When the Eastern A divisional tournament kicks off next week inside First Interstate Arena in Billings, the Hardin girls will be on the short list of championship contenders. And, surprise, surprise, the Bulldogs have an extremely potent offense, as evidenced by their 99-point outburst against Laurel this past weekend.
How Hardin has gone about getting those buckets this year, though, has been slightly different. Gone are dominant post-players of years past, as the Bulldogs are guard-heavy this year.
“Defensively we’ve had to work a lot harder," Hardin head coach Cindy Farmer said. "The guards have to double-down or come from the weak side to help with our post defense and stuff. When we do play a team that does have a strong post, we do have to make quite a few adjustments.”
It’s the same old song and dance in the Eastern A, as Havre and Billings Central join Hardin among the state’s top teams. The depth of the conference is starting to catch up, making it a battle night-in, night-out.
“Everybody comes at us. We just have to be ready for anything. Everybody has a good team and we just have to focus on the task at hand and get the job done, be more consistent," said senior guard Kylee Old Elk.
“Every team that we play, they’re going to bring their best game when they play us," Farmer said. "We have to keep raising our level of play and it just seems like sometimes it’s not there that night, but the consistency will come with knowing that we do have to meet the expectations of everybody that we play, no matter who it is.”
Hardin is currently 14-3 and will wrap up its regular season this weekend against Lewistown. The Bulldogs were swept by Havre this season and split with Billings Central.