Lady Broncs look to improve during season


Ashley Cooper

Senior Katie Ligocki jumps for the tip off during the Billings Skyview home game.

  The Lady Broncs basketball team is looking to finish strong through conference play and the remainder of the season. The team is 2-9 overall, and they hope to lock in and hone their craft for the upcoming competition in the 4A eastern quadrant, along with the larger tournaments such as regionals and state. 

   Looking back at the start of the season, the team recognizes they did not have the best beginning, but they are not letting this slow them down. The Lady Broncs went 0-3 at their first tournament in Riverton, Wyo., and 0-2 in their two non-conference games before the end of December. As one of the seniors on the varsity squad, Mollie Morris assisted in making the team’s season motto. “We made the motto ‘All Heart,’ and our goal is to set an example of that motto and implement it into the program,” said Morris. “Having heart for our teammates and for the game is important in order for our team to have success.” These words help to push the Lady Broncs during what many teams see as a mid-season slump. 

   Head coach and business teacher Larry Ligocki is pleased with how the season has slowly progressed. At the beginning of January, the Lady Broncs won their first two games back-to-back at the Taco Johns Invite in Cheyenne, Wyo. However, Ligocki is still hungry for improvement for the team as the season progresses. Ligocki has been the head coach for the past three years for the Lady Broncs and also coached the JV girls basketball team for four years before becoming the head coach.

   With a more precise look at their games, the Lady Broncs hope to emphasize more awareness mentally on the defensive side and finding the patience required for the offensive side. Ligocki understands the girls tend to attack more than they should, and he is already planning on ways to coach them on how to get after the ball in different ways. “I want them to be able to recognize when they see a great opportunity or know when to focus on defending,” said Ligocki. On the court, Morris has noticed some similar and different skills the team needs to work on. “We are more of a defensive team, and in our quadrant we are one of the top rebounding teams,” said Morris. “We just can’t keep up with the opposing team’s scoring and struggle on the offensive side.” 

   While the team intends on improving their performance on the court, the time spent together off the court is just as memorable. “It’s great just being with your teammates and having fun, making memories, and inside jokes,” said senior Katie Ligocki. Many of the girls reflect that bus rides to games out of town are probably their favorite times to spend together, and they create stronger bonds between everyone. 

   As scholars, the team shows the same amount of dedication to their studies as they do to basketball. “It’s easy as a coach when kids are so academically astute because I don’t have to pay attention to bad grades or worry about kids being ineligible,” said Coach Ligocki. Having such driven student athletes makes his job easier and more enjoyable. 

   The Lady Broncs plan to focus on their play and push themselves and their team to battle through the downfalls. The practices and games may feel like a constant grind, but every player has the regional and state tournament in the back of their mind, and they will need that to move forward and stay hungry for the rest of the season.