By Rob Everingham
BIG SANDY -- The Big Sandy Pioneers will try to make it two in three years this weekend as they head to the State Class C girls' basketball state tournament in Missoula.
The Pioneers are coming into the tournament with a perfect 23-0 record and are one of three unbeaten teams at the state tourney. The Reedpoint Pirates from the south and Richey Royals from the east are the other two unbeaten teams.
Big Sandy head coach Roy Lackner said the No. 1 thing right now is the fact that his team is healthy.
Lackner said because they are healthy, and if they play well, they have an opportunity to do well.
Some of the best teams in the state are not at the tournament though, Lackner said. He said it helps them that a team like Chester is not there.
"They are a team that you could beat once, but I am not sure if you could beat them twice," Lackner said. However, the two teams did not meet during the regular season.
The Pioneers will square off against West Yellowstone in the 2 p.m. game Thursday at Dahlberg Arena at the Adams Event Center on the campus of the University of Montana.
Lackner said West Yellowstone has great quickness and if his team can handle their quickness and pressure defense, it should do all right.
As far as the excitement of the players, Lackner said, they really don't show any emotion.
"They're just going to play basketball," Lackner said.
The Pioneers are not very emotional, Lackner said. He said, though, he's sure they will start to show it in the next couple of days.
"It's basketball, whether it be districts, divisionals, or state. It's just basketball," Lackner said.
Lackner said the biggest thing for his team is to handle the defense pressure that will be put on them. He said his team is confident, though.
"If we play well, we'll be tough to beat," Lackner said.