GREAT FALLS — The Great Falls CMR girls basketball team went just 2-16 in the regular season last year, but ahead of the 2019-20 season, the Rustlers have reasons to be optimistic.
First, CMR returns a lot of experience, including senior Allie Olsen. Last year's team had only two seniors, and neither started. Head coach Brian Crosby said that experience, combined with a strong showing at the end of the year that saw the Rustlers upset Bozeman in the Eastern AA divisional tournament, motivated this group to improve over the summer.
"I would say our sophomore class and our junior class really, really worked hard and really got better," Crosby said. "The seniors, hopefully they provide that leadership that we need to get over the hump. I'm really excited about this. It's a great group."
Second, the Rustlers will have some roster crossover with the volleyball team that took third at the State AA tournament last week. In addition to Olsen, the Rustlers bring in sophomores Kendal Stoll, Lauren Lindseth, and Natalie Bosley from the volleyball team.
"We have a couple that were playing volleyball that are playing basketball now," Lindseth said. "So hopefully we can just keep that mentality through this season. It'd be really fun."
"You've got someone like Allie and Lauren, that had a lot of success and are great leaders, probably the hardest workers in the gym in any sport they play, so that's exciting," Crosby added. "I do think there's a big correlation with that. We want multi-sport athletes but having a couple of kids that had a lot of success on the volleyball court is really going to help us."