Helena boys basketball defeats Kalispell Glacier, gains momentum

Jason Blasco – 406mtsports.com

HELENA — Conner Murgel led the Helena High boys basketball team with a game-high 21 points to win their third consecutive Class AA Western Conference game with a 59-42 victory over Kalispell Glacier on Saturday afternoon.

The Bengals (7-5, 3-2), who have now defeated Capital, Flathead, and Glacier, have now established momentum, according to Helena coach Brandon Day.

Propelled by two Pierce Brown 3-pointers, Helena took a commanding 15-7 lead over the Wolfpack (4-6, 0-2) after the first quarter.

Brown also finished the game in double digits with 16 points. Though Glacier scored 17 points in the second half led mostly by Drew Engellant, who finished with a game-high 15 points, it wasn’t enough to overcome the Bengals.

“We are starting to get into a rhythm and figure out a rotation,” Day said. “Hopefully, we can continue to improve to where we need to become Divisional time.”

Wolfpack coach Mark Harkins said the level of physicality both Helena and Capital displayed to his team was a learning experience. Helena shot 40-percent from 3-point land, sinking a total of 9 of 22 3-point shots during the game.

“It was a tough trip for us, no question,” Harkins said. “Both Helena and Capital are sound defensively. They are very physical, and we haven’t seen a whole lot of play like that. We struggled (with their physicality) and, we didn’t shoot the basketball very well. We didn’t play offense very well, and I thought we were a little tentative against their physicality. To their credit, they got after us. We need to get better (overall).”