Big Sandy senior Mateila Cline has been a contributor to Pioneer sports for the last four years. Cline has become a standout on the basketball court as a top-notch guard, as well as on the track as a speeder sprinter.
Now, nearing the end of her prep basketball career, she has earned plenty of accolades, but has her sights on a couple more.
On the track team, Cline has competed at the state level as leg in both the short and long relays. But on the basketball court, she has yet to escape the District 9C tournament in her past three seasons. Cline has been honored with accolades such as most improved, most steals, and defensive MVP, but she would love nothing more than to extend her senior season into the Northern C and Class C state tournaments.
Cline and the rest of the Pioneers suffered a tough loss on Thursday night to the North Star Knights, meaning Big Sandy has to take the long route if the Pioneers hope to get out of Havre and get to Great Falls next week. In the loser-out bracket, the Pioneers will now face Hays-Lodge Pole tonight at 6 p.m.
Here’s five questions with one of the Pioneers’ leaders, and one of the best shooters in this week’s 9C tournament.
HDN: What would it mean to you, never reaching the Northern C to get there this season?
Cline: “That would be a dream come true honestly. This team works so hard, and we work so hard in practice, and it is just unfortunate we haven’t made it. It would be a great reward.”
HDN: What is your favorite thing about the 9C tournament?
Cline: “Just getting to play basketball, I love basketball, it is my favorite sport. I love to play the game and love that we get to play consistently for three days straight. I love it.”
HDN: What is the most important thing a team has to do well to succeed at the 9C tournament?
Cline: “We focus on rebounds, out-rebounding the other team, and turnovers. Turnovers are a major thing. We have to play as a team and execute our offense.”
HDN: Has your game changed at all from your freshman season to now?
Cline: “I think I have improved a lot from my freshman year. And I think the players we have, have done the same thing. But I have tried to grow overall, in all areas so that I can be a well rounded player.”
HDN: Do you think this year’s team has the ability to reach the state tournament?
Cline: “Yes I do. I think if we put all of our keys together, focus, and play together we can make it. We need to play well rounded, and kind of be in sync. Yes that is what we need, we need to put together a couple of consistent games in a row.”