HELENA -The Carroll College men and women have more in common than their matching championships this season.
Both NAIA tournament teams also get a spark off the bench that hails from Havre.
Redshirt freshman Danielle Wagner and sophomore Dane Warp are two Blue Ponies that have been valuable assets to the Saints this historic season, scoring when needed and providing the kind of grit that is charastic of their hometown.
“Just her competitiveness, you could just tell she wanted to be the best, she wanted to win,” said Carroll women’s basketball head coach Rachelle Sayers. “She was diving on the floor, she was taking the charges. She wasn’t afraid to take the last shot. Just her overall attitude on the floor I really liked. And she was just really aggressive. She was able to get to the rim. She’s strong, she’s a good athlete. We just felt that was a good combination of a lot of skills that with more time spend in the gym, she could really become a great player.”
“He’s a super academic guy,” said men’s head coach Carson Cunningham of Warp. “He’s hoping to be a cardiologist. He’s a fantastic basketball player, super talented. He’s resilient. He likes to work hard. There are a lot of reasons we recruited him. It’s awesome to have him here.”
And both Dannielle and Dane seem to be enjoying themselves in Helana and their rolls with the team.
You won’t find their names at the top of the stat charts very often, but they don’t seem to care.
Both athletes are more proud of the fact that they can do whatever the teams needs from them and out-hustle anyone on the court.
“I think they can trust me to always be upbeat and energetic,” said Danielle Wagner. “I might not understand defensively or what we’re doing, but I definitely have heart and I rebound hard for this team.”
“She’s a big time competitor, she’s extremely competitive,” added Sayers. “She’s very hard on herself. She’s very determined to meet her goals that she sets. Just is a real high standard kid that has a lot of high goals for herself and for our team and she’s going to work hard to achieve them.”
“Kind of a wing, kind of a driver, shooter,” said Warp. “I try to be as smooth as I can out there and try to facilitate. I’m just kind of a utility guy. Trying to do what I have to do. Anything coach asks.”
An attitude that was grown back home in the gyms of Havre.
“Coming from a small school where, I mean, every single day I’m working as hard as you can to be what you want to be,” said Wagner. “It’s hard. We had a lot of talent in Havre, but going to play bigger schools and a lot more people to pick to choose to play with — we always had to work that much harder. ”
Good thing for these two, hard workd has never been a probelm .