Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Ivery Fritzler guards against Karissa DuShane during a Monday afternoon basketball practice in the Hardin High School gymnasium. She and DuShane are two of the Lady Bulldogs’ eight returning varsity players.

Lady Bulldogs enter new basketball season with ‘high expectations’

Lady Bulldog basketball players are running, dribbling, shooting and guarding to practice for this season’s upcoming matches. An estimated 60 Hardin High School students tried out on Nov. 16 and 33 of them avoided cuts after three days, thus qualifying for the school’s varsity, junior varsity or freshmen teams.
 
Last year, the Ladies took second place in Class A with a 22-2 record, which Head Coach Cindy Farmer said in March was “the best record in the history of the girls’ basketball program.”
 
For the 2017-18 season, they have eight returning varsity players: Sharmayne Hardy, Karissa DuShane, Arena Plenty, Marie Five, Bergan Real Bird, Shaelynn Walks Over Ice, Ivery Fritzler and Mashaya Alden. One new player Farmer mentioned is Aiyana Ereaux, a transfer student who competed in basketball last year as a shooting guard for the Billings Skyview Falcons.
 
As is customary with Farmer’s approach to the game, the Ladies are practicing “the fundamentals and the little things.” That way, she said, the players can become skilled in their roles and ready for more complex strategies.
 
Players were further prepared over the summer through team camps in Missoula and Hardin, and tournaments in Billings and Laurel.
 
“We always have high expectations, but it’s a process,” she said. “Every day, we need to be working on…rebounding, defense, just playing together as a team.”
 
One of the team’s main assets is its guards, according to Farmer, plus she believes Hardin’s post players “can run the court” at an up-tempo pace. This combination opens up the chance to employ an effective half-court offense against opponents.
 
From Dec. 7-9, the Ladies’ varsity and JV teams will be competing at the Rimrock Auto Arena in Billings for the All-American Indian Shootout.
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