MISSOULA – One of the top high school girls basketball programs in western Montana expects another great season, but it will also go through some growing pains.
The Missoula Sentinel Spartans have played in the past two state championship games, but they have a very new squad this season. Karen Deden’s club suits up only a couple seniors and only a couple girls with significant varsity experience.
They got a up close look at the level they need to reach when they fell 55-41 against state contender Billings West last weekend.
“We really learned how to play with each other and what we need to do,” said junior forward Lexi Deden, one of the most experienced stars on the team. “Hustle back on D, just getting back. We’re really young, and I think that’s a great opportunity for us to get a lot better.”
“I think actually within the game we got better,” said the head coach. “That first quarter they beat us, but second, third and fourth quarter we beat them, so I thought we did a better job. Boxing out bigs, because we give up a little bit of weight, and then finishing, and the finishing part, I think, will come. It’s just lack of experience.”
Sentinel did pick up blowout victories in its other two games over Stevensville and Billings Skyview. The Spartans will get back on the court at home Friday night against Great Falls High.