GREAT FALLS — The Roy-Winifred Lady Outlaws basketball team continued their undefeated season Saturday, Feb. 26, winning the Northern C divisional tournament against Box Elder.
The pairing of sisters Madeline and Isabelle Heggem are two of the main reasons why the team has seen great success.
The Heggem sisters are two years apart, with Isabelle being a sophomore and Madeline a senior headed for MSU-Billings next year to play basketball. They both stand over 6-feet tall and both contributed to making their team the team to beat at the state tournament next week in Great Falls.
“They bring so much because if they get past our guards and our defense up top then they run into them. And they’re both grabbing rebounds like it’s nobody’s business,” head coach Mauri Elness said.
In the span of two weeks the team beat Belt for the 8C district title and Box Elder for the divisional title. With their momentum, the sisters and the team are poised to get back to the state title game and win it all after falling short in 2021 with a third place finish.
“Our motto is respect all and fear none so we’re going to come out and be ready to play and bring everything we got and want the gold, we want to win it all, we want to play,” Madeline Heggem said.
Being close knit sisters, their bond is unmistakable on the court.
“We get along so well. We’ve been playing with each other for I don’t know how many years and we’re honestly such good friends. We all work hard and we all want the same goals.”
As with all sibling relationships though, there are rivalries.
“Oh they go up against each other every day in practice, we don’t have anyone else too guard them so but they make each other better for sure,” Elness explained.
The team heads into the state tournament as the one seed from the north where they’ll have a chance to once again be state champions with their last title shared with Belt in 2020.
“We just want tot go get it. Last year they battled hard, Laynee [Elness] was out with a knee injury so getting our point guard back will help so we’re ready to go compete. We got the guards, we got the bigs so we’re ready," Elness said.
Box Elder will enter the state tournament as the second seed from the Northern C division.
The Class C state tournament is March 9-12 at the Four Seasons Arena.