The Capital High boys had their best defensive effort of the season on Saturday afternoon, but Kody Jarvis made sure it wasn’t quite enough.
The Bruins, trailing Kalispell Glacier by just three in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter, were threatening to hand the Wolfpack just their second loss of the year. They’d held their own against the bigger, aggressive visitors, and had kept one of the state’s best scorers in Jaxen Hashley out of the scorebook almost entirely. The team’s second-leading scorer, Tadan Gilman, was also held in check.
That’s when the Jarvis, a junior guard averaging just 6.1 points per game, caught fire.
First, he nailed back-to-back 3-pointers. Then he hit a pair from inside the arc. His sudden 10-point outburst was too much for the Bruins to overcome, and Glacier left Capital with a 44-35 victory.
Jarvis finished with a game-high 20 points for Glacier, which matched a season low in total scoring.
“This year, when the dam has broken, we have a hard time keeping it together,” Capital coach Guy Almquist said. “We’ve gotta be able to get the duct tape and the bailing wire out and keep things together when things aren’t perfect. And that’s something we’re struggling with a little bit.”
It was a frustrating finish after a sparking start for Capital (1-8 overall, 0-2 in Western AA), which lost an eighth consecutive game following a season-opening win.
The Bruins came out hot on both ends of the floor, running to a 7-0 lead and forcing a Wolfpack timeout. The break helped Glacier, but Capital still led after the first quarter, 12-7.
The Bruin offense constantly struggled to find a rhythm, though, after that point. The team showed plenty of patience, working the ball around and looking for shots. But trying to score against the 6-foot-6 Hashley inside is tough, and the 3-point shot was more often than not wildly off the mark, sailing way long or clanging off the rim short.
That, combined with a refocused Wolfpack (8-1, 2-0), flipped the script in the second frame and Capital managed just four points, leading to a 24-16 Glacier advantage at the half.
Clamping down defensively, Capital managed to scratch and claw back into the game, holding Glacier to just five points in the third to pull to within three.
That, though, set the stage for Jarvis’ personal scoring run.
“Yeah, we had a few wild misses,” Almquist said. “I don’t know. I thought we were a little fatigued in the second half. We were tied on the glass in the first half — which is an accomplishment. In the second half we got outrebounded by eight, but we did have some looks. And then you miss a few and when you’re a team that doesn’t have a ton of confidence to start with, I thought that hurt us.
“We have to attack the basket a little bit. We were trying to attack with the dribble a little bit more in the second half. But we’ve gotta get better at it. I thought we did OK at it sometimes. I thought Parker Johnston got to the middle a little bit and made plays for others, and we need more guys to do that.”
Johnston, a freshman, was part of a lineup change on Saturday.
Looking to both add some size and create a spark, Almquist changed up his starting five, inserting sophomore Peyton Koch and Johnston. The 6-foot-3 Koch, and was key in the defense of Hashley, who finished with just seven points, 10 under his season average.
GLACIER 44, CAPITAL 35
GLACIER (8-1, 2-0) – Caden Harkins 2 0-1 4, Tadan Gilman 2 2-2 7, Brec Rademacher 1 0-0 3, Kody Jarvis 7 2-2 20, Jaxen Hashley 2 3-5 7, Torin Bowden 0 1-2 1, Jack Desmul 1 0-0 2. Totals 15 8-12 44.
CAPITAL (1-8, 0-2) – Matt McGinley 2 0-0 4, Xavier Melice 1 1-2 4, Mark Northey 2 0-0 6, Willie Gross 1 0-0 3, Bradley Haller 6 0-0 12, Parker Johnston 0 4-4 4, Peyton Koch 1 0-0 2. Totals 13 5-6 35.
3-point field goals – Glacier 6 (Jarvis 4, Gilman, Rademacher), Capital 4 (Northey 2, Melice, Gross). Total fouls – Glacier 11, Capital 15. Fouled out – None. Technicals – None.