By Rob Everingham
The MSU-Northern Skylights are in an interesting position this year because they do not come into the Frontier Conference Tournament the No. 1 team.
However, that does not bother head coach Ray Peters and his Skylights, who will head to Lewiston, Idaho, this weekend.
The third-seeded Skylights will square off against sixth-seeded Westminster in the first round of the tournament. Northern downed the Griffins in the final game of the regular season, 83-41. Westminster beat the Skylights in Salt Lake City, 52-44.
Peters said it is always a tough physical game against Westminster, and the Skylights will have to hit their perimeter shots and do well from the free throw line.
"We need to make sure we're focused and take advantage of our opportunities," Peters said.
Peters said they will get to play two games on a neutral floor and then, if they make it to the championship game against Lewis-Clark State, they are just one step away from another national tournament.
He said the most important thing for teams is to play tough in the first two games and he feels whoever makes it into the championship against L-C will give the Warriors a game.
"Hopefully it will be us," Peters said.
The biggest key to success this weekend will be bench play, Peters said. Northern has shown great bench play at the end of the season and Peters expects the same will happen this weekend.
Northern's leading scorer, Jana Smith, should be recovered from a knee injury by this weekend. The only player Peters said he is not 100 percent sure about is Kristine Noel.
First things first, Peters said, they need to focus on getting by Westminster and then face Western, who will be sitting and waiting.
Peters said they are ready to play and are excited about the tournament.
"If you can't get excited about it, you should be doing something else," Peters said.
Peters said they have had the chance to play back-to-back games this season and they are looking forward to playing three games.
All the Frontier Conference Tournament games will be televised state-wide on AT&T Cablevision. The Skylights games can be seen in Havre on Channel 19.