FRENCHTOWN — This is usually the time of year powerhouse programs do most of the winning on the high school basketball courts. But everyone has a chance in the postseason, and sometimes someone new jumps up and grabs the trophy.
The Darby boys have been searching for their moment for a long time. The Tigers last won a basketball title in 1991, but they entered the District 13C tournament as the top seed with only a single loss all season. In the district championship, Darby ran by second-seeded Seeley-Swan 65-38, giving the Tigers a long-sought celebration.
“It feels great. I don’t think we’ve ever been champions in anything,” said senior Cole Kayser with a smile. “I couldn’t ask for a better team. I think it’s huge for the Darby community. We’ve just noticed at the home games a steady growth in crowds. We always get people coming up to us in town, just telling us thank you and that we’re doing a good job.”
“All year we’ve been looking forward to doing this,” added senior Brandon Winters. “Seeley-Swan last year took us out. We came and brought it (Saturday).”
“It feels absolutely amazing,” said senior Daniel Muir. “I’ve been looking forward to it all year. I know we could do it. I know that we all had the confidence to, and we all had the mentality to keep going and never give up.”
Even though they will go up against Western C powers in the divisional tournament this week, the guys see no reason the fun should end now.
“We just have to keep in our heads that everyone is beatable, except for us,” Winters joked. “We’re just going to come in and bring it. We’ve just got to know that we’re going to win.”
“We’ve got to take this little bit of a confidence booster,” said Kayser. “We’ve got to go in working hard and confident that whoever we get matched up with we’re there to win.”
“Just keep one practice, one game at a time,” added senior Dylan Parks. “We’ll show up there and we’ll do what we did (Saturday).”
Darby starts its quest right away on Thursday in Butte, playing the first game of the Western C tournament against Gardiner at 9 a.m.