GREAT FALLS — The State C girls basketball tournament begins Friday afternoon at the Four Seasons Arena in Great Falls, where teams from the Northern division have won six of the past seven championships and eight of the past 11.
This year’s North representatives are strong contenders again, with defending champion Box Elder and divisional champ Roy-Winifred.
The Outlaw girls don’t have a single senior on their roster. Led by junior post Dyauni Boyce and 6-foot-1 freshman Madeline Heggen, Roy-Winifred took down the heavily favored Bears in the Northern C title game behind stifling defense down the stretch. It’s something the team will continue to hang its hat on this week as the Outlaws open the State C tournament against Wibaux.
“Our man-to-man defense, it’s really good,” said Boyce. “And a lot of people don’t know how to play offense against a man-to-man. Our girls have a lot of heart and I’m very proud of them.”
It’s something the Outlaws worked on in practice and honed facing tough District 8C opponents like Belt, Hobson-Moore-Judith Gap and Winnett-Grass Range during the regular season.
“Well, we often say whoever wins the rebounding battle wins the game and I think that proved true (against Box Elder),” said co-head coach Marietta Boyce. “They were animals off the boards and off the glass there and took care of business.”
“Defensively, I always say defense creates good offense,” said co-coach Mauri Elness. “And if you’re playing good defense, you’re going to get more opportunities at the basket and we’ve just done that all year long.”
The Roy-Winifred girls open the State C tournament at 12:30 p.m. against Wibaux, the No. 2 seed out of the Southern division.