HELENA — Through two days of play, the Missoula Hellgate Knights and the Kalispell Flathead girls proved that they are the top two teams in the Western AA after notching wins that will send them to the Western AA championship on Saturday.
1W) Missoula Hellgate 53, 4W) Helena High 23
The Helena High Bengals struggled against the Missoula Hellgate Knights in the Western AA Divisional semi-finals, losing 53-23.
Leading their respective teams in the first half: Knights' Bailee Sayer with 14 points and Bengals' Alex Bullock with 4 points. The Knights lead at the half by a 20-point margin, 29-9.
The Bengals ended up losing their first-half high-scorer Bullock with 5:50 left in the 4th due to injury. Bullock finished the game with nine points, still leading the team in points.
The Knights continued their offensive onslaught in the effort, knocking off the 4th seeded Helena High Bengals by 30 points.
2W) Kalispell Flathead 42, 3W) Helena Capital 31
In a game where momentum swung rapidly for both teams, the Kalispell Flathead Bravettes knocked off the Helena Capital Bruins in the Western AA Divisional semi-finals, 42-31.
Neither team was truly effective on offense early in the contest, but the Bravettes found themselves on top midway early in the second at 10-1. From there the Bruins found some life and were able to bring the deficit to just four points at the half.
In the second half, it appeared that late swing carried over in the Bruins' favor as they were able to knot the game up at 21-21, but that would be as far as their momentum traveled. Flathead was able to regain their confidence on defense and held the Bruins offense to a minimum through the late stages of the game and stake their claim in the championship round with the victory.
The Knights and the Bravettes will meet in the Western AA Divisional Championship at Carroll College at 8 p.m. on Saturday.