BUTTE — The farther the shot, the more Mollie Peoples seems to thrive.
The Montana Tech senior was named the Frontier Conference women's basketball player of the week on Monday following a weekend performance in which the 5-foot-8 guard sank 13 triples in two games.
The Orediggers split their doubleheader with Montana Western in Dillon to open their season at 1-1 overall. Tech won Saturday's game 69-57 and Western took Sunday's contest 82-67.
"I was just excited that we started off the season with a win," Peoples said on Tuesday following a practice at the HPER Complex. "We split on the road. My teammates were looking for me and I just was trying to do my job."
In the first two games of her senior season, Peoples went 13 for 21 from beyond the arc, connecting on more than 60 percent of her long-range shots.
As a junior, Peoples hit 61 triples on the season (third-best in the Frontier Conference) and as a sophomore she had 49. Both seasons, she led her team in 3-pointers.
A Butte Central graduate, Peoples was part of the 2015 Maroons squad that completed a perfect season and capped off its campaign with a Class A state championship.
Even in high school, Peoples was known for her shooting range and her reputation preceded her into college.
"Mollie has come in and she was a 3-point shooter out of high school," said Tech head coach Carly Sanon. "She could shoot and she still could shoot."
Despite Peoples' penchant for draining shots from beyond the arc, Sanon noted that over the years she has revamped all facets of her game.
"She's really improved her middle game and she's also really improved getting to the rim," said Sanon.
In the year of COVID, little is certain and nothing is guaranteed as the season begins to unfold. But for Peoples, she's determined to bring the same level of energy and determination into every game as past seasons.
In other words, it's business as usual.
"It's my fourth year here and I really just want to go into this year with the mindset that we're going to go into every game battling, we're going to compete hard and we're going to get some wins," Peoples said.
The Tech women play their first home game of the season on Thursday with the Oredigggers hosting Carroll College at 5 p.m.