Bison, Rustlers Prepare for AA State Tournament - News, Sports and Weather

Bison, Rustlers Prepare for AA State Tournament

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Great Falls will have three representatives at the Class AA state tournament this week in Billings.

Among the favorites to win state are the Lady Bison. They enter the tournament with the 2-seed in the AA East. But with their opening game starting at 9 a.m. their biggest opponent could be the clock.

"The thing is just getting your mind right more than anything," says Lady Bison head coach Gregg Dart. "You gotta get up and be ready to go fairly quickly."

The Lady Bison have been practicing at six in the morning to prepare for their early game against Kalispell Glacier. Great falls will have to be ready for strong guard play and for one of the state's best scorers in Carroll-commit Cassi Hashley

"We're always going to know where there little guard is because she's really good," Says Great Falls Junior Lizzy Klinker. "And they have other guards too that are pretty good. And also watch the back side on Hashley cuz they like the lob."

By far the team with the most upset potential would be the Great Falls High boys. The Bison are the 4-seed in the East and are the highest scoring team in state, making them a dangerous opponent for anyone, including top-ranked Capital High who had the best defense in the state.

"They're a great defensive team and a great offensive team," says Bison Junior Matthew Wyman. "You just gotta be sound on both ends. We gotta take good shots and get stops down on the defensive end. So I think we know what we need to do to beat them and we're going to go get them."

The Bruins swept both meetings with the Bison in the regular season, holding Great Falls to just 38 points in the second game.

The CMR boys also swept the Bison this year avenging last year's loss in the state play-in game that which kept them out of the tournament played in Great Falls. That served as major motivation for the Rustlers who rallied back from a 1-5 start this season to earn the 2-seed in the East.

"We didn't like sitting at home. Especially with State here, in Great Falls our home town," Says CMR Senior Jayse McLean. "It's a good win for us. The way we started the beginning of the season, it was a rough start. Things didn't look too bright but we turned it around and now we're going to state as a 2-seed."

CMR will play a Glacier team they lost to earlier in the year.

The AA Basketball tournament will kick off with the Great Falls girls versus Glacier at 9 a.m., and then the CMR boys will take on Glacier at 12:00 p.m. That big game between the Great Falls High boys and Capital will be at 1:30 p.m.

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