Thursday, February 22, 2018

Michael Don’t Mix races down the court during a Friday afternoon practice. After an off-season spent preparing, the Bulldogs started practice Nov. 17 with high expectations after last season’s upset at state.

Resetting the bar

HHS boys basketball team works toward making it another winning season
After coming up short at last year’s state tournament, Head Coach Andrew Roundface, now in his second year as head coach, has set a high bar for this year’s boys basketball team. With nine varsity players lost from last year’s lineup, this season’s roster includes only four returning players: Darnell Left Hand, Steffan Walks Over Ice, Holman Real Bird and Virgil McCormick.
Thursday marked the official first day of practice for the team after an off-season filled with exercise and training.
“Watching these guys play over the summer, we’ve really grown together,” Roundface said. “We have a few things we didn’t have last year; we have more experienced guards and young players looking to make the varsity roster.”
With long summer hours of practice, including open-court at 6 a.m. on various days, dedicated players took time to work on their skills. 
“I’m really excited about it. These guys have a different mentality than last year,” he said. “Last year, it was about trying to make it to state. This year, they’re a lot hungrier.”
Roundface aims to focus overall on improving the team’s defense, as he insists the team already “knows how to score.”
With inspiration from last year’s success, the Bulldogs focus on their overall goal of returning to state with the intention of finishing in first.
“I don’t think there’s any fear in our team from us going to state last year. I think they’re all ready to go,” Roundface said. “They’re excited to be at that level and the seniors who came back will make sure we’re at that level, because they had a little taste and they want to go and make it to state again.”
With high expectations and motivation, the Hardin High School basketball team continues practice with their first games scheduled for Dec. 9 and 10 in Havre.