HELEN — A strong defensive effort, high-scoring third quarter and 13 points from Jada Clarkson lifted Capital’s women’s basketball team to a 42-22 win over Kalispell Glacier on Saturday, giving the Bruins their fifth victory in the last six games.
Leading 17-9 at halftime, Capital more than doubled their score in the third quarter, scoring 18 points to open a 20-point advantage over the Wolfpack.
“I think we moved the ball very well and found the open player. [in the third quarter]said Bruins head coach Katie Garcin-Forba. “We were settling in a bit – just knocking down a few shots offensively. We had different players making plays and I thought Jada had a great third quarter for us. When they play with that confidence, the team kind of goes with the flow.
Clarkson led the Bruins with 13 points Saturday, most of it in the third quarter. Working against Glacier’s zone defense, Clarkson found room for a midrange jumper and knocked down a 3-pointer on Brandy Carlson’s assist. Clarkson also came to the rim a few times for scoring and assisted on a Rachael Stacey triple in the stanza.
“The coach just said at half-time that [Glacier] will come out punching, and just not letting them throw the first punch,” Clarkson said. “We just came out trying to throw the first punch as a team together. I think we did a good job coming out, especially because they zoned us in, we just got into our attack. We trained a lot this week, so I just think we managed to do what the coach wanted us to do.
Capital’s defense was solid all game. Clarkson, Stacey, Kayla Almquist and others helped the Bruins allow just nine points in the first half. In the third quarter, as Capital’s offense came to life, the Bruins gave up just six points and didn’t allow more than seven points in any quarter of Saturday’s game.
“I think our men’s defense has made huge progress over the past two weeks,” Garcin-Forba said. “We challenged the girls and they absolutely rose to the challenge and became a lot more disciplined and aggressive. I just think they make really good decisions and make really good adjustments in the game… Super proud of their efforts.
Capital gave up just 22 points in the victory, which is a season high in points allowed to the Bruins.
“We’ve worked really hard on our defense since Crosstown,” Clarkson said. “We really focused on that part of our game. Our communication is much better and our rotations are much better.
Stacey added eight points in the Bruins’ win. She was big on the boards all game and knocked down a 3-pointer in the second and third quarters.
“Rachael is starting to gain confidence which is great,” Garcin-Forba said. “We missed her during pre-season, so it took a bit of time to get her comfortable. I think she plays with some confidence and lets things happen defensively and on the rebound side, which gives her good offensive possessions.
Taylor Sayers came off the bench and scored seven points in the fourth quarter. Carlson and Almquist each had five points.
Sidney Gulick beat Glacier with 10 points. Noah Fincher added five, Kiera Sullivan three and Colette Daniels and Bethany Sorensen two each.
Capital is now 9-5 this season and 6-4 in Western AA competition. Glacier drops to 5-10 overall and 2-9 in conference.