Glacier’s Ellie Keller laid in a basket and the crowd on the visitor’s side of the Flathead High School gym erupted. She’d just given the Wolfpack their first lead over the Flathead Bravettes since early in the second quarter.
Keller drew a foul, too, and sank the free throw. All 13 of Keller’s points came in the second half.
Her three-point play, her second of the fourth quarter, helped Glacier edge Flathead 51-49 in the teams’ first crosstown meeting of the season on Thursday. Glacier (4-5 overall, 3-2 in the Western AA) has won five consecutive crosstown games against Flathead (2-7, 1-4).
“They are so resilient and they kept battling back and there were no nerves at all in the second half,” Glacier coach Amanda Cram said.
It wasn’t just Keller who helped Glacier dig out of a 10-point deficit at the half.
In the third, Aubrie Rademacher drained a triple to get the Pack within six, then her steal led to an Emma Anderson basket and foul shot that cut the Bravettes’ lead to three.
Glacier trailed 34-33 at the end of the third frame.
Anderson’s fourth-quarter basket and free throw made it 42-41, paving the way for Keller to give Glacier a lead on the next possession.
Trailing 27-17, Glacier started the second half with a blistering pace, going on a 5-0 run in the first minute of the third quarter.
“We played very timid in the first half even though we were prepared and confident in the locker room, it didn’t translate over to the first half,” Cram said.
There was no sign of the timid team that showed up in the first part of the game.
“During halftime we made a major adjustment,” Cram said. “We reminded ourselves of our values and what we’re all about and I was so impressed with the first three minutes of play. It set the tone for the rest of the game.”
Flathead came prepared for Glacier’s scorers, playing a zone defense and trying to keep the Wolfpack shooters from going inside.
“That was a wrinkle that I knew (Flathead coach) Tricia (Dean) would have, but there’s four quarters for a reason,” Cram said.
Glacier had multiple players in double digits: Rademacher had a team-high 14 points, including two triples, and Anderson added 12.
Anderson was 2-for-3 at the free throw line. Kenzie Williams, who scored nine points, was 4-for-5.
“We knew that offensively, we are a good team,” Cram said. “It just came down to doing what we do.”
And the Bravettes had some firepower of their own — Jenna Johnson scored 18 points to lead all scorers, including four triples. She may have had a fifth, if her desperation shot at the buzzer had gone in.
Clare Converse had 13 points for Flathead and was 5-for-6 at the line. Akilah Kubi scored seven.
Glacier 7 10 17 17 — 51
Flathead 11 16 8 14 — 49
GLACIER — Aubrie Rademacher 14, Ellie Keller 13, Emma Anderson 12, Kenzie Williams 9, Janessa Henson 2, Kaylee Fritz 1.
FLATHEAD — Jenna Johnson 18, Clare Converse 13, Akilah Kubi 7, Kennedy Kanter 7, Myah Attard 2, Molly Winters 2.