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Great Falls High basketball teams young but confident entering season

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Posted at 5:24 PM, Nov 30, 2023

GREAT FALLS — Football season is out and basketball season is in. The Great Falls High basketball teams are preparing for the 2023-24 season.

Girls head coach Jerry Schmitz told MTN Sports his team is young and undersized but will be leaning on the two seniors to pull the younger girls together. Isis Haslem and Kyesha Farmer started for the Bison during the previous season and have taken on bigger leadership roles for this year's campaign.

“Coming into this season with a younger squad, I’m very confident about it since they have all had varsity playing time the year before,” said Farmer. “I think they are a really great group of kids, so I’m excited.”

“I think that us as leaders can really make a difference and inspire these girls to push themselves and play at the upper level,” said Haslem.

One of the keys to success for the Lady Bison will be rebounding the ball, according to Schmitz. Limiting opposing teams to one shot per possession will make a huge difference in giving themselves a better chance at putting together some wins.

The boys face similar challenges with minimal veteran leadership and lack of size but plan to feed off their other strengths in order to be successful.

“Athletically we’ll be able to compete with a lot of teams. We don’t have a lot of size, but if we can shoot the ball a little bit and get some confidence that way, the defense will feed off that and we’ll go from there,” said head coach Bob Howard.

The returners have acknowledged that they will enter many of their games as the underdogs and have emphasized to their teammates what they will need to do in order to have some success.

“We have to play together as a team every game and all game,” said Scotty Klinker. “We’re the underdog of the year, so we have to play as a team all the time — communicate, talk and just play as a family.”

“We don’t have the size or athletic ability that we’ve had in the past, so I think we’re going to have to play really good defense,” added Mason Kralj.

The Bison open their season on Dec. 8 against Kalispell Flathead. The girls will travel to Kalispell and the boys will be at home with a 7:15 p.m. tipoff time.