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Bravettes stay calm, improve to 7-0

by FRITZ NEIGHBOR
Daily Inter Lake | January 14, 2022 11:52 PM

There are many times to call a calming time out in high school basketball, but seconds into the third quarter might be a little early.

It was conceivable, in unbeaten Flathead’s 42-32 Western AA girls basketball win over Helena Friday. A 12-2 lead had slowly shrunk to 18-17 by halftime, thanks to a closing 10-0 Bengal surge highlighted by two Avery Kraft 3-pointers.

When the Bravettes opened the third quarter with an unexpected pass that Helena’s Alex Bullock took in for a layup, they were suddenly behind.

Just not for long.

“It was tempting to call time out and get them settled,” second-year Flathead coach Sam Tudor said, after his club improved to 7-0, 3-0 in the Western AA. “But I really wanted them to do that on their own. And they did a pretty good job.”

It was Avery Chouinard that put Flathead back in front for good with a basket. Back-to-back buckets from Kennedy Moore made it 25-19; Olivia Pate’s reverse layup started a 9-0 surge that bridged into the fourth quarter.

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Flathead's Akilah Kubi (12) draws contact on her way to the basket against Helena High at Flathead High School on Friday, Jan. 14. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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Flathead's Maddy Moy (5) sinks a jump shot against Helena High at Flathead High School on Friday, Jan. 14. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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Flathead's Clare Converse (15) shoots over Helena High's Alex Bullock (21) at Flathead High School on Friday, Jan. 14. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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Flathead's Olivia Pate draws a foul on Helena High's Kim Feller (31) as she looks to shoot at Flathead High School on Friday, Jan. 14. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

Clare Converse matched Moy for team-high with nine points, including a pretty drive and spin in the midst of that 9-0 burst. She also had five rebounds and a blocked shot.

“Clare is such a good leader, that I know when she’s on the court, even when things are scrambling, she’s going to have that basketball IQ kick in,” Tudor said of his lone senior. “Probably the most useful thing we have out there, is her making sure we have things squared away. She’s great at it.”

Pate posted up and scored ahead of Maddy Moy’s steal and layup for a 34-22 lead with 6:00 left, and Flathead was on its way.

“We call it the ‘Liv Show.’ We’ve seen that in practice,” Tudor said. “Sometimes she takes on an unassuming demeanor, but she can make those plays for sure. I’m really happy for her.”

Moore added eight points, nine boards, a block and three steals. Moy had six steals and four boards. If the Bravettes were at times impatient with their shots, they were equally hurried on defense. A pressuring zone pushed the Bengals (3-3, 0-2) into 23 turnovers.

“I was really happy with the defense,” Tudor said. “We have a lot of weapons, and they were keying on Maddy, and rightfully so. Maddy’s just such a team player she got us going down toward the end.

Flathead plays host to defending AA champion Helena Capital today, at 2 p.m.

Helena 2 15 5 10 - 32

Flathead 12 6 12 12 - 42

HELENA — Alex Bullock 4-10 2-2 10, Logan Todorovich 0-1 2-2 2, Kim Feller 0-4 -4 2, Maloree English 1-5 0-2 3, Avery Kraft 4-11 1-2 11, Emma Stilson 0-0 0-0 0, Madi Todorovich 1-2 0-0 2, Lauren Heuiser 1-1 0-0 2, Ashley Koenig 0-1 0-0 0. Toytals 11-35 7-12 32.

FLATHEAD — Akilah Kubi 1-9 0-0 2, Kennedy Moore 4-12 0-0 8, Clare Converse 3-9 2-6 9, Maddy Moy 3-9 2-2 9, Avery Chouinard 2-3 0-0 5, Olivia Pate 2-3 1-3 5, Ivy Gannon 1-2 2-6 4. Totals 16-47 7-17 42.

3-point goals — Helena 3-15 (Kraft 2-7, English 1-5), Flathead 3-8 (Converse 1-2, Chouinard 1-2, Moy 1-3). Rebounds — Helena 35 (Bullock 13), Flathead 31 (Moore 9). Fouls — Helena 18, Flathead 13. Fouled out — Stilson, L. Todorovich, Kubi. Steals — Helena 7 (L.Todorovich 2), Flathead 12 (Moy 6). Blocks — Helena 3 (Heuiser 2, Feller), Flathead 2 (Moore, Converse). Turnovers — Helena 23, Flathead 12. Technical foul — Helena bench.

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