By FRITZ NEIGHBOR
Daily Inter Lake | December 15, 2020
Coming off a 10-11 season in which the Glacier boys tapered off after a 7-3 start, this season’s Wolfpack basketball team sees big things coming.
As in 6-foot-5 Weston Price and 6-6 Noah Dauer and 6-4 Nolan Hyde.
“I’m excited,” said Mark Harkins, the only coach the program, now in its 14th season, has had. “We have a lot of guys coming back with varsity experience. We have two starters back: Weston and Keifer (Spohnhauer).
“Jaxson (Olsen) played a ton. JT (Allen) played every game last year. We’ve got four guys that have that much experience and then our JVs were solid.”
Glacier heads into 2021 knowing it has some length and some shooting — Price hit 45 percent from three last year, and Spohnhauer was at 35 percent — around which to build.
“Noah will help a lot with his height,” said Spohnhauer, who averaged 5.2 points last season. “Overall I think we’re ready this year to be pretty good.”
“It’s kind of like, these are the buddies I’ve grown up with,” added Price, who averaged a team-best 12.2 points as a junior. “The team chemistry is there. Last year we were playing new people, and this year I love the chemistry already. I think it’s going to be really cool.”
At their highest point last season Glacier was getting and burying open looks from three. Some of those shooters graduated, like KJ Johnson, Michael Schwarz and Drew Engellant.
Spohnhauer, junior Will Salonen and others will have to pick up some slack.
“Connor Sullivan, he had a really good tryout and has been shooting well,” Price said of his senior teammate. “Tyler Hausmann, the improvement he’s made has been huge this year.”
“We have some decent length,” Harkins said. “John Pyron, who is a (6-5) junior, and Weston have good size. We have a transfer named Nolan Hyde from Washington, who’s a junior, who has some length.”
Now: When do they play? Harkins had thought the season would open Jan. 7 against Missoula Big Sky, but now there’s a possible Jan. 15 start date (Missoula Sentinel sent out an email Monday announcing it was halting boys’ basketball activities until Dec. 21),
“So right now I don’t even know what our schedule is,” Harkins said last week.
It’s life in the pandemic, which is coming up on a year in length. Glacier missed out on last year’s State AA tournament, which perhaps spared the Wolfpack the misery that came when officials canceled the event after the semifinal games.
Billings Skyview and unbeaten Missoula Hellgate were named co-champions.
“I just read an article earlier this week; Skyview is still talking about that,” Harkins said. “Of course they are. It’s a tough way to end the season, for sure.”
It informs the Pack’s approach for 2021.
“Just knowing it’s our senior year — anything can happen, an injury can end your season,” Spohnhauer said. “Just leave it all out on the court.”
“Every time we step on the court we’ve got to play almost like it’s the last time,” Price said. “We’ll take every practice hard and hope we can step on the court for a game, and be ready for it.”