BUTTE — Turning a slow-paced game in their favor, the Billings West Golden Bears trampled the Glacier Wolfpack 41-20 in first-round play at the Class AA state girls basketball tournament at the Butte Civic Center on Thursday afternoon.
West (20-1) advances to play Missoula Hellgate at 6:30 p.m. in semifinal action today, while Glacier (14-9) has a 12 p.m. meeting with Billings Senior in loser-out play.
It was destined to be a defensive battle, and West had the upper hand early, leading 12-6 after one quarter and increasing that lead to 10 by halftime.
The laid-back pace allowed West to make every possession count and as a result, get better looks offensively.
TyRaa Manuel’s 12 points and nine rebounds for the Bears was just shy of a double-double, and TyLee Manuel scored 10 and had eight boards.
The Wolfpack struggled offensively, only managing 10 points in the first half and totaling six field goals on 34 attempts for a shooting percentage of just 18.
West was ruthlessly efficient on the floor, hitting on 16 of 41 shots.
Aubrie Rademacher was Glacier’s high scorer with five points, one of six players who scored and the only one to tally more than four points.
Kali Gulick put in a strong defensive effort and grabbed seven boards, had two steals and scored four points. Raley Shirey contributed four points and three steals.
Both teams struggled from behind the arc. Glacier scored on 2 of 11 3-point attempts and West scored on 2 of 10.
West won the battle on the boards, grabbing 39 rebounds to Glacier’s 18.
The Bears are hoping to play in their first championship game since 2014 and are seeking their first state title since 2011.
Glacier defeated West in first-round play at last year’s state tournament, 50-40, before losing to Helena High 63-52 in the semifinals.
Glacier 6 4 5 5 — 20
Billings West 12 8 11 10 — 41
GLACIER – Aubrie Rademacher 5, Kali Gulik 4, Raley Shirey 4, Abi Manger 3, Kaileigh Crawford 3, Ellie Keller 1.
BILLINGS WEST – TyRaa Manuel 12, TyLee Manuel 10, Willa Albrecht 5, Shayla Montague 5, Kinzee Koch 3, Shea Dolan 2, Laiten Lantis 2, Kendel Ellis 2.
Class AA State Tournament
At Butte Civic Center
6:30 p.m. – Hellgate vs. Billings West
8 p.m. – Helena High vs. Helena Capital
12 p.m. – Billings Senior vs. Glacier
1:30 p.m. – Butte vs. Great Falls High
3:30 p.m. – Billings West vs. Bozeman
5 p.m. – Great Falls vs. Hellgate
9 a.m. – Missoula Sentinel vs. Billings Skyview
10:30 a.m. – Helena Capital vs. Helena High