MISSOULA – High school basketball has finally tipped off around the state of Montana. Add the Florence Falcons girls to the list of teams looking for a little revenge in the 2018-19 season.
The girls cruised through last season, piling up a total of 20 wins. However, in the Western B divisional tournament, the Falcons surprisingly dropped a semifinal game and did not make the state tournament.
Head coach Duane Zeiler said with all the girls he has returning and with no injuries to worry about, the team is in a good spot.
“It makes it nice, because once they get into practice they know what’s going on. I don’t have to worry about, ‘Are we starting over with new drills? Are we starting over with new players and stuff, because the girls don’t understand?’ or anything like that,” Zeiler said. “They do pretty good, because it’s just nice to have that core of girls back. This year, we don’t have any injuries. Last year, we fought injuries all year long. Knock on wood, we don’t have any right now, so everybody is healthy. Feels like we are 100 percent as far as health goes, where this last year we were fighting four or five injuries all year long.”
While the Falcons had no troubles putting points on the board, their defense surrendered their fair share of points. Both Zeiler and the players know they need to improve on that side of the ball if they want to make it to the state tournament.
“To get where we want this year, in the state championship, we’ve got to learn to play a little better defense and dig a little deeper when times get tough. The ball doesn’t always go in on the offensive end, but we can always play defense,” said Zeiler.
“I think the defense will get us to the next level, and we all kind of agreed on it that we can shoot and stuff and we can score, but we need to do our defense and that will get us to the next step,” said junior Emma Stensrud.