When basketball teams start their conference play schedule, you know it's about to get good. It also brings along one of the most anticipated matchups of the year - crosstown for CMR and Great Falls High.
Great Falls High has dominated in crosstown matchups over the years - winning all three last year - and not one player on the roster has ever lost to CMR. The Bison started out their season at a hot 6-1 record, and the team agrees that a win at home would show them what they're capable of in conference play.
"It's not like one team has an edge over another. Hopefully we will be motivated to go out and try to keep that going," said head coach Bob Howard. "We'll have our hands full. We have some pretty good kids and hopefully we can execute, come out, hang in there, and compete."
"They're solid, but we play other solid teams, so gotta treat it like everybody else," added senior guard Blake Thelan. "Obviously we know them, we know how they play, their strengths, stuff like that, so we'll try to use that to our advantage and they'll try to use that to their advantage too so overall I think it should be a good, solid game."
As for CMR, the Rustlers say they're ready to get their first win against Great Falls High for anyone on the team. The green and gold have dominated during the first weeks of the season, holding an impressive 5-1 record. CMR has struggled in conference play the past few years, and after winning their first conference game, they say that a crosstown win would give them the momentum they need to keep succeeding.
"My experience in that Bison/Rustler game is that if you can win that game, it kind of propels you a little bit over the next few weeks until the next one a month later," said head coach John Cislo. "We are more of a confident team and I think we just have to keep playing that way. If we can do that, I think we have a good chance."
"I think we've had no more than two conference wins ever since I've been here so to get them right out of the way early, to get two in a row would be huge for all of us," added senior guard Sam Vining.
The crosstown matchup for the Electric City boys will be Tuesday, January 9th at 7:30pm in the Swarthout Fieldhouse at Great Falls High.