Team-first mentality pays off for Wolfpack in win over Butte

Daily Inter Lake | February 3, 2023 9:43 PM

Glacier’s next man up mindset was on full display Friday night with nine different Wolfpack scorers chipping in to beat Butte 70-52 in Western AA basketball.

Junior forward Cohen Kastelitz had 10 first-half points and was the leading scorer for Glacier on the night with 14. Senior guard Adam Nikunen finished with 12 for the Pack while knocking down three 3-pointers.

“We ask them to pass up a good shot for a great shot and I thought they did that tonight,” Wolfpack coach Mark Harkins said. “They were very unselfish with the basketball and I think that will take them a long way.”

Glacier unleashed full-court pressure on Butte early and often to keep the Bulldogs off-balance and jump out to a 36-23 halftime lead.

Despite the double-digit lead at the break, Glacier came out aggressively in the second half and went on a 8-3 run in the first six minutes of the third quarter.

The Wolfpack pressure on defense never relented. A Ty Olsen 3-pointer around the 6:00 mark in the fourth pushed the Wolfpack lead to 59-39.

Glacier kept their starters in for the majority of the final period as the two teams endured a physical final eight minutes of play regardless of the Wolfpack’s comfortable lead.

Harkins knew his team had to keep up the intensity against the scrappy Bulldogs.

“Butte is a team that is scary, even when we played them there we were up 10-12 points and they came back and got us so you never feel comfortable playing a great team that can score so fast like they do,” Harkins said. “I thought the kids did a great job tonight playing four quarters, I thought their defense was great and I was pleased.”

Tyler McDonald finished with 10 for the Wolfpack and hit a late 3-pointer to make things 68-48 and all but seal the victory. Olsen finished with nine and Xavier Stout also had nine points on a trio of baskets from beyond the arc for the Pack.

Butte freshman Hudson Luedtke paced the Bulldogs with 14 points while going 9 of 11 from the free throw line. Tocher Lee was next up for Butte with 11.

Butte 8 15 10 19 – 52

Glacier 21 15 14 20 – 70

BUTTE — Hudson Luedtke 14, Tocher Lee 11, Jace Stenson 7, Casey Merrifield 7, Cameron Gurnsey 6, Bo Demarais 3, Jonas Sherman 2, Dylan Bache 2.

GLACIER — Cohen Kastelitz 14, Adam Nikunen 12, Tyler McDonald 10, Ty Olsen 9, Xavier Stout 9, Kadrian Buls 8, Noah Dowler 4, Carson Gulick 2, Wyatt Cox 2.