HELENA — In the first round of the Helena girls basketball crosstown rivalry, the Helena High Girls took down the Helena Capital girls 48-39.
The Bengals wasted little time getting off to a hot start as Avery Kraft buried a three-pointer less than ten seconds after the tip-off to put the Bengals out in front, 3-0. Kraft was lights out from behind the arc as she put down four of her five three-pointers on the night in the first half, leading to a game-high 19 points.
The Bruins sputtered in the first few minutes of the game, recording their first point on a Rachael Stacey free-throw after almost four and half minutes of play. Despite their early troubles, the Bruins were able to keep it a relatively close game through the midway point of the second quarter with the score standing at 18-12 with three and half minutes left in the first half.
Though that wouldn't last for long as the Bengals put their foot on the gas and took off, ending the second quarter on a 9-4 run to put them out in front 27-16 at the break.
Out of the break, the Bengals kept that momentum rolling and found themselves out in front 38-24 with just under two minutes to play in the third. The Bruins' Jada Clarkson was able to find a rhythm late to pull her squad out of the slump in the late stages of the game before a Kayla Almquist three-pointer cut the Bengals lead to just five with three minutes to go in the game.
But a few costly mistakes, combined with some Helena High free-throws sealed the deal on the Thursday night affair as the Bengals were able to relish in the victory on their crosstown rival's court.
The Bengals and Bruins girls will meet one more time during the regular season when they head to Helena High on Feb. 19 with tip-off set for 3:30 p.m.
The Helena High and Helena Capital boys will round out a week chock full of crosstown events when the two meet on Friday at Helena Capital at 7 p.m.