HELENA – Missoula Big Sky wasn’t willing to miss the opportunity at one more crosstown game in 2017.
The Eagles picked up a road playoff win against Helena Capital on Tuesday, 47-36 to advance to Friday’s win-and-get-in contest against Missoula Sentinel.
Alex Simmons led the Eagles with 13 points, while Nick Yovetich and Nick Wakai chipped in with 12 each in the win. Big Sky held a 25-16 advantage at halftime.
Bradley Haller concluded his Capital career with a team-high 12 points. Xavier Melice had eight in the loss.
Capital had just beaten the Eagles last weekend to clinch the No. 6 seed and actually swept the season series against Big Sky. But Simmons and company were determined to keep their season along.
“We mentioned that to our team that it is very difficult to beat anyone three times,” said Big Sky head coach Bryan Ferriter. “It was something that was said earlier in the week to the boys and I think they latched onto that and came out and said, ‘Heck it’s the playoffs. All that other stuff was preseason.’ Everybody right now in the state is 0-0, it’s the second season so we forgot about our past and started our new season and at the moment we are 1-0 in our new season.”
Big Sky players clearly bought into the message and hope to keep their newfound momentum as they seek another upset Friday against the Spartans.
“You just can’t really listen to those people who say you can’t do it, you know?” said junior Carl Butz. “All week at school everyone was like, ‘Are you sure you’re going to win?’ But we just denied that and just thought that we were going to win and gave it our all.”
The Eagles and Spartans will tip off at 6 p.m. on Friday night with the winner advancing to the Class AA state tournament in Great Falls next Thursday.