It’s hard to believe that some 350 days ago I was heading to Hamilton, Montana to broadcast my second State C Girls Basketball Tournament for KMON. Now I get to do it all over again. This time I don’t have to drive quite as far.
Last season, when the Belt Lady Huskies won their third consecutive Class C Girls State Championship they were the team with the home court advantage. Yes you read that right.
I did my research with the help of Google and found out an interesting statistic. Belt’s squad actually had to travel the least amount of miles to head to the State Tournament than all of the teams. That isn’t something you would bargain on after a 235 mile trip.
However, the Lady Huskies and Coach Graham were able to make the trip home just a little bit easier after defeating Hinsdale 63-18 in the Championship. The 63-18 final didn’t make it any easier on the broadcaster though.
Out of necessity I had to ask myself, “What on earth do you talk about in a 45 point blowout game for the State Championship?” Well as a young man who is getting his Bachelor of Science or B.S. in Communication (the other BS) I figured I would just keep talking.
And I did.
And I did.
And I did.
Then it was halftime.
This time it won’t be nearly as dull for the broadcaster as the Lady Huskies have a tough road ahead in Missoula. In what some think could be the best game of the State C Girls Basketball Tournament the Lady Huskies will take on the No. 2 Seed out of the Eastern C Divisional Saco-Whitewater-Hinsdale who lost to Circle 49-48 in that Divisional Championship.
It’s a rematch, sort of, as the Lady Huskies will play Hinsdale after defeating them in the State Title Game last season. Hinsdale only brings over two girls from that squad a year ago to the Saco-Whitewater squad that lost in loser-out action last season to Winnett-Grass Range after falling to the Lady Huskies 44-34 in the semifinals.
The Saco-Whitewater-Hinsdale team defeated an 8C team early, and I mean early this season, when they took down the Highwood Lady Mountaineers 55-39. I’ll be anxious to see how my broadcast partner Brandon Gondeiro, the coach of the Highwood Lady Mountaineers, thinks the Belt Lady Huskies will do against Saco-Whitewater-Hinsdale.
I will also be anxious to find out what the mascot is for Saco-Whitewater-Hinsdale.
Let’s not forget how well the Lady Huskies can play. Belt is good, real good.
With talented guards on the outside like Pimperton and Martin shooting the three-ball the way they are it might be a three-point bonanza in Missoula. Pimperton makes it look easy shooting from 20-plus feet away and Addy Martin must have felt some of that confidence rub off because in the Northern C Divisional Championship game against Cascade as Martin went 6 for 6 from behind the arc.
It wasn’t a fluke because watching these Lady Huskies for the last few weeks I’ve come to realize a couple of things.
One, they are good.
Two, they can shoot.
Three, I wouldn’t bet against them.
I’m really looking forward to this weekend of basketball in Missoula and I think the Lady Huskies are as well.
I don’t think that the MHSA could have picked a better venue for this Class C State Girls Basketball Tournament. We are talking about playing at Dahlberg Arena inside the Adams Center at the University of Montana where the Lady Griz play. If you’ve never been to Dahlberg Arena during a Lady Griz game you are missing out.
Under the direction of former Class C standout and Grizzly great Robin Selvig of Outlook, Montana in his 37th season the Lady Griz have become a basketball brand. Selvig’s squad is nearing completing their 35th 20-win season.
With all the accomplishments of the Lady Griz, Missoula has become a Mecca of women’s basketball. They support it. They love it. They embrace it.
That’s exactly what they will do this Thursday through Saturday when Class C’s best teams come to the Garden City.
I have no doubt that the Maroon normally sported by the fans of the University of Montana won’t be missing from Dahlberg Arena when the Maroon and Gold of Belt, Montana fills the seats as they cheer on their Lady Huskies to hopefully a fourth consecutive Class C Title.
And why wouldn’t you expect a full turnout of the Husky faithful in Missoula? It’s only 190 miles away this time.