Sunday, February 28, 2021
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Helena forges win over cold-shooting Bravettes

by FRITZ NEIGHBOR
Daily Inter Lake | February 20, 2021 10:57 PM

When Helena’s 44-30 girls’ basketball victory over Flathead had ended, and the home team had suffered through a 12-point second half, first-year Bravettes’ coach Sam Tudor had little to say.

There wasn’t much to talk about, though Flathead had played pretty spectacular defense in the first half Saturday, and had forged an 18-15 lead despite making just a quarter of their shots.

It figured if the Bravettes (2-9) shot better the second half, they’d have the four-win Bengals on the ropes. Instead Flathead missed 27 of 30 attempts and gave up 11-1 surges in both the third and fourth quarters.

“We’re usually better than this,” Tudor said. “This was just a tough one.

“We had such a good week of practice. We played well against Capital (on Thursday (a 54-35 loss to the 11-1 Bruins). … It was good to see Clare Converse come alive. That was probably the highlight.”

The game came apart for the Bravettes in the span of 11 minutes. Molly Winters sandwiched two low-post baskets around two Converse free throws as Flathead took a 24-22 lead at 5:12 of the third quarter.

Alex Bullock’s basket and a drive by Reegan Walsh gave the Bengals (5-6) the lead for good, at the 3:30 mark. A put-back from Bengals’ center Liz Heuiser — she had 17 points, shooting 6-for-7 from the floor — extended the lead to 30-24; after Akilah Kubi hit a free throw for Flathead, Helena reserve Maloree English fired in a three for a 33-25 advantage.

Bridget Crowley scored to end the third quarter and hit two free throws in the fourth for Flathead, cutting the gap to 33-29 with 4:26 left in the game.

The Bravettes, who missed a lot of open but hurried looks at the basket, managed just one more point. Unless you count a basket they scored for the other team in the midst of Helena’s closing 11-1 run.

It was a rough end to the game. Kylie Lantz, who left the court in the second quarter with an apparent knee injury, reappeared and hit a jumper at the 3:51 mark. Two straight baskets from Heuiser made it 42-29 with 1:43 left.

Converse had 10 points and eight rebounds for the Bravettes, who shot 17 percent from the field (10 of 58) and missed 13 of 14 three attempts. That more than offset the 29 turnovers Helena made against Flathead’s mix of zone and full-court pressure defense.

The Bravettes’ next action is Tuesday at 5:30 in the Boyle Gym, a make-up game against Butte High. The same night there is a boys’ crosstown game in the Flathead gym at 7:15.

Helena 8 7 18 11 - 44

Flathead 8 10 9 34 - 30

HELENA - Kylie Lantz 1 0-0 2, Alex Bullick 3 5-5 10, Liz Heuiser 6-7 5-6 17, Broke Ark 1 2-3 4, Avery Kraft 1 0-0 2, Reegan Walsh 2 1-2 6, Rachel Plaster 0 0-0 0, Maloree English 1 2-2 5, Lauren Heuiser 0 0-0 0, Kim Feller 1 0-0 2. Totals 16 10-13 44.

FLATHEAD - Akilah Kubi 1 1-4 3, Bridget Crowley 2 2-3 6, Molly Winters 2 0-2 4, Kuyra Siegel 0 1-2 1, Clare Converse 3 4-6 10, Maddy Moy 2 0-0 5, Kennedy Moore 0 1-2 1, Olivia Pate 0 0-0 0, Avery Chouinard 0 0-0 0, Macy Craver 0 0-0 0, Ivy Gannon 0 0-0 0. Totals 10 9-19 30.

3-point goals - Helena 2 (Walsh, English), Flathead 1 (Moy). Rebounds - Helena 50 (Bullock 10, Liz Heuiser 10), Flathead 38 (Winters 9, Converse 8). Fouls - Helena 18, Flathead 16. Fouled out - none. Turnovers - Helena 29, Flathead 20.

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Flathead's Molly Winters (34) pulls down a rebound against Helena High at Flathead High School on Saturday. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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Flathead's Kuyra Siegel (3) looks to shoot in between Helena High's Reegan Walsh (10) and Brooke Ark (11) at Flathead High School on Saturday. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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Flathead's Maddy Moy (5) dribbles around Helena High's Kylie Lantz (23) at Flathead High School on Saturday. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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Flathead's Bridget Crowley (20) spots up to shoot against Helena High's Avery Kraft (15) at Flathead High School on Saturday. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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Flathead's Maddy Moy (5) spots up for a three-pointer against Helena High at Flathead High School on Saturday. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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Flathead's Akilah Kubi (12) goes to the hoop against Helena High's Elizabeth Heuiser (25) at Flathead High School on Saturday. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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Flathead's Clare Converse (15) drives to the hoop against Helena High at Flathead High School on Saturday. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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Flathead's Kennedy Moore (14) shoots over Helena High's Kylie Lantz (23) at Flathead High School on Saturday. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)