Wolfpack a howling success at state

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Glacier High School showed no fear in the thrilling final seconds of last Saturday’s State AA boys basketball championship.

A once commanding lead over Bozeman was whittled to just a few points in the final seconds of the fourth quarter as Glacier’s leading scorer and rebounder picked up a fifth foul.

But showing the ultimate in composure, the Wolfpack kept fighting — leaning on a strong foundation of belief in their abilities to seal the deal.

“We don’t need to panic,” senior Tadan Gilman told his teammates down the final stretch. “‘Just ’cause our big man down there is out doesn’t mean we need to panic ... We just need to trust in one another.”

After snagging a huge rebound, senior Patrick O’Connell calmly sank a pair of free throws to ice Glacier’s first-ever basketball title, 46-42.

“Everyone came together,” O’Connell reflected after the final whistle. “Our coaches told us to believe. We’ve been believing the whole season.”

Congratulations to everyone on the Wolfpack roster for embracing the adversity and finding the courage to shine in the biggest moment.

Jail donation remarkable

Philanthrophy and the Flathead Valley go hand in hand, but last week’s announcement that an anonymous donor had given Flathead County $1 million to help build a new jail was truly an awe-inspiring moment. This generous donation comes at a time when the county commissioners are in the throes of getting a preliminary architectural report that will look at alternatives for expanding the county jail. Overcrowding has become a chronic challenge at the existing detention center, but building a new facility won’t be cheap. The county has saved about $6 million and likely will need voter support of a bond issue to complete the project.

Local governments often get smatterings of financial support for operations such as animal shelters, public health programs and services for the elderly. We expect that every dollar is appreciated, but a gift this size — especially earmarked for a jail — truly is extraordinary. Hopefully it will give the county momentum to forge ahead with a jail facility that will serve the Flathead Valley for many decades to come.

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