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Top-seeded Laurel girls to lean on defense at Eastern A super-divisional

Posted at 6:17 PM, Feb 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-19 21:42:15-05

LAUREL — For only the second time in more than 30 years, Laurel’s basketball girls are Eastern A regular-season champions. But after clinching the title Thursday in a season sweep over rival Billings Central, the celebration is long over.

Montana’s super-divisional tournament between the Eastern A and Central A conferences tips off Wednesday morning in Billings at Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark. That’s where Laurel will continue to rely on defense. In their past five wins, the Locomotives have given up only 26 points per game — a big reason they’re the top draw.

“It’s always a good feeling to have that first seed going into the tournament,” said guard Mya Hansen. “It just gives us that little push, even though we’re not just satisfied with that. We just want to keep on winning, keep on doing what we can do.”

And that means more of the same principles, with a few tweaks.

“Pretty much normal,” guard Sammi Spitzer said of this week’s workouts. “We’re just working to fix a few things that we need to get better at, and hopefully keep going forward and keep doing better.”

After 14 seasons of coaching Laurel’s boys, head coach Pat Hansen last spring elected to add the girls to his schedule. Not bad: a No. 1 seed in one season.

“What I like about our kids right now is, I think we’re in a pretty good position where we’re at,” said Hansen. “That being said, we can tweak a couple of things, change a couple of adjustments that we need to off our same principles. But this is the exciting time, these girls put in time in the summer, put in time all season long and this is kind of what they play for.”

Laurel’s girls play Wednesday at 5 p.m. against the morning winner between Lewistown and Miles City. Hansen won’t have to coach the boys until Thursday at 1:30 p.m. against Livingston.

Please click here to see all of Montana’s boys and girls divisional pairings and scoreboards.