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Carroll Basketball Faces Unforgiving Frontier Trail

By Kempson Cross SWX

Carroll College basketball enters the longest road swing of their Frontier Conference season this week as the Saints begin a four-game stretch of playing away from the PE Center.

The Carroll men tied a school record with their No. 2 ranking in the latest NAIA Coaches Top 25. The Saints are 9-1 in-conference and 20-2 overall after six straight wins. The Frontier leaders now hit the road hard as they visit No. 25 Providence on Friday, continue northeast to Havre for a date with Montana State-Northern on Saturday, and then finish up at Montana Western as well as No. 18 Lewis-Clark State College. Saints head coach Kurt Paulson admits this will be a tough part of the Frontier trail.

“These will be two really good atmospheres in Great Falls and Havre. We actually have a player from each city. Exciting for those guys. Homecoming for Matt Wyman to Great Falls and Dane Warp to Havre. It is a good challenge. We haven’t played these teams for a while so there will be kind of a feeling out process to start the game I’m sure but our guys will be ready,” said Kurt Paulson.

“Throughout the season we’ve just all been starting to pick up different tendencies we have and starting to gel really well and I think there’s never really been a problem with styles of play. We’ve all kind of fit in,” said Shamrock Campbell.

Carroll women’s basketball continues to hold steady at No. 8 in the country and second place in a seven-team conference that features five nationally-ranked squads. The Saints sit at 15-6 overall and 7-3 in the Frontier so far. Their upcoming road swing features similar opponents with the No. 22 Argos on Friday and the Skylights on Saturday before visits to the 3rd-ranked Bulldogs and 17th-ranked Warriors next week. Saints head coach Rachelle Sayers has her team focused on what they can control.

“With these back-to-backs it’s tough and so that first day we’ll throw in a little prep for the second game so that Saturday morning when we pull this stuff out again they’re like oh yeah we did this on Monday so it’s not brand new to them. You’ve got to make a little tweak the second time and by the third time you better be ready to make some big changes,” said Rachelle Sayers.

“We definitely play defense very well but have been struggling kind of offensively to score against these better defensive Frontier teams and so a lot of our guards have been working on threes that are being defended and then obviously in the post we’ve been working a lot more at finishing through contact,” said Christine Denny.

Carroll finally returns to the PE Center on Valentine’s Day for a doubleheader against MSU-Northern.

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