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Tight-knit newcomers embracing challenge at Billings West

Bears replacing seven seniors
Billings West boys basketball
Posted at 6:20 PM, Dec 16, 2019

BILLINGS — You might not recognize Billings West's boys basketball varsity team this year, but they've been playing together almost half their lives.

The Bears won their opener Friday against Missoula Big Sky but came up short against State AA favorite Missoula Hellgate Saturday. Some early season jitters are expected, as the program replaced seven seniors, including all-state guard Jesse Owens. But expect this group to figure things out quickly, thanks to a strong bond.

"Just really excited about the group of guys we have," said senior Josh Erbacher. "Everyone works really hard and everyone plays really well together. We're going to be pretty confident with our chemistry considering I think there's like six of us that I've been playing with since fourth grade."

"They've played together for so long and we're all friends, so I think we're a tight-knit group - just hanging out before and after the games," added senior Cade Tyson. "I think the whole experience, it'll be a fun year."

The Bears' next test comes this weekend, as they host Helena Capital on Friday and Helena High on Saturday.