HELENA -- The Carroll College Fighting Saints basketball teams picked up two big wins against Montana State-Northern on Jan. 7 .
The Carroll College men's team is mostly comprised of freshmen with sole upper-classman starter being Dane Warp. The win against Northern not only moved Carroll College to the top of the Frontier Conference, but served as a confidence booster for the young squad.
"As a bunch of like young guys, every win matters for us. Confidence is a huge thing that we need to have and every win just matters," said freshman Brendan Temple.
The win also instilled a bit of confidence in head coach Kurt Paulson as well, but doesn't want his team to get so high on their horse that they fall off.
"A big, big step for our confidence in just knowing we can get road victories in the league," said Paulson. "Our first two conference games were very close, but we we're home, so just to go up to Havre and play well was exciting. But you know, we just got to put that one behind us and we got another tough team coming in here Saturday."
If Tuesday's win was a confidence builder for the Carroll College men, the Fighting Saint's women must have exploded after downing the No. 11 ranked Northern Skylights. Dani Wagner led the way with 15 points in her hometown which she said was special, because she had family and friends rooting her on.
"All my high school teachers -- like everyone was there. I mean, I got to see a lot of neighbors, friends, our community is so strong there," said Wagner.
The win wasn't just a chance to go home, it also served as an opportunity to prove to the Frontier Conference that they're better than their record suggests. "We've really learned to just start to trust our plan and execute as best we can. And I think our defensive game plan against northern, we really followed through and listened exactly how we're supposed to," said Wagner. Though they did come out with a win, head coach Rachelle Sayers said it came to fruition because her team did the little things right, and if they keep it up, the wins will continue to follow suit.
"Not even focused on the winning but the little things, the rebounding, the effort, the charges, the excitement, the communication," said Sayers. "Those are the things we can control. We can control our effort, we can control our energy, and we can control being great teammates, every time we step on the floor and we feel like when we do that, the wins and losses will take care of themselves."
The Fighting Saints will play host to the Providence Argos on Jan. 11, an opportunity for both Carroll teams to cement an early lead in the Frontier Conference standings.