GREAT FALLS — Last year, the Great Falls High boys basketball team had a chance to win the state title on the last possession against Billings Skyview. They fell just short losing by two. To add insult to injury, the team lost all-state seniors Drew Wyman and Levi Torgerson. Is head coach Bob Howard worried though? Not really.
“We had Torgerson and Wyman who were two of the better players in the state for a few years so it’ll be very tough to match that but we got kids who are hungry, ready to show what they can do and we’ll just have to score in a few different ways than we have in the past,” Howard said.
In addition to having to find other ways to score, the team will be adopting a new style of play given their athletic roster. Returning only one starter in junior Reed Harris, role players from last year’s team such as Garrett Stone, Garrett Nelson, Cale Gundlach and others are going to have to step as upperclassmen and starters using their pace of play to get the job done.
“With this team, we can spread the floor and get down the court really quick,” Gundlach, a senior, explained. “Obviously, Levi was really quick but I think everyone that is going to step on the floor this year is going to be very athletic.”
For Howard, his expectations for the team are simple. Just get better everyday. With the shortened preseason in Class AA this season, they’ll have to make large strides each day leading up to their first game.
“You know we practice hard so far and you know we’ve only had a few practices but we’ve gotten better each practice so that’s kind of the goal, get better everyday.”
For seniors like Gundlach and Nelson, their expectations for a team that has reached the semifinals or state championship game since 2017, are even simpler; win it all.
“Our mindset is we’re going to win, play defense, hustle every time, 100 percent,” Nelson said.
“We’re going to try and make the state championship again and we’re going to try and go all the way,” Gundlach added.
The Bison have their first game against Kalispell Flathead, Dec. 10 at home.