Bulldogs look ahead, prepare for postseason
ST. IGNATIUS – After a strong season’s start, the Mission Bulldogs have let a few games go but are not letting it bring them down. Steve Pelletier, second year head coach, sees it as “two seasons in one.”
“We’ve hit a couple of speed bumps but it’s been a good season,” he said.
Pelletier also feels maybe luck is coming into play after falling twice to their opponents at the buzzer.
“If it wasn’t for a little bit of bad luck, we wouldn’t have any luck at all,” Pelletier joked.
On Friday the Bulldogs traveled to Ronan and although the Chiefs pulled the 63-72 win from under the Bulldogs feet in overtime, it was not without excitement as Aaron Fisher-Ahenakew grabbed a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Stuart Grant also racked up points with 20.
Saturday brought the Bulldogs a much-anticipated 64-46 victory over Troy, bringing Mission to 500 at 5-5 for the season. Stuart Grant and Jared Brown each netted 21.
Mission boasts four seniors filling leadership roles and Pelletier is impressed with each of them. Jarred Brown, Stuart Grant, and Patrick Eichert have all put four years of their high school career on the court.
“I’m really happy with these three seniors,” Pelletier said. “They are all wonderful leaders. They’re very devoted and passionate.”
Senior Mariam Branson is working on only his second year of basketball and also filling leadership shoes.
“He’s just an inspiration to the whole team,” Pelletier said. Pelletier also added he is seeing a “good nucleus of younger players developing.”
With the season tipping over towards the latter half, the Bulldogs are preparing for post season with optimism. The Bulldogs see Bigfork as the team to beat but feel conference is still up for grabs.
“It’s wide open to us,” Pelletier said. “We’re very optimistic; anything can happen.”
Mission will load the bus and head to Charlo Friday, Jan. 24 and then onto Deer Lodge Friday, Jan. 25 to play a conference game. “It’s important we win this game against Deer Lodge,” Pelletier said. “We just have to stop losing at the buzzer,” he said with a laugh.
Mission 19 12 21 10 1 – 63
Ronan 17 15 15 15 10 – 72
Stuart Grant 20, Aaron Fisher-Ahenakew 15, Will Powell 8, Patrick Eichert 7, Jarred Brown 7, Bill Von Holtum 4, Tate Weingart 2.
Mission 10 22 12 20 – 64
Troy 9 14 15 8 – 46
Stuart Grant 21, Jarred Brown 21, Aaron Fisher-Ahenakew 9, Patrick Eichert 4, Raymond Matt 3, Mariam Branson 3, Will Powell 2, Tate Weingart 1.