Helena High girls basketball is already hard at work. The Lady Bengals are preparing to defend their first state title since 1997.
"We're going to be hopefully hitting on all cylinders here soon," said Lady Bengals head coach Ethan Peterson.
Even though Helena graduated five seniors from the 2017 championship roster, head coach Ethan Peterson says the goals of the program remain the same.
"Personnel wise we have some athletes where we think we can keep most of the stuff the same as far as getting up and down the floor as much as we can," said Coach Peterson.
All-state guard Kamden Hilborn was last season's team assist leader and is now the only senior. She says effort will be key to developing this year's squad.
"Just winning every ball, you know, going as hard as we can all the time in practice and a game, wherever it may be and just really focusing on working as hard as we can," said Kamden Hilborn.
All-state forward Jamie Pickens was the leading scorer and re-bounder a year ago. The recent Lady Griz commit hopes to set an example on the court.
"I try and work as hard as I can but stay humble also and work with my teammates and communicate and be a leader out there. I think communication is going to be the biggest thing and just executing what Coach P says and using that," said Jamie Pickens.
Coach says the returners will help but younger kids will have to rise to the challenge as well.
"It's going to be a fun year and we're going to find out what we're made of before Christmas with these non-conference games and then we'll start getting into conference and every game's going to count," said Coach Peterson.
The Lady Bengals open the regular season in "The Jungle" on December 5th against Butte.