At one point, the Glacier boys trailed visiting Columbia Falls 2-0.
That was about as much adversity as the Wolfpack would face all night.
Glacier reeled off a 10-0 run in the first quarter, outscored the Wildcats 17-5 in the second quarter and was never truly threatened despite an explosive fourth quarter by Columbia Falls in a 56-43 win in a nonconference matchup on Tuesday night at Glacier High.
“We got better tonight. In everything, (including) the intangibles,” Glacier head basketball coach Mark Harkins said, contrasting his team’s performance on Tuesday night to its season-opening outing on Saturday, a 64-48 loss to Great Falls CMR.
“I thought our intensity was better. I thought our tempo was better. I thought our chemistry was better.”
Among the starkest of contrasts between Glacier’s first and second games was the start on offense.
After scoring just 17 points in the first half against CMR, the Wolfpack poured in 17 points in the second quarter alone against a Columbia Falls squad that couldn’t buy a bucket in the first half.
“We got off to a pretty good start,” Harkins said. “That game the other day, we missed some shots early. This game, we made some shots early. I think we just got a little bit of confidence going.
“First game, you get jitters and everything like that. There’s always a big, big improvement between the first game and the second game, because they know what to expect.”
Leading the charge for Glacier was Caden Harkins, who had a pair of early 3-pointers among his 10 first-half points that helped jump-start the Wolfpack offense. He finished with a game-high 16.
“He understands what we want to do,” coach Harkins said. “Obviously, with me at home, we watch a lot of film. And his teammates found him. He got himself open. He did a great job of that, and then his teammates did a great job of finding him for those shots. That’s the chemistry.”
Columbia Falls fell behind by as many as 22 points but turned the corner offensively in the fourth quarter to make the final score respectable.
The Wildcats dropped nearly half of their points — 21, to be exact — in the final period, led by Quintin Schriver’s eight points in the quarter.
Matthew Morrison, a 6-foot-6 forward who led Columbia Falls with 12 points, scored six in the fourth.
But by the time the Wildcats got their own offense clicking, it was far too late, as Glacier had already exploited their zone defense far earlier.
“We’re pretty comfortable in the zone offense,” Harkins said.
“The stuff we do against man is a little bit new. This stuff is stuff these kids have done before, so they have some familiarity with it. I think they were a little bit more comfortable in those sets.”
Columbia Falls 4 5 13 21 — 43
Glacier 10 17 17 12 — 56
COLUMBIA FALLS: Austin Green 2, Drew Morgan 6, Lowell Panasuk 7, Billy Barrett 4, Quintin Schriver 8, Logan Bechtel 4, Matthew Morrison 12.
GLACIER: Caden Harkins 16, Hunter Watterud 2, Collin Kazmier 5, Brec Rademacher 5, Kody Jarvis 7, Drew Engellant 4, Alex Whitman 8, Nick Whitman 1, Bret Michaels 3, AJ Grande 5.