GREAT FALLS – The Heart Butte boys have been through it all this season. The team and its fans have basically been stranded from getting back into their town for the past month because of snow, but the Warriors do not care. They just keep on winning. Winning cures everything when the chances of a state title are so close.
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” What lies within the Heart Butte Warriors boys basketball team is dedication, the team is still undefeated this far in the year, resourcefulness, the team defeated Chinook even when out-rebounded 41-28 in the Northern C semi-finals, and finally perseverance, the team recovered from a slow start and trailing most of the game to come back and beat Sunburst in the Northern C divisional championship game.
“In our first game of the year, we were tested. We were down by 18 points I think it was,” said senior Charlie Tailfeathers. “Then we came back and won that, and ever since then we figured out that anything is possible.”
“We have a motto; it’s called stay hungry, stay humble, stay focused,” said sophomore Riley Spoonhunter. “That’s our motto every game. Game by game from here on out it’s win or go home and we want to go to state.”
Go to state they shall! The Warriors head into Butte on a high note with the team clicking on all cylinders. In that Sunburst game, everyone contributed. Shylon and Riley Spoonhunter wowed the crowd with jaw dropping plays, Anthony Aimsback returned from an injury in the first half to add a defensive presence, and when the team needed key buckets to come back in crunch time, Charlie Tailfeathers delivered, knocking down multiple threes en route to a Heart Butte win.
“Don’t quit! We just don’t quit until we come out with a W,” said senior Isaiah ArrowTopKnot. “Charlie went off, he hit four threes, then Anthony came back and gave us some good defensive pressure. Then Riley and Shylon’s presence, those boys have been carrying a lot of the team. Those boys are good.”
“It all started in Charlie and I’s sophomore year, our first time qualifying for divisionals. Then after that we just started building and building that team chemistry. It’s starting to finally pay off our senior season,” said senior Shylon Spoonhunter.
Go 27-0 and win the state championship. That’s the goal, and by how the Warriors have played in-sync all season, that reality just might happen. Coach Kellen Hall is behind them all the way.
“We’ve been through a lot. We’ve faced a lot of adversity, what that did, that brought us together a lot more,” said Hall. “We had our ups and downs, in the end those downs actually made us even that much more tight knit. I’d face anything with this team. I love these boys with all my heart.”
The Warriors will play Manhattan Christian down at the Civic Center in Butte for the first round of the Class C boys state tournament on March 1st.