HELENA -- The Helena Capital Bruins will round out the first half of their conference schedule on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 when they take on Kalispell Flathead and Glacier.
The Capital girls come into the next two games sitting atop the Western AA and undefeated. They haven't been without a close call or two, though. On Dec. 21 and 22 the Bruins played host to Billings West and Senior, and in their first game of the tilt, the Golden Bears nearly ended the Bruins' undefeated streak long before it started, narrowly losing 43-42. Capital head coach Katie Garcin-Forba said she expects her team to take that experience into their next two games.
"Having to go back-to-back, having a quick turnaround. Obviously, that was an emotional win for us against West, where they battled back and were able to win that one, then we had to turn around and play Senior -- another good team," said Garcin-Forba.
The Bruins had a home-court advantage when they took on Senior and West, but the next two games they'll be on the road, and Garcin-Forba said her team will need to be able to move on after the first game.
"I think the mental preparation part of it, they understand that. We want to be excited about games if we have success, but then be able to flip the switch and get ready for the next team," said Garcin-Forba.
The Bruin boys will have the home-court advantage when they welcome in both the Flathead Braves and the Glacier Wolfpack, but even so the Bruins will still play two games in less than 24 hours. Boys head coach Guy Almquist said he knows he and his team have to be ready for anything either team can throw at them, but the Bruins are less worried about the specifics when it comes to their preparations.
"You've got to be able to adjust on the fly, and that's why I think it's important that in your practices and you're working on stuff, being prepared for everything and shell-drilling every scenario," said Almquist. "You're not going to go into a game memorizing the other team's sets that other team plays. I've always viewed that as a pretty big waste of time. You've got to be ready for everything."
The Helena Capital boys will have to be ready for everything when they host the Flathead Braves on Jan. 31 at 7:15 p.m. and the Glacier Wolfpack on Feb. 1 at 2 p.m., while the Capital girls will look to draw on their experiences when they follow the same schedule in Kalispell.