Senior Raley Shirey scored a career-high 18 points as the Glacier Wolfpack hustled to a 56-35 victory over the Missoula Big Sky Eagles in Western AA girls basketball play at Glacier High School on Tuesday.
Glacier is 1-0 in conference play and 4-2 overall.
“It was a good game,” Glacier coach Bill Sullivan said. “Girls hustled, had a lot of effort. Our pressure was good, we scored a lot of buckets and a lot of points so overall a good job by our girls.”
The 56-point mark was Glacier’s highest this season, but Big Sky didn’t make it easy, Sullivan said.
“We’re starting to make better decisions in transition, whether we can score the ball or whether we have to bring it back out and set up some offense,” he said. “A lot of good looks in transition.”
The Wolfpack led Big Sky 12-8 after the first quarter and led by as much as seven in the opening frame. Lynell Shepherd’s three-pointer cut the deficit to 10-6 late in the first.
Glacier began to pick up steam as the game progressed, led by Shirey, Aubrie Rademacher and Ellie Keller. Rademacher and Keller both scored 12 points. Rademacher was 4-for-6 from the free-throw line and aggressive in the paint, while Keller went 8-for-10 in free throws.
Though Sullivan said the game was “sloppy at times,” the Wolfpack started to put a dominant performance together in the third quarter. Leading 22-15 at the half, Glacier went on a 6-0 run to start the second half and outscored the Eagles 14-8, which it only built on in the fourth quarter.
In the fourth frame, the Wolfpack led by as much as 20 points. Big Sky’s Chasity Foote, Corbyn Sandau and Elly Thorpe kept things competitive and each drained threes, but the Eagles couldn’t get close.
“Big Sky scraps and plays hard and does a lot of good things and you just hang in there,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan likes to stress defense with his team, so it was important to have the balance of holding Big Sky to just 35 points while being able to put significant points on the board.
“Pretty solid defensively,” he said. “A couple shots that you’ve got to close out a little faster and you got to do a little bit better but overall a great job defensively.”
Also scoring for Glacier was Kali Gulick with 8 points and Emma Anderson with 3 points from the bench. As a team, the Wolfpack was 14-for-21 at the free-throw line.
Next, Glacier hosts crosstown action against Flathead at 6 p.m. on Friday.
Missoula Big Sky 8 7 8 12 — 35
Glacier 12 10 14 20 — 56
MISSOULA BIG SKY — Lynn McGreevy 2, Lyneel Shepherd 3, Elly Thorpe 7, Mia Sandau 3, Corbyn Sandau 7, Chasity Foote 8, Demi Smith 1, Avari Batt 4.
GLACIER — Kali Gulick 8, Aubrie Rademacher 12, Abi Manger 2, Ellie Keller 12, Emma Anderson 3, Raley Shirey 18, Allee Meyer 1.