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'We ball': Winnett-Grass Range big three leading Rams to the postseason

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Posted at 1:34 PM, Jan 31, 2024

GREAT FALLS — The Winnett-Grass Range big three has the boys basketball team rolling as the district tournament nears. Jace Dunkel, Brady Bantz and Jace Bantz have the Rams at a perfect 10-0 in District 8C, a complete turnaround from last year’s 7-7 finish.

“They put a lot of work in over the offseason and two of them are seniors so it means a lot to them,” said head coach Brandon Bantz. “The kids are good leaders and the other kids follow them, and the kids get in the gym. That’s turning into success during the season.”

After losing in the consolation semifinals of last year’s district tournament, the Rams knew the caliber of players they were bringing back and raised the standard for this season.

“We have a few upperclassmen this year. We kind of had the expectation that we’d come in and play the best we could and see where we could get with it,” said senior Brady Bantz.

With the return of 6-foot-3 sophomore Jace Bantz and 6-3 senior Jace Dunkel, the Rams knew they’d be able to man the middle and defend the painted area. Offensively they returned a lot of shooting in Brady, but the roster is compiled with players that have stepped up and made this a winning season. Dunkel explained to MTN Sports that they received two transfers and quality freshmen that have stepped up for the team.

The team describes themselves as a brotherhood and believes that having fun while playing with each other makes things easier and will help lead to more success. When Jace Bantz was asked how he would describe this team in his own words, he responded with, “We ball."

Balling out is exactly what they will have to do as the remaining games on their schedule do not get any easier.

“We have to play Belt, we have to go to Belt. We have to go to Roy-Winifred, we’ve got a couple other tough games, and we just have to keep taking it one step at a time but seeding in our tournament is going to be important,” said coach Bantz.

The District 8C tournament will begin Feb. 14 at Great Falls High School.