Rask sisters are a force on the court

Star Staff Writer

This has been quite the school year for sisters Madison and Mackenzie Rask.

Madison,  a 5-foot-10 guard, and Mackenzie, a 5-foot-11 guard, are members of the Custer County District High School girls basketball team. Madison is a junior and Mackenzie is a sophomore who prefers to be called Mack.

Before embarking on the basketball season, these two Cowgirls were among 27 who tried out for the CCDHS volleyball team last August, both hoping to be part of the 2017 varsity.

However, Madison was among the cuts and Mack was placed on the junior varsity team. Not exactly how they were figuring it would go, but it appears — thanks to basketball — that the disappointment has vanished.

“I’ve never loved volleyball,” Madison said. “I like being active, but I’ve always loved basketball.”

“It was sad that we couldn’t play together,” Mack said.

But things are better now that they are on the basketball team. Madison has been a starter all season and Mack started on the JV team before getting the call-up to the varsity, where she’s often the first player off the bench.

“We’ve always been close,” Mack said.

“We’re best friends,” her sister said.

Sisters, it has been said, can be quite competitive, perhaps trying to out-do each other. Not these two. The daughters of Paul and Linda Rask enjoy being on the same team in general and being on the court at the same time in particular.

After all, getting a pass from your sister and scoring a layup isn’t something all sisters get to do.

“It gets me excited and builds confidence in me as a player,” Mack said, adding that it’s also vice versa.

“I was just waiting for it to happen,” Madison said of Mack’s call-up. “I love playing with her. We know how each other works and it’s satisfying to each other. We’ve been waiting to play together for a long time and she’s good at what she does.”

The Rasks and teammate Kyra Oakland, a 5-11 junior, have been playing basketball together since third grade. Madison would invite Mack along, even as a second-grader.

“It’s always been the three of us,” Madison said.

The Cowgirls lost their first four games before notching two wins;. After dropping the first two games of the 2018 portion of the schedule, they helped the Cowgirls defeat Williston on Tuesday. Thus, a 3-6 record. Both are hoping things get better.

“My expectations are that we get better everyday,” Madison said. “We’re not staying the same.”

“We’re coming together and working better as a team,” Mack added.

They enjoy playing for the coaching staff headed by Chase Haughian, whose assistants are his sister Lacey Haughian and Brette Rubie. Lacey also coaches the junior varsity and Brette coaches the freshman team.

“This year we never know what’s coming in practice because it’s always different,” Madison said. “But all the varsity, we’re really close.”

Next up for the Cowgirls is a game Saturday at St. Labre School  in Ashland. They also have road games Jan. 19 at Hardin and Jan. 20 at Sidney before playing their next home game Jan. 26 against Dawson County.

And in a few years — 1 1/2 for Madison and 2 1/2 for Mack — they have a similar goal: Follow the lead of older sister Kallie, 25, who played four years at Montana State.

“We want to play in college,” Mack said as Madison nodded in agreement.

(Contact Abe Winter at starcity@midrivers.com or 406-234-0450.)