Park County outmatched by Hardin in ‘run-and-gun’ basketball
Thursday, December 13, 2018
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Photo by Andrew Turck

Andrew House is enthusiastic as he catches a rebound during Friday evening’s game with the Park County Rangers. House managed to catch 12 of his team’s 43 total rebounds.

Hardin’s Bulldog basketball team gained its second win right off the bat leading into the Eastern A conference games, thanks to what Head Coach Andrew Roundface said was practice put in during the off-season.

Another contributing factor to its current victory tally is Hardin’s fans, he said. Their cheers, he noted, were an important element back in March that spurred the Bulldogs to take the Class A state championship. He intends to go the distance again for the 2018-19 season.

While Roundface said the team “just didn’t sync well right away” in its Nov. 30 victory against the Belgrade Panthers, where the Bulldogs won 72-29, he believes its second win at home against the Park County Rangers was a “good game.”

Park County, he said, attempted to use the quick, “run-and-gun” style of play, which is synonymous with basketball on reservations nationwide. The Bulldogs – having lived either in or near the Crow Reservation – were familiar with this method, along with ways to counter and slow it down.

“We’re a bit better at our style,” he said. “We know this style; we know how to react to everything.”

The previous week, Roundface said, he ran his team hard and had them watch films of the Rangers to find their weaknesses. Hardin’s efforts paid off, leading to a 52 percent shooting average to Park County’s 28 percent and 43 rebounds to the Rangers’ 25.

Though the team has gained a strong start, Roundface doesn’t intend on letting the team relax. They need to improve on their shooting average, he said, and – more often – need to dive for loose balls.

For the Bulldogs, Famous Left Hand was the top shooter against the Rangers with 22 points, followed by Trae Hugs with 18. Catching the most rebounds was Andrew House with 12 and the top player for steals was Hugs with five of 15 total.

Next week, the Bulldogs face the Miles City Cowboys at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at home in their first conference game.