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Class AA's top rebounder Laura Rosenleaf, Butte looking to "take that next step"

Posted at 11:34 AM, Dec 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-14 13:34:23-05

BUTTE — Laura Rosenleaf feels at home when she's crashing the glass.

"Rebounding to me is just something that you do," said the Butte High senior. "The ball goes up, you go in. It feels like common sense."

That penchant for scrapping the boards earned Rosenleaf the title of Class AA's top rebounder last season. She averaged an even 10 rebounds last season to eclipse Flathead's Kennedy Moore (9.7 rpg) and Skyview standout and State AA MVP Breanna Williams (9.4).

At 5-foot-10, Rosenleaf was surprised to find herself atop that stat line. Then again, corralling rebounds is often more about heart than height.

"Yeah seeing that stat it was kind of crazy," she said. "Even just hearing it now, as a five-ten girl to be getting that is really cool. I really thought height would be the biggest thing when it comes to rebounding but it's really not."

Rosenleaf's contributions to the Bulldogs will be critical this season after Butte graduated a slew of scoring threats last season including Kodie Hoagland, Ashley Olson and Brooke McGrath.

The Bulldogs posted an overall record of 10-12 last season — under then first-year head coach Bryan Arntson — including their first trip to the State AA tournament since 2019.

Butte bowed out after going 0-2 in Billings, but it was still a worthwhile experience and a promising sign of things to come with their new coach.

"Playing with (Arntson) was a completely different experience but it was really special and I think last year we really had a great team bond and just a chemistry that I don't think most team's are lucky enough to get," said Rosenleaf.

Arntson said he'll be relying on Rosenleaf to guide this season's relatively young squad, which opened its season with a 68-41 non-conference loss to Bozeman Gallatin last week.

"She does so many good things for us," he said. "We're looking for her to really take that next step up in her leadership role and bring everybody along with her."

The Bulldogs will play their home opener against Belgrade on Thursday, travel to Dillon on Tuesday and then open Western AA conference play on the road against Kalispell Glacier on January 6.