KALISPELL — Hard work pays off and nothing exemplifies that better than the Flathead High School girls basketball team this season, which just happens to be undefeated.
Second-year head coach Sam Tudor is helping put the Flathead girls basketball team back on the map coming off of last season of just winning two games, and this year, the Bravettes are now 8-0 to begin the year.
"They've been playing together for a long time," Tudor said. "And that's one of the things that we're seeing. And also last year, they were mostly sophomores and freshmen and this year, you know, there's been that year of maturing."
"A lot of girls on this team have just been putting work in just in general," senior Clare Converse, a Carroll College signee, added. "And we all are just super excited for each other and have lots of energy and are really supportive of each other. So I think just overall atmosphere and the hard work we put in has been the difference."
Although there is only one senior on the team, that change in atmosphere starts with good leadership.
"Yeah, we have a great record but a lot of our games are really close," Tudor said. "And the difference in those games is our leadership coming through.
Tudor has also been a difference-maker this season. After winning two State B titles as the boys coach in Bigfork, Tudor knew how to carry over a winning culture.
"First year, we didn't get a summer with him. So it was kind of like we just went right into the season," Converse said. "And we had all of these new plays and stuff. I really like him because he goes hard in practice but he also cares about us off the court."
"Bigfork was great to me but these girls have been just so special coming down the line," Tudor said. "We had a lot of great work this summer, and you know, just coming off all the challenges that COVID has has brought upon us as coaches. These girls are definitely such a huge reprieve for me and they're just a breath of fresh air. They're doing really good."
And with the relationship Tudor was able to make with this team, he believes he doesn't only have a group of women who lead on the court, but off of it as well.
"I think there's just such a bright future for these young women," Tudor said. "Just for example, it's finals week right now, and we had a game on Friday. And they were studying up to two hours before, and I had to tell them to put the homework away, and that's kind of the antithesis of what I do as a teacher but it was just, they take not just basketball, but everything they do and they do it to the best of their abilities and that alone, I mean, I don't know exactly what they'll be doing 10 years from now but I know they'll be leaders in some capacity."