BIGFORK - As high school basketball season gets underway, the Bigfork Valkyries are one Flathead-area team that has started the year absolutely dominating opponents, outscoring them 229-42 through the first three games.
"We have a pretty seasoned team from last year, we basically, we lost a couple seniors, one that really played and was a starter," said head coach Courtney Gunlock. "So our expectations this year are to do better than placing third at State like we did last year."
And in her fourth year as the head coach and 11th with the program, Gunlock couldn’t be happier with what she’s seen to start the year.
"From the level we started play, I’m just excited to see where these girls can take it this year, how much better they can get," said Gunlock with a smile. "I love to see how much they love to be successful and push each other in practice."
Gunlock’s daughter Braeden, who was an all-state selection as a freshman last year, shares her mom’s excitement.
"It’s super exciting, like I feel like we have a lot more potential this year with the freshman coming up, and same team as last year but I’m just a super excited," said the younger Gunlock.
And after rolling through the regular season last year and having four of five starters return, the team is brimming with confidence.
"Definitely feels really good, like super excited going into the season, just can’t wait to see what we do next," said an eager Braeden Gunlock.
One of the three seniors, Scout Nadeau, knows how lucky they are to have strong depth as a team with their young roster.
"It’s pretty special, the three of us have been together since freshman year," said Nadeau. "We all try to take on leadership together, really lead our team. But everybody, (the) underclassmen are really awesome and we all are just like one big family."
Looking ahead to the rest of the season, Nadeau and her teammates have their eyes set on improving each week.
"We obviously are keeping our same goals we had last year, but our main goal is just improve as we go on and to not underestimate anybody," said Nadeau. "It’s kind of like a fresh start for us."
The Valkyries look to keep their hot start to the year going as the season progresses in their pursuit of the school's first girl's basketball state championship.