GREAT FALLS — Although games are still more than a week away, the Great Falls High girls basketball team is itching to show what it can do during the COVID season, especially after last season’s divisional appearance went sour.
It was as if there was a lid on the basket as the Bison lost out after two low-scoring affairs to Billings Senior and Bozeman at the Eastern AA divisional last year.
"I think the best thing for us, as crazy as it sounds, last year was to lose that heart-breaker to Bozeman at divisionals because these seniors this year, it's like different feeling," senior Ryen Palmer said. "Like, we're not going to walk out of the gym feeling like that ever again. We're going to do everything we can."
They’re going to do everything they can in a season where anything can happen. Great Falls High’s volleyball program dealt with a long COVID layoff this fall. Bison senior Alison Harris, who played volleyball, wants to make every basketball opportunity count.
"I think I would say that we're lucky, honestly, to get this time to practice together and be together as a group before our games," Harris said. "I think it's giving us a new opportunity to bond and to grow as a team. And that's something that we wouldn't have gotten last season."
Outside of Harris, the Bison will be a guard-oriented team, and like crosstown rival Great Falls CMR, they believe their success will hinge on playing up-tempo and sharing the ball.
"It's definitely going to have to be spread. We don't have one person that's just going to show up," Palmer said. "And I think that's going to be harder to defend us, because it could be a different person on any given day."
The Bison will open the season against Belgrade on Jan. 5 in the Old Gym.