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Fort Benton boys leaning on athleticism and defense this season to reach state

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Posted at 8:17 PM, Nov 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-27 14:53:14-05

FORT BENTON — Last season, Fort Benton head coach Tyler Pasha and the Longhorns reached the Class C state semifinals with a star-studded senior cast.

This year he has a completely new set of faces but they’re just as eager to get the Longhorns back to the tournament.

For the first time under Pasha, the Longhorns will have a brand new starting lineup heading into this season with four of the five starters from last year graduating and one other, transferring out of state.

“For the first time, we’re going to have five new starters in my eight years coaching where every single position is new,” Pasha said. “I know that the athleticism and talent level we have will play out and we’ll do really well this season.”

Although they lost 85% of their offense last season which included first team all-conference players Jace Thompson, Devin Bird and Hayden Diekhans, the point of emphasis for Pasha’s squad will be utilizing their athleticism to provide stellar defense.

“We got a lot more defensive-minded people on this team and the last couple years we’ve had a lot of offensive players,” senior Jacob Giles said. “We’re going to provide offensively but defensively we’ll be good.”

One of the core pieces for this team will be Cody Evans where last year as a sophomore nabbed a second team all-conference recognition off the bench. This year he’ll be asked to do more.

“I’ve tried to become more of a shooter because we lost a lot of great shooters last year,” Evans said. “We just talked about when we get in those situations, to bring the team together, work through it together [because] no one is going to do it themselves."