Unbeaten Sentinel holds off Glacier girls

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Take away a little 18-0 blitz by the Sentinel Spartans and the Glacier Wolfpack would have been in the catbird seat Saturday.

Of course that’s the rub – the hosts couldn’t undo that run, though they certainly gave it a shot in a 61-53 Western AA girls’ basketball loss at the Wolves Den.

With 4:00 left in the game the Pack closed to 49-47 on the perennially powerful visitors, on a three-point play by Ellie Keller. Glacier then fouled, saw Sentinel standout Lexi Deden miss two free throws — and then watched the Spartans’ Brooke Stayner snare the offensive rebound.

That led to a pivotal 3-pointer by Jayden Salisbury, putting Sentinel up 52-47 with 3:30 left.

The unbeaten Spartans (6-0 overall, 2-0 in league) then went 7 of 10 at the line to close things out.

“I’m absolutely encouraged,” Glacier coach Amanda Cram said after her team fell to 2-4, 1-1 in league. “You learn from it, but part of our team culture is we can be successful no matter the circumstances.”

In this case it was a huge Sentinel rally after Glacier – scoring in transition and getting threes from Kenzie Williams and Aubrie Rademacher – built a 22-15 second-quarter lead.

Kodi Fraser started Sentinel’s key surge with a 3-pointer, and Salisbury added two of her own. Deden scored to give the Spartans the lead for good, 23-22, at 2:20 of the second quarter; two free throws from Challis Westwater made it 33-22 with a minute left in the half.

Glacier increased its pressure in the second half and drew to 39-32 in the third quarter, then rallied from down 47-37 in the fourth.

Sentinel coach Karen Deden was pleased with the way her team held up against the likes of Rademacher (game-high 20 points, two steals), Emma Anderson (four steals, seven rebounds) and the rest of the Pack.

“We’re a super young team, and I’m just proud of our kids’ efforts and for staying as composed as they did,” Deden said. “The thing about them is they’re very quick in transition. They’re getting back and then they got some easy shots up front. They took advantage of us and showed some of our weaknesses.

“They’re a good team. They’re going to make some noise.”

Lexi Deden led Sentinel with 18 points. Salisbury had 11, as did Westwater – to go with 10 rebounds. Stayner, a sophomore, had six steals and nine boards to go with seven points.

Keller had 13 points for Glacier before fouling out. Williams added 10 points.

“Not the outcome that we wanted for prepared for, but Sentinel is no joke,” Cram said. “We’re pretty happy to give them a run for their money, and make them anxious.”

Glacier’s next action is Friday, at unbeaten Missoula Hellgate.

Sentinel 10 24 12 15 — 61

Glacier 16 7 9 21 — 53

MISSOULA SENTINEL (6-0, 2-0) – Jayden Salisbury 3 2-4 11, Challis Westwater 2 7-10 11, Lexi Deden 7 3-6 18, Brooke Stayner 2 3-6 7, Kodi Fraser 1 4-6 7, CC Size 1 0-0 3, Megan Hamilton 1 0-0 3, Olivia Huntsinger 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 19-32 61. 3-point goals 8 (Salisbury 3, Westwater, Deden, Fraser, Size, Hamilton). Rebounds 39 (Stayner 9). Fouls – 14. Fouled out – Deden. Turnovers 20.

GLACIER (2-4, 1-1) – Aubrie Rademacher 7 4-6 20, Ellie Keller 5 2-3 13, Emma Anderson 3 0-0 6, Kaylee Fritz 2 0-0 4, Kenzie Williams 4 1-2 10, Sidney Gulick 0 0-0 0, Aubry Grame 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21 7-11 53. 3-point goals 4 (Rademacher 2, Keller, Williams). Rebounds 28 (Anderson 7). Fouls 25. Fouled out – Anderson, Keller. Turnovers 23.

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