Alex Covill’s near triple-double leads Missoula Hellgate past previous unbeaten Capital

HELENA — One player doesn’t always make a difference, but when that player is Missoula Hellgate’s Alex Covill, the difference tends to be pretty big.

And not just because she’s 6-foot-6.

The Washington State commit has elite size, yes. However, her domination of the Helena Capital Bruins was about more than that as she poured in 21 points, made 8-of-9 free throws, grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked seven shots in a 50-44 win for the Knights (2-2, 1-0) over previously unbeaten Capital (3-1, 0-1).

“It’s amazing (to have her back),” Missoula Hellgate head coach Maddie Keats said after the win of Covill who missed two games with an injury. “I think people see that Alex is a dominant, physical player, but I think what really sets her apart is the leadership and the tenacity she brings every day. It’s been a real pleasure to coach her and get to see the work she does behind the scenes every day.”

“Of course, it also helps to get more points and rebounds,” Keast added with a grin.

Covill certainly did that. In the first quarter alone, she scored eight points and blocked three shots as the Knights stormed out of the gates and grabbed a 14-4 lead on the Bruins in Helena on Thursday night.

“I think their (Hellgate) aggressiveness was the difference,” Capital head coach Katie Garcin-Forba said. “Especially in the first quarter. If we have a different first quarter, I think the outcome looks a little bit different at the end.”

While Covill helped set the tone early for the Knights, s