HELENA — The Helena Capital boys basketball team is a confident group.
“We can do a lot of damage, whether it’s shooting 3s, driving to the hoop, getting out in the passing lanes. We can be a threat when we want to be, but we have to stay confident and not arrogant,” said senior Trevor Swanson.
The latter isn’t something Bruins coach Guy Almquist has to worry about. His program is consistently level-headed and rarely over-confident. This year’s club has shown potential, matching the motto of “get better today.”
“It’s a fun group to watch. They really share the ball, and I think that’s one of the things we do well. I think that’s why it’s fun for people to watch us to play, is because we get up and down the court, we’re sharing the ball, we don’t care who scores. Where we’ve gotten better throughout the year is defensively,” Almquist said. “Over the course of the year you’ve seen the shooting percentages against us drop, you’ve seen turnovers forced go up, and of course that leads to our offense. We know that’s important and it’s something we’re still trying to get better at.”
“Our (other) motto is ‘defense wins games,’ so that’s what comes down at the end of the games, and if our defense needs to be good enough, it will help us get the win,” added Swanson.
With the improved defense, hopefully, comes a more up-tempo pace, not frantic, but composed. The Bruins believe that’s where Friday night’s game against the rival Bengals will be won.
“I think they’ll probably slow it down more than we’ll slow it down,” said Almquist. “They’re a tough team. They have good competitors, I have a lot of respect for them, what (Helena High coach Brandon Day) is doing. They have a lot of good players, but it starts with Logan Brown and Hayden Ferguson. We have to make sure we get those two under control on both ends of the court. They’re very active defensively, and they’re very active offensively, especially on the offensive glass, so that’s key for us.”
“They slow the pace down, and our game is pushing the pace,” agreed Swanson. “If they slow us down, we’re not going to be able to excel at our type of level.”
The Bruins and Bengals tip off at 7:15 p.m. at Helena High. Helena Capital students will also be holding a silent auction fundraiser for student-athlete Alex Barker, who is in Salt Lake City receiving treatments for leukemia. For more on the fundraiser and how to help, please click here.