HELENA -- The Helena High girls basketball team needed a spark after falling to 3-5 on the season on Feb. 4, and it came at the right time as the Bengals knocked off the Missoula Hellgate Knights, 38-37, on Thursday night.
The Knights frustrated the Bengals early in the contest and put up 16 points to Helena's 9. Neither team gained much ground in the second and third quarters, with the Knights putting up 10 points in the two quarters, while Helena High cut into the lead marginally with 14 points.
The fourth quarter is where McKayla Kloker and Riley Thennis came alive for the Bengals. Thennis put up nine of her game-high 15 points, while Kloker tallied six more in the final frame to boost the Bengals over the second-place Knights.
Bailee Sayler led the Knights with 12 points.
Across town, the Helena Capital Bruins retained their undefeated record and, thanks to their crosstown rivals, extended their lead in the Western AA with a win over the Butte Bulldogs, 49-25.
Capital's Dani Bartsch led the game with 12 points, while McKinlee Mihelish and Mashayla O'Malley both added nine points to the Bruins' effort. Trisha Ericson led the Bulldogs with 11 points on the night.