Hellgate Boys Basketball Hitting Their Stride - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Hellgate Boys Basketball Hitting Their Stride

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Even though they have a couple losses on the year, the Hellgate Knights are still the team to beat in the AA ranks as defending state champs, and as of late, they've been playing their best basketball.

It's safe to say the Knights are hitting their stride as the state AA tournament approaches. They've won their last 8 games, and haven't lost in the month of February.

"As of lately, we've been practicing hard, and putting it out there every day in practice and every game, so it's coming along slowly, and our goal is to just get better day by day," says senior guard Brady Henthorn.

It's that short-term approach that seems to have helped the team settle into their roles, and their ability to mesh on and off the court.
 
"Our team chemistry for sure, we're playing really well together, we're playing unselfish, so when that starts to happen we're willing to give the ball up, we're willing to set screens so someone can get open and score.  Stats don't really matter, we're just doing the little things basically," says junior guard Brady Henthorn.

With a big win over cross-town rival Sentinel last night, the Knights are 3-0 in cross-town games, with their final one before the state tournament coming tomorrow against the Big Sky Eagles.

"Cross-town games are always a lot more intense than the normal games that you have.  Anything can happen in cross-town, and everyone ups their level and intensity, so it's always a fun atmosphere, and we always bring our best and they'll bring theirs, so we try to come out with a bang and do what we can," says Henthorn.

Coach Jeff hays has fostered an environment that players want to be a part of, even if it means sacrificing minutes on the court for the betterment of the team.

"We had a film session on Monday, and one of our clips was a bench celebration.  We got a pretty good chuckle out of Devin (Bray) who was celebrating a shot by Mark (Lebsock)   We got a good laugh out of it, and watched it a couple of times, but that's the enthusiasm we want to be able to play with and share," says Hays

"It's awesome how everyone realizes their role on the team.  They know what they're there to do.  If they aren't a huge scorer, they know to play lock-down defense, and know to box-out and rebound, and just do the little things, set good screens, and get other people open.  If everyone does that, our team really works well together," adds Bray.

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