Make that 25-straight wins for Missoula Hellgate’s boys basketball team and 33 consecutive regular-season victories in a row. Cave LaRance and Beckett Arthur each scored 17 points as the Knights went on the road and beat Helena Capital 55-44 on Saturday afternoon. “It was a game of runs,” Hellgate coach Jeff Hays said. “Two games in a row where there have been runs. They started with a good one. I thought we battled back. We started the second half on a run that gave us some separation. We knew they weren’t going to quit.” LaRance made five of Hellgate’s seven 3-pointers on the evening, including back-to-back threes to begin the second half. Those triples broke a 27-27 tie at the break and sent the Knights on an 11-0 run out of the locker room. “We made a good play to end the half and then we talked about the first three minutes of the second half,” Hays said. “I think every coach does, I don’t think it’s just me that’s saying, 'Hey, the first three minutes are important.' We were also able to make a couple of adjustments that we wanted to do defensively.”
Missoula Sentinel trailed Kalispell Glacier by two after the third quarter, but rallied for a 61-52 win on Saturday afternoon. The Spartans got 3-pointers in the final frame from Tony Frohlich-Fair, Alex Germer and Hayden Kolb to help outscore the Wolfpack 19-8 in the fourth quarter. Frohlich-Fair finished with 16 points while Germer hit two triples on the way to 13 points. Kolb finished with 11 points, while Jaxon Olsen led Glacier with 11. Germer had six of his 13 points in the fourth quarter and the Spartans move to 2-0.
Big Sky led big in the first half against Kalispell Flathead, but the Braves were able to pull out a tight 66-65 win over the Eagles in overtime. Ezra Epperly scored the game-winner on a put back with 23 seconds left on the way to a team-high 14 points, 10 of which came after halftime. The Eagles had a chance to win the game on a final possession, but Louis Sanders and Chaz LaDue each had shots go out as time ran out in overtime. Kade Olsen led Big Sky with 19 points, while LaDue added on 15 and Sanders 12. The Eagles were 4 of 20 from 3-point range, while Flathead hit 7 of 26 3-point shots.
Deer Lodge got its second win in two nights, downing Bigfork 53-51 at home. The Wardens trailed by two after the third quarter, but used a 16 point performance from Aidan Thompson and 15 points from Logan Nicholson to outscore the Vikings 18-14 in the final frame. Walker Fisher had 18 points to lead Bigfork.
Clark Fork closed out St. Regis with a 20 point fourth quarter to down the Tigers 51-48 in 14-C action. Carson Callison had 22 points and Aaron Waddle added on 20 for the Mountain Cats. Andrew Sanford had 18 points and Caleb Ball had 14 for St. Regis.
Valley Christian pulled away in the second half to top Seeley-Swan 63-43. First-year Eagles head coach Jesse Boone is a Blackhawks alum and was coaching in his first game against his alma mater. Valley Christian led 32-23 at halftime and 44-33 after three quarters.
Loyola Sacred Heart led by three at halftime, but fell late to Anaconda 65-60. The Rams pushed early in the fourth quarter, but were outscored by three in the frame. Will Burns led the way for Loyola with 21 points and Parker Pratt added on 10. Eli Saltenberger and Landon Hurley both scored 21 points for the Copperheads.
Drummond downed Lincoln 63-12 as the Lynx had just five players rostered. The Trojans got 12 points from Reece Hilmo and 10 from Trey Philips. Teegan Tybo had four points for the Lynx. Drummond hit 29 field goals and went 3 of 5 from the free throw line.
St. Ignatius took down Plains 62-27. Isaiah Nasewtewa scored 12 points to lead the Bulldogs. Parker Flock had eight points for the Horsemen.
Philipsburg got a 44-31 win over Darby. The Prospectors led 21-17 and move to 2-1 on the season. Libby beat Browning, 48-45. Thompson Falls beat Eureka, 64-60. The Lions trailed by 23 and made a gallant comeback bid that fell short.
Missoula Loyola had its 31-game win streak snapped as it fell to Anaconda after a strong Copperhead fourth-quarter surge, 58-50. The Breakers led 44-42 after three quarters, but Anaconda outscored them 16-6 in the final quarter to pull away for the home win. Natalie Clevenger had 20 points while Lani Walker added on 17. Megan Reich had 15 points to lead the Copperheads.
Clark Fork downed St. Regis 48-22 behind 16 points from Isabella Pereira. Darby Haskins and Payton Milender each added 11 for the Mountain Cats. St. Regis was led by nine points from Macy Hill and falls to 2-1 overall and 1-1 in the 14-C. Clark Fork led 22-5 at halftime and 40-10 after three quarters.
Florence used a big fourth quarter to pull away from Frenchtown, downing the Broncs 47-39. Kylie Kovatch and Kasidy Yeoman were both in double figures for the Falcons, scoring 20 points and 13 points, respectively. Demi Smith had 12 points and Lauren Demmons chipped in 11 for Frenchtown.
Philipsburg doubled up Darby, pushing past the Tigers for a 54-25 win. The Prospectors got 20 points from Asha Comings and another 13 from Rachel Ward in the win. Philipsburg led 35-5 at halftime. Amber Anderson had 13 points to lead Darby.
St. Ignatius moved to 2-0 with a big win over Plains, topping the Trotters 70-37. Kooper Page had 15 points, Sydney Brander added on 14 and Madyson Currie and Izzy Evans each had 10 for the Bulldogs. Page was 5 of 8 behind he 3-point line and Brander tacked on three triples as well. Kimberly Curry had 15 points to lead Plains.
Seeley-Swan had little issue with Valley Christian, winning 79-25. Eureka topped Thompson Falls, 49-42.
In a hastily put together makeup game, Columbia Falls jumped out to a 25-7 first quarter lead on the Class B Bigfork Valkyries and never looked back in a dominating 77-42 win. Columbia Falls was led by Hannah Schweikert with 21 points, Madysen Hoerner 11 and Maddie Robinson with 10. The Valkyries top scorers were Emma Berreth with 16 points and Callie Gambala chipping in 7 points.
The Big Sky girls lost 47-40 to visiting Kalispell Flathead. It marked the first win for Bravettes coach Sam Tudor, who led the Bigfork boys to Class B state titles in 2018 and 2019. No stats were provided.
Frenchtown recorded big wins over Libby-Troy (66-9) and Browning (68-6) in a pair of duals on Saturday. John Warner had a pin and a major decision for the Broncs. Noah Rausch also had two wins for Frenchtown and Eli Warner recorded two wins as well.
Junior A hockey
The Missoula Jr. Bruins won a thriller at Butte, 6-5. Mi-Kwan Tallman led the Jr. Bruins with two goals. Teammate Pablo Frank had a goal and two assists.