BILLINGS — The Keller family has racked up quite an impressive record in the Montana-Wyoming all-star basketball series.
Girls coach Wes has won 11 in a row and is 13-1 as the head man, while his father Steve is a perfect 20-0 with the boys.
“It's made clear by our coaching staff and I'm sure the men's that we don't lose this game. We don't come in hoping to win, we come in to win," Wes Keller said.
"The streak makes the games for both teams more interesting, I think," Steve Keller said. "Our guys don't want to end the streak. They don't want to be the 2023 team that ended the streak. The Wyoming guys play as hard as ever because they want to be the team to end the streak. I think that's motivation enough."
Those two have been a model of consistency on the sidelines that Wyoming hasn’t been able to match. There have been several coaches opposing Steve and Wes throughout the years, but with two new faces stepping in for Wyoming there’s hope for some longevity.
“I think with Shawn Neary and Liz Lewis taking it over and having that consistency, I think that's going to make them better and they're going to figure out what works, what they like and how they want to run their week of practices and games," Wes said. "I think in a year or two that you're definitely going to see it become more competitive."
“Everybody knows what to expect," Steve said. "I'm really proud that Wes gets to coach with me. That's a really cool deal. One thing they did say is that we had college coaches and they had high school coaches, but now everyone has college coaches."
This year’s game is the first in Gillette, having previously been played in Sheridan. It’s a more central location for Wyoming fans, and the Pronghorn Center is a slight upgrade from Sheridan’s Bruce Hoffman Golden Dome.
“It's definitely a nice facility. I think it was the nicest intramural facility in the country for a while," Wes said. "We're excited. It's got air conditioning in it, so we're excited to get down there and compete."
The girls will tip on Friday at 5 p.m. and the boys at 7.