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Bozeman boys basketball finding new identity after state title season

Posted at 10:51 PM, Dec 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-28 11:13:03-05

BOZEMAN -- Last season, the Bozeman boys basketball team ended the year as the Class AA state champion after a buzzer-beating layup propelled the Hawks over Missoula Hellgate 55-53 in overtime. But a lot has changed over the course of the offseason.

“We’re definitely a lot different than last year. Obviously, we lost a lot of impact on the inside so we are adjusting to that. It’s a little different, but we are getting there,” said senior guard Carter Ash.

They lost pieces like Ryan Lonergan, who now plays football at Montana State, and Ryan Simpson, who is doing the same with the Montana Grizzlies. And there have been some growing pains for Bozeman so far this season.

“This year we are trying to figure out our identity a little bit and just trying to get a feel for what our team is like this year," said senior Brett Clark, who hit that buzzer-beating layup in the state championship game. "I think it’s definitely different, but we are trying to figure it out right now and I think we are getting a lot better as we go.”

“Right now we are just trying to get better, especially when conference play starts, which is about to start up. We just learn from these losses, try to not make the same mistakes, and just use them as learning experiences,” added Ash.

“I’ve been playing with these guys for a long time and it’s just a fun group of guys to be around. (It’s) just exciting and we like competing against each other in practice," said Clark. "I think as we go, we’re just getting better and better and I think we will be ready to go by conference.”