GREAT FALLS — The State AA girls basketball tournament got started on Wednesday with two first-round games. Helena Capital used an explosive second half to run away from Billings Skyview in the first game, while Billings West took down Kalispell Glacier to advance.
Helena Capital 51, Billings Skyview 34
Dani Bartsch recorded a double-double and Helena Capital pulled away in the second half to beat Billings Skyview 51-34 in the opening game of the State AA girls basketball tournament at Four Seasons Arena in Great Falls.
Neither team came out strong in the early minutes, as the officials called nine fouls in the first quarter. Capital led 8-2 after the first frame, but Skyview responded in the second to take a 17-16 lead into halftime.
Capital took control in the third quarter behind strong efforts from Dani Bartsch and Mara McGinley. Bartsch scored 10 of her 14 points in the second half and finished with 18 rebounds. McGinley scored all of her 12 points in the half.
Paige Bartsch also scored 12 for Capital. Brooke Berry led Skyview with 14 points and Cami Harris added 11.
The Bruins will play in the semifinal round on Friday at 5:30 p.m. Skyview plays in a loser-out game on Friday at 9 a.m.
Billings West 37, Kalispell Glacier 28
Kaycee Rider scored 16 points to lead Billings West to an opening-round 37-28 win over Kalispell Glacier at the State AA girls tournament.
The game featured four lead changes in the first half, but Billings West began to separate in the third. The Golden Bears led by as many as 18 points in the third quarter. Glacier cut the deficit back down to single digits late in the fourth, but West never relinquished control.
Rider was the only Bear to score in double digits, while Emma Anderson led the Wolfpack with 10 points.
West will play Capital in Friday's 5:30 p.m. semifinal. Glacier will take on Skyview in loser-out action on Friday at 9 a.m.