HELENA -- With a chance to gain sole possession of second place in the Western AA, the Helena Capital Bruins didn't balk at the opportunity.
The Bruins played host to the Flathead Braves and after a slow start to the night, the Bruins exploded in the second half to beat the Braves, 68-39, in Western AA boys basketball action. The Bruins' offensive onslaught featured three players with double-digit points: Parker Johnston led the game with 16 points and four assists, Brayden Koch knocked down three 3-pointers to finish the night with 15 points, and Malachi Syvrud came off the bench and added 12 points to the mix. Joston Cripe led the Braves with 14 points on the night.
With the Bruins' win, and a Missoula Sentinel loss to the Missoula Hellgate Knights, Capital now holds a grip on the second-place spot at 5-1 in conference play, while the Spartans fall to third with a 4-2 record.
Across town, the Helena High Bengals hosted the Kalispell Glacier Wolfpack. With a win, the Bengals would move in to a tie for fourth place in the Western AA, but they weren't able to get it done, falling to the Wolfpack, 56-55, in overtime.
The Bengals came out firing in the first half, scoring 20 points in the first quarter. After the first half the Bengals led 30-20.
The Wolfpack chipped away at the lead with a 20-point third quarter themselves, thanks to a barrage of 3s by the Glacier Wolfpack. Glacier forced an overtime period and came away after the four-minute frame, one point better than the Bengals.
In Kalispell, the Helena Capital girls kept rolling through the Western AA with a 57-30 win over the Braves, and much like the Helena High boys, the Bengals girls also dropped a close one to the Glacier Wolfpack, 51-49.