After a one win season a year ago the Hellgate Knights turned to long time Big Sky assistant Gary McLaughlin to turn the program around. And while it's still too early to say, it seems McLaughlin is up to something after his team beat Butte last week, their first AA victory in quite some time.
"We were really excited I think I jumped higher than I have in a really long time. We were just really proud of everyone and he was really proud of us and he just came in and told us how proud he was of us," said Junior Forward Kara Hogan.
"Everyone was just super excited and clapping and he just couldn't tell us enough how proud he was of us and we were so excited to see that from our coach," said Junior Forward Lexi Duce.
"It was a great moment it really was, I just told the kids I was proud of them and they deserved everything that they got Friday night," said Hellgate Head Coach Gary McLaughlin.
The Knights 66-58 win over the fast paced Butte squad gave the team a sense of pride they haven't felt in quite some time.
"Everyone has been congratulating us and been super nice, all the teachers at school and just everyone congratulating us and it's just really nice because we haven't had that before ever," said Duce.
Although it's just one game McLaughlin says its a big step forward in changing the culture of Hellgate girls basketball and getting the players to believe.
"His big thing is just changing the perception and I think we have definitely done that. We have been running a lot and working together and we are really working to change what Hellgate used to be," said Hogan.
"To have someone come in that is just super energized and ready for practice and knows exactly what we are doing and knows what you need to work on is super refreshing and nice to have," said Duce.
The Knights will try to keep the momentum rolling as they play Helena Capital in what will be a tough game to open up the conference season.