the game aggressively, responding to an early field goal by Kaylee Fritz that put the Wolfpack (8-6 Western AA) on the board first with a basket by Molly Winters. The Bravettes then jumped out to a steady lead, adding to it bucket by bucket as the first quarter ticked down.   

A corner three by senior Kuyra Siegel put Flathead up 20-12 at the end of the opening period.

Flathead stayed up 28-21 at the half and 33-28 at the end of the third. It was there that the Bravettes began to stall out and the Wolfpack outscored them 2-1 in the final quarter, with senior Kenzie Williams nailing two free throws with 1:39 left to tie up the game 38-38 and send the game into overtime.

Glacier continued their aggressive late push with Emma Anderson laying it up for the first points in OT. 

From there, the score ping-ponged back and forth — Maddy Moy landed a three to pop the Bravettes up by one, Williams hit a shot from the right alley to go back on top, and then Kennedy Moore responded and added two free throws to give Flathead a 45-42 lead with just over 90 seconds remaining.

Claire Converse added another free throw to make it a four-point game, but the Wolfpack clawed back up to come within a point in the final seconds, paving the way for Keller’s anxiety-inducing final shots.   

The Bravette offense made great strides from the first crosstown matchup, when they managed only 27 points, exceeding their season average of 39, which ranks 13th in Class AA. Seven Bravettes overall got into the box score against the Wolfpack.

While the Wolfpack defense was off to a sluggish start, they capitalized on their status as the best free-throw shooting team in the league.

Both teams will compete in Class AA state play-in games on March 4. Flathead will face No. 2 Capital while Glacier takes on No. 5 Helena High.

Glacier                        12   9   7   10  11 – 49

Flathead                     20   8   5    5   10 – 48

GLACIER — Ellie Keller 15, Kenzie Williams 13, Kaylee Fritz 11, Emma Anderson 8, Janessa Henson 2

FLATHEAD— Kennedy Moore 15, Maddy Moy 11, Akilah Kubi 8, Bridget Crowley 5, Mollie Winters 5, Claire Converse 3, Kuyra Siegel 3

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