TWIN BRIDGES — For all the victories the Twin Bridges boys basketball team has accumulated so far this season -- nine, to be exact -- perhaps one of the most significant wins for the Falcons so far has been this: They haven't had a single game canceled or postponed.
"Yeah, we're definitely thankful for that," said senior Charlie Kruer. "But it goes back to us taking it really serious, taking the necessary precautions to avoid it. And it's been a success so far."
"We've been fortunate," echoed Twin Bridges head coach Josh Keller. "We're just crossing our fingers. We go into the locker room every day and say, 'Play it like it's your last,' because you never know, it could be your last. So we're just trying to leave everything out on the floor and play our hardest and just take the season one game at a time."
Staving off COVID has been a different kind of victory for Twin Bridges, but winning games hasn't. The Falcons are undefeated so far this year, much like they were when they posted a perfect regular-season record in 2020, and are the four-time reigning District 12C champions.
"I feel like we've just been working hard and we're making the most of being able to play," Kruer said. "And over the years I feel like we've gotten a lot better at closing out games and withstanding runs. I think that's definitely contributed to us winning this year."
Dominating in the regular season has become old hat for the Falcons, but Twin Bridges is still searching for a postseason breakthrough. After missing the state tournament in 2019, the Falcons held off Gardiner in a challenge game last year to head to the Class C state tournament in Missoula.
At state, the Falcons were defeated by Fort Benton in the opening round but then won their next two consolation games -- including a win over then-defending state champion Manhattan Christian -- to place them in the third-place game against the Longhorns.
But Twin Bridges' shot at a state trophy never happened.
"It was definitely disappointing," said Kruer. "We felt we were playing really good heading into that game. But it is what it is. Can't do anything about it. Just got to be thankful to have even been in that position."
Kruer is one of four starting seniors looking to propel the Falcons into a another deep postseason run, the others being Matthew Kaiser, Tate Smith and Axton Anderson.
"They're all doing a great job stepping up and leading," said Keller.
The Falcons, and every other sports team right now, may be navigating unfamiliar waters but their intended destination, a state tournament berth, hasn't changed.
"That's absolutely a goal of ours," Keller said. "We felt like we had a little unfinished business that we didn't get to take care of last year. We really just want to have another opportunity this year to get there and see what we can do."