WORDEN — One of Montana’s greatest basketball players, both high school and college, has returned to the sidelines.
After a stint at Missoula Sentinel and a year alongside Kevin Woodin at MSUB, former Lady Griz and Billings West star Mandy Morales is in year two at Huntley Project, where she initially began her hoops career.
“I try to teach them how to be disciplined and the commitment to be a good ball player,” Morales said. “It takes a lot of time and hours that are offseason. I always tell them that there’s someone out there working harder than you. I think the girls really have that great mentality to get it done. My motto is ‘Can’t stop, won’t stop,’ so I try to implement that on them.”
Morales has a pretty gifted player to make things easier on her, as sophomore Paige Lofing has proven to be one of the best offensive weapons in the entire state. All that attention means others are pouring it in, too, and it’s a team that features mostly underclassmen.
“Because we have that target on our back that everybody is out for us, I tell the girls we’ve got to come to work every day and practice and get some stuff done, then be able to roll the ball out and play." Morales said.
With such a vast skillset, where has Morales really challenged her youngster to improve?
“Mostly talking. She is a quiet girl, but I’m trying to get her to talk and get to that next level. She’s going to need it. She’s pretty savvy at the point guard level, but I want her to be able to play off the ball and going off screens," said Morales. "That’s what she needs for the next level.”
Project heads into the Christmas break at 5-0.