HELENA -- Both the Helena High boys and girls basketball teams are off to a tumultuous start to the Western AA season. Both teams sit at 2-3 after alternating wins and losses across their first five games.
Now headed into the final two games of the first half of the conference season against Kalispell Flathead and Glacier, both teams know two wins in two days could potentially set off a chain reaction of confidence that resonates through the season's second half.
After the Bengal girls' 2-3 start to the season, they sit just one game off of fourth place in the standings -- right behind Kalispell Glacier, which is why head coach Eric Peterson said the most important win for the Bengals' next two games is the first one.
"All our eggs are in Glacier's basket right now, because that's who we play on Friday. We'll do a couple things throughout the week with that we'll be incorporating both game plans, but our game plan is just Glacier right now, because that's who we play Friday night," said Peterson. "Then after the game Friday, we'll meet in in the hotel and go through what our plan will be for Flathead."
The Helena High boys are currently riding the exact same train. Through the first five games, they've alternated wins and losses to the tune of a 2-3 record. Tthe Bengal boys sit just one game off of fourth place, also right behind Kalispell Glacier, and they'll play host to the Wolfpack for the penultimate game of the first half of the Western AA season.
In theory, the Bengals would be using a similar plan of attack for their next two games, but that's where the similarities end. Helena boys head coach Brandon Day said preparing for both teams at one time is a fun mental and physical challenge for his team and himself.
"That is a challenge, for sure, preparing the for both teams. As you watch film, you have to make sure that you have a game plan developed for both games," said Day. "It's also a fun part of it, because that's tournament-like, so it's nice to practice that and have to play that, and condition-wise and preparation is good for good for the boys and for us."
The Helena High girls will round out the first half of the season on the road. They'll face Kalispell Glacier on Jan. 31 at 7:15 p.m., and then take on Flathead on Feb. 1 at 1 p.m. The Helena High Boys will follow a similar timeline when they host the Glacier and Flathead boys, but they'll play Flathead at 2 p.m. on Feb. 1.