Helena Capital coach Guy Almquist called it “a hustle play.”
Connor Dowdy, a 6’ 6″ senior center, gathered in a missed shot by a driving Will Hunthausen for an easy basket with 1.8 seconds remaining in overtime to give Helena Capital a hard-fought 52-50 victory over Glacier in Western AA boys basketball action Saturday afternoon at Glacier High School.
“You have to put yourself in the right spot,” Almquist said of Dowdy, who was held in check for most of the game and finished with 11 points and six rebounds.
Glacier (6-12 overall, 3-7 league) had to go the length of the court after that, but a long inbounds pass was gathered in by Capital as time expired.
“That was an emotional victory,” Almquist said.
“We’ve had a tough couple weeks. We have struggled with our confidence so it was so nice to see us galvanize like that in the last few quarters and make some winning plays.”
Glacier, fresh off a last second 37-36 home victory on Friday over Helena High, was in command early. The Wolfpack pulled away from a 10-10 tie to take a 27-16 lead at the half.
The Wolfpack used a scrappy zone to deny the inside game to Capital, forcing the Bruins to rely on outside shooting.
Capital had few clean shots at the basket.
A pull up jumper by Tadan Gilman early in the third quarter and a baseline drive by Noah Lindsay extended Glacier’s lead to 31-16 with 5:03 showing.
Dowdy hit two free throws after a five-minute scoring drought for the Bruins and followed seconds later with a one-handed jam after a steal.
Capital (9-9, 4-6) was suddenly energized.
Two free throws by Daniel O’Malley and a 3-pointer by Danny Burton now had Capital within six, trailing 31-25.
Glacier’s Blayne Bailey answered with a trey and the quarter ended with Glacier still on top 34-27.
Capital’s Riley Lamb hit two free throws after Bailey scored.
A traditional three-point play by Lindsay had Glacier in front 38-29 and the Wolfpack held a 10-point edge after trey from the baseline by Jake Norberg with 4:38 remaining in regulation.
But Capital took advantage of a cold-shooting Glacier squad and capitalized off a couple of quick turnovers off its press to go on a 10-0 run and tie it at 41 with 1:40 to go.
Two free throws by Bradley Haller gave Capital a 43-41 edge with 52 seconds left.
After both teams added a free throw, Glacier was down 44-42 with 17.8 remaining. Lindsay responded with two nothing-but-net charity shots with 3.3 seconds left to force overtime.
A layup by Jake Willich off the opening tip to start the extra session had Glacier back in front 46-44.
Trevor Larson hit a 3 and Dowdy followed with a score from close range as Capital went on top 49-46.
A drive by Drake Dulin with 1:58 left had Glacier back to within one, trailing 49-48.
Following a Capital free throw by Hunthausen, a turnaround jumper by Lindsay from the free throw line tied it at 50-all with just under a minute to play.
Capital then took care of the clock and pulled it out.
“We started out really well,” Glacier coach Mark Harkins said. “We jumped on them quick.
“Second half, they upped the pressure a little and we had some turnovers. They hit some key shots. Credit to them, they hustled back.”
Harkins said when Capital started to knock down shots from the outside, Glacier had to extended the pressure.
Capital had just one offensive rebound in the first half, but eight in the second.
“As far as effort, the kids played hard,” Harkins said. “I can never fault them for that.”
Gilman had 11 points to lead Glacier in scoring. Lindsay finished with 10.
Burton topped Capital with 13 points. O’Malley was next with 12.
Glacier held a 27-23 edge on the boards.
Capital had 14 turnovers to 15 for Glacier.
Helena Capital 10 6 11 17 8 — 52
Glacier 14 13 7 10 6 — 50
HELENA CAPITAL — Danny Burton 4-9 2-2 13, Daniel O’Malley 3-10 5-7 12, Will Hunthausen 1-6 1-2 4, Bradley Haller 1-6 2-2 4, Connor Dowdy 4-5 3-6 11, Matt McGinley 1-2 0-0 3, Riley Lamb 0-2 2-2 2, Trevor Larson 1-3 0-0 3. Totals: 15-43 15-21 52.
GLACIER — Blayne Bailey 2-7 3-4 8, Noah Lindsay 3-5 4-7 10, Dylan Ruggles 2-5 0-0 4, Tadan Gilman 4-11 3-4 11, Jake Norberg 2-2 0-0 6, Drake Dulin 2-3 0-0 5, Jake Willich 1-2 2-2 4, John Learn 1-1 0-0 2. Totals: 17-36 12-17 50.
3-point goals: Capital 7-22 (Burton 3-7, O’Malley 1-5, Hunthausen 1-5, Haller 0-1, McGinley 1-2, Larson 1-2); Glacier 4-10 (Bailey 1-3, Gilman 0-3, Norberg 2-2, Dulin 1-2); Rebounds: Capital 23 (Dowdy 6), Glacier 27 (Lindsay 5); Assists: Capital 7 (O’Malley 4), Glacier 10 (Bailey 3, Ruggles 3); Steal: Capital 8 (Haller 3), Glacier 7 (Ruggles 2, Norberg 2); Blocks: Capital 0, Glacier 2 (Bailey 1, Learn 1); Turnovers: Capital 14, Glacier 15; Total fouls: Capital 14, Glacier 19; Fouled out: O’Malley; Ruggles.