BIGFORK — The Bigfork Valkyries basketball team has been perfect this year leading all of Class B with an undefeated 13-0 record, and a large portion of their success can be attributed to the Gunlock family trio made up of the head coach and two starters.
"Obviously you can probably tell I’m hard on them," said head coach Courtney Gunlock. "So that’s always challenging to be able to respect mom as a coach on the court, and then mother-daughter relationship off the court. But it’s been a blessing and I don’t take any day for granted."
Gunlock’s daughters, Braeden and Paeten, know their mom won’t ever take it easy on them but couldn’t be happier to be playing together.
"Me and my sister just have a good team bond already because we played travel ball together and stuff," said Braeden, the older of the two sisters. "But this is my second year playing for my mom and she is hard on both of us but it only makes use better."
Even with all the great teammates she’s had in her career, Braeden knows the sibling bond on the court is uniquely special.
"We just see each other more than other players that I’ve played with and she kind of knows where I’m at all the time on the court and I know where she’s at all the time," said Braeden with a smile. "So we just have that good team chemistry already."
It's chemistry that is also felt by the youngest of the Gunlock trio, and that has led them outscoring opponents by a whopping 929 to 259 through the team's first 13 games. That included 58-26 rout of Class A Columbia Falls last Saturday.
"It’s been pretty good, me and my sister have really good chemistry so we usually just look for each other," said Paeten Gunlock. "And my mom is a little hard on me so, I mean I get used to it."
Despite all the success enjoyed so far the Gunlocks still have their eyes set on the Class B state tournament, which will be the team's last before it rejoins the Class A ranks next year.
"I just want to win state super bad with my sister by my side, first one for Bigfork, too," said Paeten.
After their third-place finish at state last year, the Gunlock trio will look to bring home the first-ever girls basketball state title in school history.