HELENA — In a non-conference Class AA battle, the Helena Capital girls basketball team jumped out to a quick lead on Butte High en route to a 56-33 win Tuesday night.
The Bruins scored the game’s first 14 points, not allowing the Bulldogs to score until the 3:02 mark in the first quarter. On four different occasions during the run Capital was able to force a turnover and capitalize on the offensive end.
“That’s a big emphasis for us,” Helena Capital head coach Katie Garcin-Forba said. “We’re long on the wings, and we want to take advantage of that and just really push the tempo a little bit and let that feed our offense. Then when we get in a half-court set, be patient and make teams guard us.”
Capital, however, would not gain any more separation in the first half than the 14-point lead it jumped out to. Butte cut the deficit to eight with an Ally Cleverly lay-in with 2:26 to play in the half, but Capital scored the final six points to push its lead to 32-18 at the break.
In the second half, the Bruins locked Butte down. Butte couldn’t get anything going to the basket the entire half. The Bulldogs made four field goals in the second half — three 3-pointers and a fast-break layup in the fourth quarter. The Bulldogs had to settle for contested jump shots, allowing Capital to push its lead to as large as 25 points.
“We take a lot of pride in our defense. The girls have set goals that are very defensive-oriented, because those are very team-oriented goals.” Garcin-Forba said. “So that’s our big focus right now, is team-oriented things that each girl can contribute to, and the defense, obviously, every one of them contributes to that.”
Helena Capital had four players score in double figures. Sydney Sheridan and Paige Bartsch each had 12 points to lead the way, while Dani Bartsch and Emily Kidder had 11. Cleverly led Butte with 10.
Helena Capital improves to 4-0 on the season, while Butte High falls to 1-2. The Bruins host Great Falls CMR on Thursday. Butte hosts Kalispell Flathead on Friday.