GLASGOW — Competitive games have been hard to come by this season for the Scobey boys basketball team.
The unbeaten Spartans have only had two games within 10 points, but they’re outscoring opponents by more than 30 points per game. Remaining focused on its goals is what has kept Scobey driving for more.
“We just try to make the best out of the games we’ve had,” sophomore Caden Handran said. “Keep the starters in the first half and get the younger guys to play the rest of the game. Try to focus as much as we can.”
“Probably our coach, honestly. Our coach keeps us pretty hyped up every practice, every game. It’s the same intensity level throughout the season,” said senior Austyn Fishell.
The Spartans are capable of going 12-deep on any given night, and there’s no dropoff in play from the guys coming off the bench. That depth has paid off in practice.
“Our practices a lot of times are more competitive than some of the games,” Scobey head coach Jason Wolfe said. “We really feel like because of our depth, we’re able to get a lot of experience through practice that we’d normally get in a game.”
“We like to have fun for a little bit,” Handran said. “I don’t know, it gets pretty competitive, too. We like to compete with each other, so it’s pretty competitive.”
Tremendous depth and talent have obviously been a factor in Scobey’s unbeaten season to date, but it’s on the defensive side of the ball that the Spartans separate themselves from the pack.
Scobey is giving up just under 30 points a night and has only allowed one opponent to score more than 40 – Class B Wolf Point scored 51 in a late-season loss to the Spartans. But with the lack of competitive games in its district, Scobey has had to find the energy to compete within itself.
“Defensively, we’ve had games this year where we’re not rotating well, we lose a little bit of our focus and our confidence,” Wolfe said. “I think maybe it’s because scores get out of hand a little bit. That’s a challenge that we talk about every night, is making sure we stay in it from an energy standpoint. That’s something we always have control over.”
Scobey’s five seniors have been instrumental in keeping that competitive spirit up daily. The Spartans have been hungry after falling short in last year’s State C consolation game to Melstone and, with their mix of leadership, talent and depth, look primed to turn the corner.
“Last year we were really close, had a great game with Arlee in the semifinals. We hope to build off that experience and generate some positive momentum from that going in,” Wolfe said.
“I think if we keep shooting good, getting out and running and rebounding the ball, I think we should be fine. We’ve been rolling on defense so far this season, so I think we’ll be fine,” said Handran.
Scobey opens up the 2019 State C boys basketball tournament against back-to-back defending champion Arlee at 2 p.m. on Thursday.