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Florence boys aim for state title

Published On: Feb 18 2013 05:09:18 PM MST
Updated On: Feb 21 2013 02:08:48 PM MST

The Florence boys basketball team has been having a dominant season on the hardwoods so far this winter.

"These guys are seasoned athletes and players and they're very smart and very intelligent players," says Falcons head coach Sam Baerlocher.

At this point the Falcons have only lost one game on the year to go with 19 victories.  They are currently ranked the #1 Class 'B' team in Montana.  The team says the success is coming from their experience.

"I think over time the relationships we have developed have really served us well," said senior Mike Finlay of his teammates.

"It's a pretty special team," says senior Aaron Ward who leads the conference in scoring.   "We've all gone to Florence our whole lives and it's our senior year and we've finally come together and are playing great basketball."

After winning the 6B district tournament this past weekend, Florence now has their sight set on the state tournament. After finishing 3rd at state the past two years Florence hopes their ready to take that next step this year.

"I think any time you have seniors they want it a little more they feel the urgency that it could be their last year," says coach Baerlocher.

"We did a good job first round last year and I just don't think we had the same mindset going into the second game," said senior Ryne Baerlocher of last year's third place finish at state.  "I think we were a little bit timid."

With five seniors on the team, this season the players and staff are hoping that these are the right guys to possibly get Florence their first ever state title.

"You know I always think we have the team to do it," said Ward.  "I don't really think about it I just go out and play and hopefully we'll get to that state championship."

"You know getting to state is quite the accomplishment so anytime you get there you're a champion as far as I'm concerned," says coach Baerlocher.

The next step for the Falcons will be Divisionals which start later this week in Kalispell.