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Glacier ousts Hellgate on way to taking 3rd

by Daily Inter Lake
| March 5, 2022 11:00 AM

HELENA — Out of a 3-9 start came a third-place finish for the Glacier Wolfpack, who won twice Saturday at the Western AA Divisional boys basketball tournament.

First the Pack upended Missoula Hellgate 51-39 in the morning loser-out round; then they beat Butte High 61-54 for their seventh win in 10 games.

Connor Sullivan scored a total of 31 points in the two games; in the third-place game Kyson Wagner keyed what seems to be a constantly productive bench with a game-high 15 points.

Glacier (10-12) will next play at noon Thursday at the First Interstate Arena in Billings, at the State AA. It’s their second straight trip after missing the previous two.

“We did struggle for a while at the beginning of the season,” a happy Mark Harkins, Glacier’s coach, said. “But we kept talking. The kids were awesome, and kept working, and we were just looking for the right chemistry.

“It was an incredible team weekend.”

Glacier 61, Butte 54

Many of Wagner’s points were timely. The 6-foot-1 senior answered a 3-pointer by Butte’s Tocher Lee — cutting Glacier’s lead to 43-36 — with an old-fashioned three-point play, then another basket down low to make it 48-36 at 1:57 of the third quarter.

After Bo Demarais hit a three to bring Butte to 53-46 in the fourth, Wagner scored on a put-back and a low-post feed for a 57-46 lead with 3:15 left.

Butte closed to 59-54 on a Garret Sharp basket in cluster time. Glacier got single free throws from Kaid Buls and Cohen Kastelitz to close out the scoring.

In the end the reserves piled up 26 points.

“The kids that came off the bench for us this week were huge,” Harkins said. “They were contributors. They didn’t just keep us going, they took us up a notch.

“Tyler McDonald had a great weekend. Kyson Wagner did a great job coming off the bench. Cohen Kastelitz had a great weekend.”

Noah Dowler had a strong game against Butte with 10 points and 11 rebounds. He and Sullivan had eight points in the first half, and Sullivan finished with 13.

Kooper Klobucar, the Bulldogs’ 6-6 center, led Butte (6-16) with 12 points and eight rebounds. He hit two of Butte’s 10 3-pointers, in 35 attempts.

Third-place game

Butte 11 17 13 13 - 54

Glacier 18 18 12 13 - 61

BUTTE — Jonas Sherman 0-1 0-0 0, Kenley Leary 3-9 0-0 7, Kooper Klobucar 4-11 2-2 12, Jace Stenson 3-13 0-1 8, Cameron Gurnsey 2-9 0-0 4, Tocher Lee 2-7 1-2 7, Garret Sharp 1-1 0-0 2, Colton Shea 0-2 0-0 0, Alex Watson 0-1 0-0 0, Dylan Bache 1-2 3-4 5, Bo Demarais 2-4 0-0 6, Ruesu Batterman 1-1 0-0 3. Totals 19-61 6-9 54.

GLACIER — Nolan Hyde 0-2 0-0 0, Will Salonen 2-5 0-0 5, Noah Dowler 5-8 0-0 10, Connor Sullivan 5-12 2-4 13, Ty Olsen 3-8 0-0 7, Kyson Wagner 6-9 3-4 15, Cohen Kastelitz 2-2 1-2 5, Tyler McDonald 1-4 0-0 3, Xavier Stout 1-6 0-0 2, Jake Turner 0-2 0-0 0, Kaid Buls 0-1 1-4 1, Travys Agan 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 25-59 7-16 61.

3-point goals — Butte 10-35 (Demarais 2-4, Stenson 2-6, Klobucar 2-7, Lee 2-7, Leary 1-5), Glacier 4-15 (Salonen 1-1, McDonald 1-2, Olsen 1-2, Sullivan 1-5). Rebounds — Butte 41 (Klubucar 8), Glacier 42 (Dowler 11). Fouls — Butte 18, Glacier 12. Fouled out — none. Assists — Butte 10 (Lee 4), Glacier 9 (Dowler 3). Steals — Butte 3 (3 with 1), Glacier 6 (Turner 2, Salonen 3). Blocks — Butte 3 (3 with 1), Glacier 2 (Salonen, Dowler). Turnovers — Butte 11, Glacier 9.

Glacier 51, Hellgate 39

For the second straight season the Glacier Wolfpack knocked out Missoula Hellgate to make the State AA boys tournament, this time by scoring the final 14 points of the game.

Sullivan scored 18 points to lead the Wolfpack.

Hellgate (16-5) bowed out for the straight year after coming in as the No. 2 seed. Last year, in a pandemic-induced sudden death playoff, Glacier scored at the buzzer to win 45-43.

This one was decided earlier. Sullivan’s two free throws with 4:30 left tied the game at 39-39 and started the pivotal run. Kastelitz — part of another strong effort from Glacier’s bench — scored with 3:39 to give the Pack the lead for good.

“Cohen played most JV all year,” Harkins said of the 6-foot-2 junior. “He just kept coming on and getting better and better. He got the opportunity and made the most of it. He made huge play when he was in there, in both games today.”

After Connor Dick missed two freebies for Hellgate, Sullivan and Will Salonen hit single free throws to push the gap to 43-39 with 1:51 remaining.

The rest of the game consisted of four Hellgate misses and Glacier hitting 8 of 10 free throws — including two by Sullivan after a technical on the Knights’ bench.

Ty Olsen had 11 points for Glacier; McDonald had 10 off the bench.

McDonald and Nolan Hyde combined for seven points as Glacier ate up a 31-24 deficit in the final 4:00 of the third quarter.

“The support of the bench for those on the floor was amazing,” Harkins said. “We don’t have too many people down here watching, and we had to be our fans, and the way they supported each other was huge.

“It was a great team weekend, That’s what I would call it. I’m just really proud of the kids.”

Loser out

Glacier 12 12 12 15 - 51

Hellgate 8 16 11 4 - 39

GLACIER — Nolan Hyde 1-6 1-2 4, Will Salonen 1-3 3-4 5, Noah Dowler 0-2 0-0 0, Connor Sullivan 3-10 11-13 18, Ty Olsen 3-5 5-6 11, Tyler McDonald 4-6 1-1 10, Kysen Wagner 0-0 0-0 0, Cohen Kastelitz 1-2 1-1 3, Kaid Buls 0-0 0-0 0, Adam Nidunen 0-0 0-0 0, Xavier Stout 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 13-34 22-28 51.

MISSOULA HELLGATE — Asher Topp 0-2 4-4 4, Connor Dick 4-14 8-10 16, Brogan Callaghan 1-5 0-0 2, Ian Finch 1-2 0-0 2, Dre Bowie 3-9 0-0 7, Easton Sant 2-6 0-0 4, Tommy Nilson 0-0 0-0 0, Leo Filardi 0-0 0-0 0, Donovyn Headswift 1-1 2-2 4, Luke Hoppe 0-0 0-0 0, Mario Rosemond 0-0 0-0 0, Chance McNulty 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 12-39 14-16 39.

3-point goals — McDonald 1-2, Hyde 1-3, Sullivan 1-6, Wagner 0-1, Salonen 0-2), Hellgate 1-6 (Bowie 1-3, Sant 0-1, Dick 0-2). Rebounds — Glacier 25 (Dowler 8), Hellgate 27 (Finch 6). Fouls — Glacier 14, Hellgate 20. Fouled out — none. Technical foul — Hellgate bench. Assists — Glacier 5 (Olsen 3), Hellgate 4 (Finch 2). Steals — Glacier 6 (Sullivan 3), Hellgate 8 (Dick 3). Blocks — Glacier 2 (Dowler 2). Hellgate 2 (Sant, Callaghan). Turnovers — Glacier 14, Hellgate 14.

Capital 64, Big Sky 60

Brayden Koch scored 21 of his 31 points after halftime as Helena Capital (19-2) won its first Divisional title since 2014.

The senior guard scored 15 straight points in the second half as the Bruins made up a 28-22 halftime deficit. His 17-footer put Capital up 43-41 early in the fourth quarter.

Visibly tired, Koch gave up a steal and layup to Tre Reed and went to the bench with 6:00 left. By the time he re-entered the Bruins were up 51-46 thanks in part to four points from Nick Michelotti. Curry hit a three for Capitall to make it 54-48, and Koch hit six free throws in the final 2:00 to offset a pair of threes by Reed, who had 13 points. Caden Bateman added 12 for the Eagles (11-10).