Late comeback earns Glacier a crosstown sweep

2019-20 GHS Basketball Theme

By Andy Viano – Flathead Beacon

Thursday night, meet Friday.

Twenty-four hours after the Glacier girls erased a 10-point halftime deficit, the Wolfpack boys ended the game on a 15-1 run to stun their crosstown rivals 45-40 at a packed Flathead High School on Jan. 24.

Glacier (6-3, 3-2 Western AA) struggled to do anything offensively for the first three-and-a-half quarters and was behind by a comfortable margin most of the second half. But trailing 39-34 with under four minutes to go, senior big man Drew Engellant muscled his way to back-to-back baskets to bring Glacier within one and a Jaxson Olsen bucket moments later gave the Wolfpack its first lead since it was 11-8 early in the second quarter. Engellant closed out the win with four straight makes from the foul line.

The 6-foot-3 Engellant was held to just one point in the first half but took over the game in the fourth quarter, scoring 10 of his game-high 15 points in the final frame. Fellow post Weston Price added 14 for Glacier and kept the Wolfpack afloat with nine of his team’s 14 first-half points.

The early parts of the game were dominated by swarming defense, frequent whistles and plenty of missed shots. Both teams faced foul trouble throughout and Flathead led 18-14 at halftime, holding the Wolfpack to just three first-half field goals. Sophomore Joston Cripe scored seven of his 11 points in the third quarter as the Braves kept Glacier at arm’s length and built a 33-24 lead at the end of three, but Flathead went ice cold in the fourth quarter.

Flathead (2-7, 1-4) struggled all night at the free-throw line and finished the game just 9 of 21 (42.9 percent) at the charity stripe. Glacier, meanwhile, sank 20 of its 29 attempts (69 percent), and both big men, Engellant (7-9) and Price (7-10) were excellent at the line.

Cooper Smith led Flathead with 12 points.

The win is Glacier’s fourth straight in the rivalry and improved the Wolfpack’s all-time record to 23-5 in the annual intra-city game. The two teams will square off again at Glacier High School on Feb. 21 with tip-off at 7:30 p.m.

Glacier                          8     6      10     21   —     45
Flathead                        7     11    15     7     —     40

GLACIER — Drew Engellant 15, Weston Price 14, K.J. Johnson 6, Jaxon Olsen 6, Keifer Spohnhauer 2, J.T. Allen 2.

FLATHEAD — Cooper Smith 12, Joston Cripe 11, Hunter Hickey 7, Gabe Adams 4, Tannen Beyl 2, Gatlin Bruner 2, Ethan Vandenbosch 1, Ezra Epperly 1.