RONAN — The high school basketball season has reached the final stretch. Seven state tournaments tip off in Montana this week, and this time the Florence girls are making the trip. We highlight the soaring Falcons in this week’s KPAX Youth Sports Spotlight.
Florence stumbled out of the gate, losing its first two games of the season. Since then, the Falcons have won 19 consecutive games, including the Western B divisional championship. Last year, largely the same group of girls had a fantastic season but got upset at divisionals and didn’t qualify for the state bracket. So, finishing the deal this year has been a long time coming.
“When we ended up 20-2 last year, and after I went and watched the state tournament, I knew we should have been there,” said head coach Duane Zeiler. “It just made the girls that much more hungry to get in the gym and work hard. Our goal at the beginning of the season was to be playing Saturday night in the state tournament.”
“We’ve been putting in work since third grade,” said senior forward MaKenna Liles. “We’ve all been playing together for a really long time. We’ve been talking about it ever since we were little. We grew up watching the girls above us play, and we’ve always wanted to take it to the next level. And making it to state is huge for us.”
Florence heads to Belgrade for the State B girls tournament. The Falcons will take on defending state champion Three Forks in the first round at 1:30 p.m. Thursday.