It has been a strong start to 5B Conference play for the Three Forks High School Boys' Basketball team.
The Wolves finished the first half of conference play last week with a 4-1 record that included a 54-44 road win on January 6 over rival Manhattan. Three Forks fell 65-58 at home on January 7 against Townsend.
Head Coach Terry Hauser felt his team played a well-balanced game in the victory over the host Tigers and were especially good on defense.
"We held their two best players under double digits for the first time all year and it took a team effort. I was well pleased on the offensive end with how unselfish we played, the ball moved so well, and in most of our possessions, we took great shots. We also played the most disciplined game for four quarters all year, and that is why we came up with a great road win," Hauser said.
Caleb Van Vleet led the Wolves in scoring a game-high 14, Hunter Feddes had 13, and Dylan Swenson was also in double figures with 10. Sam Tesoro finished with eight, Colten Hayder had five, Shane Williams finished with three, and Tallyn McCauley added one.
Hauser said his team came out way too flat the following night against Townsend.
"It almost seemed like we were tired and sluggish from the night before. It was the complete opposite of the game versus Manhattan. We took quick shots, and our effort was not there until the fourth quarter, and it was a little too late by then to try to claw back," said Hauser. "It was a little frustrating as we could have taken the driver's seat in our conference standings midway through the season, but we will bounce back. I am super excited to be 4-1 in the conference and tied for first. Couldn't be prouder of the boys."
Swenson led the Wolves against Townsend with 16, Van Vleet finished with 14, and Tesoro had 10. Williams finished with five, Hayder ended his night with four, and Feddes added three points.
Three Forks (4-4, 4-1 5B) will be on the road on January 10 against East Helena and host Manhattan Christian on January 14.
"I am excited to have some non-conference games so we can work on a few different areas, especially a few things that we need to work on that would be tough in a conference game that is a must-win," Hauser said.
It will be the season's second matchup between Three Forks and MCHS, with the Eagles winning the season opener at home, 73-32.
"It's always exciting playing Christian, and I can't wait to get another chance to play them again, especially with the poor performance we had in the first game. I truly feel like we can compete with them if we can stay disciplined and stick to our philosophy on both ends of the floor," Hauser said.