MISSOULA – We enter every high school season with an idea what to expect. But it’s largely based on previous years, and, inevitably, someone jumps up and surprises us.
The Whitefish boys won only twice last year. They’ve already passed that total in three games this season, and, most impressively, the Bulldogs took down Hamilton in the Class A tipoff tournament in Missoula last Friday. Whitefish led for most of the game and then made the big plays late to win in overtime, handing the highly-ranked Broncs only their second loss over the past two seasons.
New head coach Scott Smith doesn’t want his team to start thinking too far ahead, but he knows what a win like this can do.
“We’re feeling pretty good. We’re feeling pretty optimistic, early on I think every team is,” said Smith. “You’ve been working hard in practice. We knew that Hamilton is a very good team, and we’re going to have to play well to have a chance at them. It’s a big win. Like I told our kids, it’s one game at a time. We can’t ever be satisfied. But it’s a great program win. The kids just got done telling me they haven’t won at a tipoff tournament since they’ve been freshmen, so for us to win, it’s a good thing for the program.”
Whitefish also beat conference rival Polson on the road in the opener and then ran away from Stevensville at the tipoff tournament on Saturday. The Bulldogs will try to keep it going versus Libby and Browning this week.