Missoula Hellgate defeats Helena Capital in boys basketball
2/5/2018 9:20 AM

Feb 1, 2018 Updated Feb 1, 2018

HELENA — Powered by the22-point onslaught of Rollie Worster, the No. 5 ranked MissoulaHellgate boys basketball team pulled away in the second half of Western AA gameto beat Capital in the Bears' Den 50-32 on Thursday night.

The win improves the Knights to 8-3overall and 4-1 in the conference, while the Bruins slip to 3-8, 2-3.

Capital stayed right with Hellgate inthe first half, leading 9-7 after the first quarter, and trailing just 20-18 athalftime — when Worster lobbed in a buzzer-beater about 90-feet fromfree-throw line at the other end of the court.

Then it was pretty much all Hellgateafter the intermission behind a 21-8 third period outburst.

"We had a good first half, weactually should've been up. We were in control and I thought we wasted a fewopportunities," CHS coach Guy Almquist said. "But then not being ableto make shots, which has plagued us all year so far, came back to haunt usagain in the second half."

The game was a coaching matchup of acouple of former Carroll College all-Americans, in Almquist andHellgate's Jeff Hayes. The two played in back-to-back State chippers in2013-14, with the Knights winning the first one and CHS capturing the rematch.

"You are not going to win manygames going 12 of 52 (23 percent) from the floor," Almquistcontinued. "And just 3 of 22 (14 percent) from 3-pointland — with most of those being wide open shots because of theirdouble teaming. I think it's harder on a team not to be able to score, than itis to lose giving up 72 points."

The Bruins sped out to a 5-0 lead tostart the game when Matt McGinley took the opening tipoff for a lay-up andBridger Grovom drained a 3-pointer. Worster tallied Hellgate's first pointsmoments later on a jump shot.

Cade Kidder started the second quarter off for Capital with a trey for the hometeam's biggest lead of the night, 12-7. But the Knights reeled off an 10-2 runto surge ahead 17-14.

The Bruins fought back to retake thelead 18-17 on a steal and layup by Mark Northey with 2 seconds on the clock.Then on the inbounds, Worster fired a Hail Mary from Capital's charity stripeat the buzzer, which unbelievably went in and stunned the home team crowd.

Inthe third stanza, the Bruins were unable to score for the first 5:58 ofthe period.

Following Worster in Hellgate'sscoring column was Kade Lunday with 10 points. The Knights shot 44 percent (20of 45) from the floor.

Capital was led by Kidder, MichaelNettleton and Northey, at six points apiece.

Rebounding was even, 35-34 in favor ofHellgate. Worster and Nettleton both had seven boards apiece. McGinley andKidder had two steals apiece for CHS.

"I felt Hellgate's pressuredefense and length was a big difference in the second half," Almquistsaid. "We had a hard time on transition and couldn't make a shot, and itsnowballed from there.

"They (the Knights) have a verygood team, because everyone has size. Their defense causes people a lot ofproblems, and it creates their offense."

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