BUTTE- The Montana Tech women’s basketball team tips off the 2018 season on Thursday against Yellowstone Christian. The Diggers are hoping to improve from their 15-16 overall mark last season, but the Frontier Conference preseason polls weren’t too friendly to the Diggers as coaches picked them to finish last in the league.
With nothing to lose and everything to gain, Tech is setting the bar high for what it can accomplish this year.
“We’ve been voted last in the conference, and I think it’s important for us to go out and show that we can absolutely play,” said junior center Shay Potter. “We can become one of the top three in the Frontier Conference, and we want to make it to the national tournament this year.”
The Diggers come into a unique situation. They bring back six returners, while welcoming nine new players. Experience is something they won’t lack, but it’ll be on that core group of returners to set the tone for the team’s work ethic this year.
“The six players we have returning played a lot of minutes for us — a lot of them were freshmen and sophomores last year and some of them started,” said coach Carly Sanon. “Some of them started all the games, some of them started towards the end of the year. So we have a good core coming back.”
A huge strength for this 2018 squad is its guard play: Good shooters combined with sheer athleticism allow the team to play an up-tempo style and wear out their opponents.
“We’re going to run the floor, we’re going to get out, we’re going to push the ball, our point guards are super quick. People play our tempo, I think that’s going to be a huge strength,” added Sanon.
And the Diggers bring back a huge strength in Potter, a preseason all-conference preseason selection. Last season, Potter averaged 10.8 points per game and was an all-conference honorable mention.
Sanon also mentioned that she started all of last year, so she has a lot of experience.
“You’ll probably hear her in practice, she talks the entire time,” Sanon said. “She’s a very vocal leader for our team. When she brings her game, she’s a very good player.”
A very good player who is fine-tuning her game, which will make her a dominant force on the court.
“She’s worked really hard on her mental game over the summer, and I think she’s going to prove to a lot of people that she’s a good player,” added Sanon.