Leaders of the Pack

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Patrick O'Connell yells to fans after Glacier won the State AA Championship in Four Seasons Arena Saturday.

By JOSEPH TERRY

The Daily Inter Lake

GREAT FALLS — The Glacier boys shut down Bozeman with their best player on the bench, holding off the Hawks to win 46-42 and claim the first Class AA state basketball championship in school history on Saturday evening.

The Wolfpack controlled play all game, but watched a once commanding lead dwindle in the fourth quarter.

Up 35-28 entering the quarter, Bozeman cut the lead to 39-36 midway through the frame and got even as Glacier senior Jaxen Hashley fouled out. The leading scorer and rebounder for the Wolfpack and literal and figurative center of the offense and defense picked up his fifth foul with 3:30 to play and caught a technical foul for good measure, giving Bozeman a pair of free throws. Hawks senior Bailey Harlin nailed both shots to cut the Glacier lead to 39-38.

Even as the game tightened up and the crowd roared with anxiety, there wasn’t any panic on the Glacier bench.

“We still had it,” Glacier coach Mark Harkins said. “We have guys all the time that work in practice that we have complete confidence in. Credit to some of our senior leaders, Patrick (O’Connell) and Tadan (Gilman). They went out and they got it done.”

“I said, ‘We don’t need to panic,’” Gilman said.

“‘Just ’cause our big man down there is out doesn’t mean we need to panic. We have great perimeter shooters, we just need to trust in one another.’

“We each have our own individual skills. When we use those, we’re a really good team.”

Gilman immediately answered with a mid-range jumper and junior Caden Harkins followed a Bozeman layup with a pair of free throws after being fouled in the backcourt to give Glacier a 43-40 lead.

Caden Harkins rebounded the Hawks attempt to tie from deep and hit one of two free throws on the next trip down.

Bozeman hit a high-arcing teardrop in the lane to cut the lead back to two points with 26 seconds to play, but O’Connell grabbed the rebound in traffic on the Hawks final attempt to take the lead, a corner 3 that rimmed out and bounced high in the air before falling wide.

“I saw the ball go up, I was gonna jump as high as I could to get that,” O’Connell said. “No one else was going to get that from me. I had to go get it.”

Fouled after he came down, O’Connell calmly sank a pair of free throws to ice the win with six seconds to play.

“Nothing but confidence in my head,” O’Connell said. “I had to knock those things down to get it done.”

Glacier opened the game strong in the first quarter, reeling off nine straight points to take an 11-5 lead midway through the frame. Glacier led by nine points before hitting a lull entering the second, going scoreless for six minutes to allow Bozeman to retake the lead. The Wolfpack closed the half strong, however, holding Bozeman without a bucket for more than three minutes until a late 3 sent the game to half tied at 24-24.

The Glacier defense remained strong in the third quarter, holding the Hawks without a field goal in the quarter and without a point for the first six minutes in taking a 35-28 lead into the fourth.

Bozeman senior Lance McCutcheon hit a pair of 3s at the start of the fourth and Glacier missed the front end of a pair of bonus free throws to watch its lead slim. It still held a three-point advantage when Hashley picked up his fifth foul on a charge call.

His backups didn’t waiver however, leading Glacier to the first Class AA boys basketball title by a Kalispell school since 1989. It was Glacier’s first championship game since the school opened in 2007.

“They’ve played so hard,” Mark Harkins said. “They’ve competed. They’ve faced a lot of adversity, had a lot of guys step up that hadn’t had a lot of playing time and made big plays for us. It was a great team win.”

McCutcheon had a game-high 19 points and 10 rebounds to lead Bozeman.

O’Connell had a team-high 11 points to lead Glacier, which saw nine players score.

“It feels fantastic,” O’Connell said. “Everyone came together. Our coaches told us to believe. We’ve been believing the whole season. It feels fantastic.”

Glacier 18 6 11 11 – 46

Bozeman 11 13 4 14 – 42

Glacier (20-3) – Caden Harkins 0-4 5-6 5, Tadan Gilman 2-4 2-4 6, Collin Kazmier 1-1 0-0 2, Brec Rademacher 2-3 0-0 6, Jaxen Hashley 4-9 0-1 8, Pat O’Connell 3-3 5-7 11, Torin Bowden 2-5 0-0 4, Jack Desmul 1-1 0-2 2, Kody Jarvis 1-1 0-0 2. Totals: 16-31 12-20 46.

Bozeman (19-4) – Drew Huse 2-10 2-2 6, Callahan O’Reilly 4-11 1-4 10, Bailey Harlin 1-8 2-2 4, Morgan Hostetler 0-1 0-2 0, Mack Anderson 0-1 0-0 0, Lance McCutcheon 7-12 2-4 19, Kyler Ash 1-5 0-0 3. Totals: 15-18 7-14 42.

3-point goals – Glacier 2-7 (Rademacher 2-3), Bozeman 5-25 (McCutcheon 2-3, O’Reilly 1-4, Ash 1-5). Rebounds – Glacier 29 (Hashley 6), Bozeman 26 (O’Reilly 7). Total fouls – Glacier 17, Bozeman 19. Technical fouls – Hashley. Fouled out – Hashley.

Third Place

Great Falls 10 15 15 15 – 55

Skyview 24 18 18 23 – 83

Great Falls (16-9) – Hunter McKinney 2-3 0-0 6, Kendall Kynett 0-3 2-2 2, Blake Thelen 0-2 0-0 0, Kyle Torgerson 0-1 0-0 0, Kody Torgerson 4-8 4-4 12, Kellan Romsa 0-3 0-0 0, Kevin Boes 0-2 6-9 6, Kyler Winkler 2-6 0-0 4, Brendan Howard 7-13 5-6 23, Jesse Hatler 1-3 0-0 2. Totals: 16-44 17-21 55.

BILLINGS Skyview (18-4) – RayQuan Evans 13-16 8-8 38, Jeremiah Warner 1-3 0-1 2, Steven Fisher 4-8 0-0 9, Jerelle Big Hair 1-2 0-0 3, Tyler Kinghorn 3-4 0-0 6, Zach Schmidt 3-7 0-0 8, Zharon Richmond 3-5 2-3 8, Logan DeHaven 0-3 1-2 1, Gabe Tranel 0-2 0-0 0, Zach Schacht 2-3 2-3 6, Trey Berry 0-1 0-0 0, Alex Fox 1-2 0-0 2. Totals: 31-56 13-17 83.

3-point goals – Great Falls 6-15 (Howard 4-6, McKinney 2-3), Skyview 8-18 (Evans 4-5, Schmidt 2-4, Big Hair 1-2, Fisher 1-4). Rebounds – Great Falls 26 (Boes 5), Skyview 27 (Evans 8). Total fouls – Great Falls 17, Skyview 16. Fouled out – none.

Loser Out

Skyview 23 20 9 17 – 69

Hellgate 10 17 4 14 – 45

Billings Skyview – Stephen Fisher 5-16 1-3 11, RayQuan Evans 7-15 7-11 21, Tyler Kinghorn 2-3 0-0 4, Zach Schmidt 4-10 2-3 10, Zharon Richmond 0-1 0-0 0, Logan DeHaven 0-3 2-2 2, unknown 0-1 0-0 0, Jerelle Big Hair 6-8 0-0 17, Zach Schacht 1-3 0-0 2. Totals: 25-60 9-20 69.

Missoula Hellgate – Kade Lunday 0-6 0-0 0, Landon Youbles 2-3 1-5 5, Derrius Collins 3-14 0-0 8, Bridger Deden 2-8 1-4 5, Rollie Worster 7-18 3-5 19, Dylan Holst 1-4 2-2 4, Bridger Liston 0-0 1-2 1, Jordan Christian 1-3 1-2 3, unknown 0-2 0-0 0, unknown 0-1 0-0 0, unknown 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 16-60 9-20 45

3-pointers – Schmidt 2, Big Hair 5, Collins 2, Worster 2.

Great Falls 14 12 19 21 – 66

West 11 4 22 15 – 52

Great Falls – Kendall Kynett 3-4 1-2 10. Blake Thelen 3-6 1-2 8, Kyle Torgerson 0-0 2-4 2, Kody Torgerson 2-2 7-8 11, Kellen Romsa 1-2 2-2 5, Kevin Boes 0-1 2-3 2, Kyler Winkler 6-7 0-0 12, Brendan Howard 6-14 4-10 16. Totals: 21-36 19-31 66.

Billings West – Jake Bell 0-1 0-0 0, Bryson Demming 7-11 2-3 17, Braydon Demming 6-15 0-2 17, DJ Peretti 0-4 0-0 0, Carson Prokop 1-1 0-0 2, Cleveland Harvey 1-6 2-4 4, Jesse Owens 2-4 0-2 5, Cade Tyson 2-4 0-0 5, Teddy Krogh 0-1 0-0 0, Ben Tallman 1-1 0-0 2. Totals: 20-48 4-11 52.

3-pointers – Kynett 3, Thelen, Romsa, Bryson Demming, Braydon Demming 5, Owens, Tyson.

Girls

Championship

Helena 10 11 13 12 — 46

Sentinel 9 8 15 9 — 41

HELENA — Sam Holman 1-4 2-4 4, Kendra Kloker 2-4 2-2 8, Hailey Crawford 0-5 0-2 0, Kamden Hilborn 5-9 3-6 13, Taelyr Krantz 3-8 1-2 8, Jessica Ellsworth 2-5 0-0 5, Jamie Pickens 2-3 4-4 8. Totals: 15-38 12-20 46.

MISSOULA SENTINEL —Lauryn Bingham 2-3 0-0 4, Emma Blakely 2-7 1-1 5, Grace Stayner 0-1 2-2 2, Kylie Frohlich 0-2 0-0 0, Jordyn Schweyen 6-11 4-4 18, Kayla Daily 4-7 0-0 8, Bronwyn McCormick 2-6 0-2 4. Totals: 16-37 7-9 41.

3-point goals—Kloker 2, Krantz, Ellsworth, Schweyen 2.

Third Place

Senior 17 6 4 15 — 42

Bozeman 8 5 13 8 — 34

BILLINGS SENIOR — Mariah Linse 2-3 2-4 6, Kola Bad Bear 4-10 2-2 12, Samantha Bonenberger 1-3 0-0 3, Elizabeth LaRance 0-1 0-0 0, Courtney Bad Bear 2-5 0-0 5, Elle Ostermiller 2-8 2-2 8, Sydney Norwood 1-2 2-2 4, Brittanee Fisher 2-4 0-0 4. Totals: 14-36-8-10 42.

BOZEMAN — Ayla Embry 1-8 1-2 4, Marjorie Glenn 0-1 0-0 0, Riana Rogers 3-10 4-4 11, Ashlyn Lewis 0-2 0-0 0, Brooklyn Mailey 0-1 0-0 0, Elaine Chandler 3-8 2-3 8, Amber Tarabochia 0-7 2-2 2, Alex Carey 3-8 3-3 9. Totals: 10-45 12-14 34.

3-point goals— K. Bad Bear 2 Bonenberger, C. Bad Bear, Ostermiller 2, Embry, Rogers.

Loser Out

West 12 2 6 8 – 28

Bozeman 10 7 7 13 – 37

Billings West – Raquel Jimenez 1-7 5-8 7, Brianna Shirley 6-15 0-0 13, Ambreya Windy Boy 1-2 2-2 5, Taylor Kappel 0-5 0-0 0, Shayla Montegue 1-3 0-0 3, Rollie Worster 0-5 0-0 0, Megan Brown 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 9-38 7-10 28.

Bozeman – Ayla Embry 2-8 0-0 5, Elaine Chandler 1-5 2-4 4, Amber Tarabochia 2-5 2-2 6, Alex Carey 3-6 3-5 9, Majorie Glenn 1-5 2-2 4, Ashlyn Lewis 1-2 0-0 3, Brooklyn Mailey 0-4 0-0 0, Hannah Wheeler 1-2 4-7 6. Totals: 11-37 13-20 37.

3-pointers – Shirley, Windy Boy, Montegue, Embry, Lewis.

CMR 11 8 16 9 – 44

Senior 17 1 13 18 – 49

C.M. Russell – Akasia Denton 2-4 0-0 6, Zuzu Rudio 0-2 0-0 0, Mady Skawinski 2-12 4-7 9, Tristen Achenbach 1-5 6-10 8, Sam Payne 0-2 0-0 0, Kayci Edwards 0-2 1-2 1, Addison Gardner 1-5 3-6 5, Kyra Willis 5-10 2-3 15. Totals: 11-41 16-28 44.

Billings Senior – Mariah Linse 1-6 5-7 7, Kola Bad Bear 9-16 5-11 24, Samantha Bonenberger 1-10 1-2 3, Elizabeth LaRance 0-2 0-0 0, Courtney Bad Bear 0-5 0-0 0, Eliie Ostermiller 4-14 0-0 12, Sydney Norwood 1-3 1-2 3. Totals: 16-56 12-22 49.

3-pointers – Denton 2, Skawinski, Willis 3, K. Bad Bear, Ostermiller 4.

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