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Tri-State Tournament ~ Idaho Great Falls (JV) ~ Great Falls Lewistown ~ Lewistown 5:00 p.m. Sidney ~ Havre 5:00 p.m. Cut Bank Invite ~ Cut Bank Cut Bank Invite (JV) ~ Cut Bank Glasgow ~ Glasgow 6:00 p.m. Missoula Invite ~ Missoula John Fisher (JV) ~ Missoula Chinook (JV) ~ Chinook 3:30 p.m. Class "A" Duals ~ Belgrade 1:00 p.m. Harlem (JV) ~ Harlem Malta ~ Malta Divisionals ~ Miles City State ~ Billings

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Brand new season, a new-look Havre High wrestling team The Havre High wrestling program has a new head coach for the first time in 23 years with Beau LaSalle. But the Blue Ponies are still aiming to be on top of the Class A ranks

Chris Peterson Havre Daily News cpeterson@havredailynews.com Over the last two decades, the Havre High wrestling program hasn’t changed much. The Blue Ponies have cycled through a lot of wrestlers, but the results have pretty much been the same. Now, the Ponies are trying to maintain their level of success — only instead of trying to do it with new wrestlers — Havre will try to do it with a new head coach, as Beau LaSalle embarks on his first season at the helm for Scott Filius, who stepped down after last season. “I think our focus is going to be the same as it has always been,” LaSalle said. “We want to be competing to be one of the best teams at the end of the season. I think that has always been the goal and that will continue to be the goal for us. We don’t want that to ever change. That is always going to be the expectation for us.” While the Ponies will open the season without Filius as their head coach for the first time in two decades, Havre will also open the 2018-19 season without the title of defending state champion for the first time since 2013, which is when Havre won the first of five straight state championships. That run ended last season, however, as Sidney reclaimed the title from HHS, which finished second just ahead of Lewistown. The Ponies will be battling Sidney for the Eastern A title and possibly the state title in February, but the two teams will also meet in Havre for a dual Dec. 20. Havre will also travel to Lewistown that same week to dual the Eagles (Dec. 18) setting up a week in which the Ponies will dual the two other top-three finishers at state last season. Beyond that, Havre will take on its usual schedule, which will include defending its title at the Mining City Duals. Havre will also take part in the Tri-State Wrestling Tournament in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. LaSalle may be taking on his first headcoaching job but as a longtime assistant, he said he feels ready for the challenge. One thing that will help is a veteran lineup that features three-time state champion Martin Wilkie, who will look to become just the third

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Havre High senior Austin Ratlif, right, takes down a CMR opponent during the Havre Invitational earlier this month. The Blue Ponies' 2018-19 season under first-year head coach Beau LaSalle is already underway. wrestler in Havre High history to become a four-time state champion. Wilkie will wrestle at 145 pounds. The rest of the lineup also features a number of wrestlers with previous success at the state tournament. Lane Paulson, who will wrestle at 138 pounds and Cameron Pleninger, who will start at 120, have both made finals night at the state tournament before, while Marc Ramirez (132), Mick Chagnon (103), Connor Harris (152) and Mason Dionne are others who have placed previously. LaSalle said some of the spots in the line-

up still need to be finalized, but others who should be in the lineup consistently are Austin Ratliff at 205 pounds, and Taylor Gopher, who will wrestle at 170 pounds. Another returner in the higher weights is Brayden Stadell, who is back at 182 pounds. In addition to the returners, the Ponies have some freshmen to be excited about starting with Riley Pleninger (103) and Kendall Pleninger (126). Hunter Velk will wrestle at 113 pounds for HHS, followed by Dominic Perkins at 120. Joining Ramirez at 132 pounds are Randy Tommerup, Devin Nelson and Isaiah

Tracy. At 138 pounds alongside Paulson is Wyatt Hansen and Shaun Head. Orion Thivierge is another name to watch at 152 pounds, and in the heavyweight division, it will be Isaiah Stiffarm and Derek Olson. “I think we have a good group of kids back,” LaSalle said. “I think we have some good numbers. We have a big freshman class and we have some big kids, which will be nice because we needed some more big bodies.” Havre will head to the Eastern A Divisional meet Feb. 2 in Miles City, followed by the AllClass state tournament Feb. 8-9 in Billings.


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As always, Havre High swimmers have lofty goals for the 2018-19 season

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Havre High senior Ammon Lines is one of a large group of Blue Pony boys and girls out for head coach Bill Kilgore's HHS swim team this season. The Blue Ponies have talent and experience as well, and they're excited by the fact that they get to swim at home, not once, but twice this winter.

George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor gferguson@havredailynews.com With strong numbers and veteran talent, the Havre High swim team is excited to get back in the pool for another season. The Blue Ponies are once again led by head coach Bill Kilgore, and the veteran swim coach says his boys and girls teams are training hard and are ready for another season in the lanes. “We have had a very strong preseason with lots of kids volunteering to come in for extra work. I think this team understands the level of dedication it is going to take to accomplish some lofty goals,” Kilgore said. “This allowed me to start the season with workouts with more meters than I have ever given any of our teams at any point in the season. Our first week of practice the top lanes were averaging over 5,000 meters a practice. They have bought in to the quality of practice needed, as well. Our team motto this year is that the chain is only as strong as the weakest link. So I had a long talk with the kids on the first day and I explained to them that they were each a link in the chain of the Havre High Swim Team, and as such owed it, not only to themselves

to put in hard, good quality work, but they owed it to the chain to be a better, stronger link. That’s exactly what they have been doing, and I am proud of their work to this point.” And the chain should be strong on both the boys and girls sides. The Blue Pony girls are expected to be led by seniors Lacey Huesby, Hannah Lunak, Aria Pratt, and Natalie Verploegen, as well as talented sophomores Kobi Burchard, Blakelee Lines and Megan Miller. Kilgore added that newcomers Katelyn Maloughney, Nina Flores and Aliviah Pratt will also be contributors, as will Hannah Pratt and Angela Rhines. On the boys side, a big senior class will also lead the way. Noah Gjesdal, John Klein, Ammon Lines, Paxtin McCann and Logan Twombly are all four-year swimmers with a ton of experience. But the Pony boys also have some depth, too, as Kilgore said 15 boys are out to compete on the team this season. Jacob Miller, Christian Mathis and Riley Kilgore also return and should provide big points for the Ponies this season, while exchange student Sergio Tamayo is an outstanding swimmer, and newcomers Troy Powell and Hiram Cammon could also provide the Ponies with depth and talent, too. With so many strong swimmers, from all classes, and in many different events, coach Kilgore said, his team is ready to take the steps toward achieving their season-long goals, which will include competing for trophies at the Montana State Swimming Championship, which will take place in February in Bozeman. Havre’s schedule, which starts with the annual Havre Invitational, will also lend itself to helping the Blue Ponies reach those goals. The Ponies swim twice in Great Falls before Christmas break, then host the Class A Meet in Havre, before going to meets in Great Falls, Missoula and Butte. In many of those meets, Havre gets to take on top Class AA competition, as well. "I don’t think our Blue Pony swim teams ever have a goal that falls short of a state championship, but I want this team’s goals to be to get better at every practice, both physically and mentally so we can strengthen each and every link of the chain,” coach Kilgore said. “State championships are nice to talk about and the ultimate benchmark goal every year for the Havre Blue Ponies, but you can’t get there without taking the smaller steps of daily improvement and striving for excellence in every aspect of your life.”

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Chinook, Harlem ready to once again battle for wrestling hardware Chris Peterson Havre Daily News cpeterson@havredailynews.com The Hi-Line has long been known for its prowess on the wrestling mat as teams like Havre, Chinook and Harlem have had a lot of success over the years. While Havre has been the blue-chip wrestling program along the Hi-Line, winning 12 state championships over the last two decades, the Chinook Sugarbeeters have been no slouch in their own right. In the last 10 years, Chinook has won the Class C state wrestling championship six times, including four times in a row from 2009-2012 and back-to-back 2015 and 2016. Since the Beeters won in 2016, they haven’t reached the top of the podium, going without a trophy in 2017 and finishing second last season. Now, the Beeters, who have spent the past couple of seasons reloading, are starting to build more depth, the kind that will be needed to make another run at the Class C podium. Of course, Chinook will be led again by the long-time co-head coaches Perry Miller and Adam Tilleman. The two have been working together for a long time and over the years, they have put together a laundry list of achievements. But in addition to the same coaching staff being in place, the Beeters also have a bunch of experienced wrestlers coming back from last season’s team including Rebecca Stroh, who finished sixth last season, becoming one of the only females in the history of the MHSA to do so. In addiiton to Stroh, Miller and Tilleman will have five other wrestlers going out that all have state tournament experience. Some of them even scored points for Chinook last season as the Beeters took second in Class C. One of those individuals is Garrett Pruttis, a sophomore who will be wrestling at 139 pounds. He is the younger brother of a former state champion at Chinook and after getting a season under his belt, he should take a big step forward this season. Ross Reed, who will wrestle at 152 pounds for Chinook is another wrestler with previous state wrestling experience. He will be another wrestler to watch this season along with junior

J.T. Hauer, who has already wrestled twice at state. Neither Reed or Hauer placed at state last season, however both won a match a season ago, which is a sign of progress. Another name to know for Chinook wrestling is Ethan Liddle. Chinook will certainly be looking to build on its performance from last season, but Harlem, on the other hand, is going to have to reload in its own right after losing standouts

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like Gavin Horn and Curtis Humphreys to graduation. The Wildcats, led by head coach Joe Shupe, do have a couple of wrestlers who made it to state last season and they are Zack Jackson and Ken Todd. Both Chinook and Harlem will head to the Northern B Divisional tournament Feb. 2 and with as many wrestlers as they can qualify, both teams will head to the All-Class state tournament Feb. 8-9 in Billings.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Chinook's J.T. Hauer, right, wrestles at the 2018 Havre Invitational. The Sugarbeeters brought home a trophy from the Class C state tournament last February, and they'll be looking to do so again at the Class C state tournament Feb. 8-9 in Billings. Harlem, Chester-Joplin-Inverness and Big Sandy also compete in wrestling on the Hi-Line.


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T-Birds look to make a 9C comeback Beeters plan to be Big things in store Chris Peterson Havre Daily News cpeterson@havredailynews.com

The Hays-Lodge Pole boys basketball team was just a few points away from advancing to the Northern C Divisional tournament once again last season, instead they got fourth and they have had an entire offseason to think about it. And now, as the Thunderbirds get set to begin the 2018-19 season, head coach Derrick Shambo has confidence in his team, despite the loss of some key players such as All-Conference standout Chance Main. “I think that people are sleeping on us a little bit,” Shambo said. “We have some talent and some good athletes. Another thing that we have is some depth. We didn’t really have that last year and we couldn’t really get up and down and press like we wanted to. I think that we have a good chance to beat the No. 2 team right there behind Chinook.” Over the last few seasons, Shambo has helped take the T-Birds on a couple of deep postseason runs. Two years ago, HLP won the Northern C championship and eventually finished fourth at the Class C state tournament. Shambo also helped HLP reach divisionals in his first year as the head coach back in 201516. One thing he has been unable to capture is a District 9C championship. And while it may prove difficult to win that this season, Shambo said his team has a good chance of getting back to divisionals.

“I think that after Chinook, there are a lot of teams that are going to have a chance,” Shambo said. “Chinook is going to be really tough and they will be the team to beat. But after that, I think we have a chance to be right there.” One thing that will help HLP will be the addition of two transfers from Harlem, Desmond Shambo and Frank Young Jr. Both players played for the Wildcats last season as juniors and will play key minutes for the T-Birds this season. Gilbert Snow is another name to watch this season for HLP, along with Jeremy Pretty Paint, Ken Black Crow and Jeffrey Stiffarm. “We lost a lot of seniors from last year’s team,” Shambo said. “But we had some additions come in and so we are going to have a lot of seniors again. We are going to have a lot of speed, but we aren’t going to have much height.” When it comes to the 9C, the T-Birds, who finished with the third-best record a season ago in the regular season, should be near the top of the standings when the season is all said and done. Yet, they will be joining a large group of other schools, including North Star, Chester-Joplin-Inverness, Turner, Big Sandy and Box Elder that will all be fighting it out for a spot in the top three by season’s end. “Fort Benton has a lot of returning players,” Shambo said, “But I would go as far as putting us second right up there with them. They are going to be tough and I think Box Elder will be right there too. It’s going to be tough but I think we are that good.”

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back in the 9C mix for the Chinook boys George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor gferguson@havredailynews.com

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Jeffrey Stiffarm and the Hays-Lodge Pole boys basketball team look to get back into the mix for a 9C championship this season, the Thunderbirds have the talent to do just that.

HLP girls striving for improvement George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor gferguson@havredailynews.com

It’s been a long time since the Hays-Lodge Pole Thunderbirds contended in the District 9C girls basketball race. Part of it is because the T-Birds have been low on numbers and have been young every year. The other part is that during the same stretch, the 9C has become the toughest district in all of Class C girls basketball. Unfortunately for HLP, that trend will likely continue this season. HLP does return several key players from a team which showed improvement a year ago. Those returners include Nature Andrew, Ella Messerly and Latasha Kirkdaldie. However, HLP will also once again have to contend with a 9C that might be deeper and tougher than it’s ever been. Box Elder returns as the defending Class C state champion, Fort Benton is the defending 9C champion, and Turner won two games at the Northern C a year ago. Add to that Chinook, North Star and CJI should all be strong this season, and it is likely going to be another tough winter for the HLP girls. The 2019 9C tournament runs Feb. 13-16 in Havre. The 2019 Northern C tournament will take place the following week in Great Falls.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Chinook's Kourtney Hanson drives the ball during a 2018 District 9C tournament game last February in Havre. Chinook didn't finish in the top three at the 9C last year, for the first time in ages, but the Sugarbeeters return for a new season, and they certainly have the talent on their roster to compete for a top spot in the loaded 9C this season.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson The Hays-Lodge Pole girls have struggled to keep pace with the top teams in the District 9C in recent years. But the T-Birds are always a tough opponent for whomever has to face them.

The Chinook Sugarbeeters know what it takes to compete in the District 9C. After all, Chinook has been at, or near, the top of the 9C for a long, long time now. And while last year, the Beeters saw their run of consecutive Northern C tournament appearances come to an end, don’t expect Chinook to stay down, not with the return of five seniors. “This season we are hoping to be competitive in our very tough 9C district,” Chinook second-year head coach Lesa MacLeod said. “The girls have great work ethic and positive, competitive attitudes. This should help carry us through our more difficult games. We hope to learn and grow every day in practice and to see that translate to the games.” The 9C will be tough again, but Chinook brings back a lot of firepower, led by seniors Megan Molyneaux, Kourtney Hanson, Rachel Gunderson, Ashley MacLeod, and Lincy Johnson. Sophomores Delaney Kellam and Lilly Surber will also be called upon to bolster the Chinook roster this season. But Chinook is certainly talented, and athletic, but so, too, is practically the entire 9C. Defending state champion Box Elder looks to be favored again, while Fort Benton is also loaded, as is last year’s 9C Cinderella, Turner. Add in plenty of talent at CJI and North Star, and the 9C is once again the deepest district in all of Class C girls basketball. “The 9C will be extremely competitive this season,” MacLeod said. “I look for Box Elder to once again be a leader in our league with tough players like Lilian Gopher and Joelnell Momberg returning for the Bears. The Fort Benton Longhorns will return most of their players from last years Divisional team. This will make them a tough matchup once again. I also expect Turner to have another successful season as they return all of their players from last year.” All of the 9C will once again meet in Havre, when the 2019 9C Tournament will be held Feb. 13-16 at the HHS gymnasium.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Cord Schneider, left, and the Chinook Sugarbeeters are the defending District 9C boys champions, and with so much returning talent, the Beeters could very well be one of the top teams in all of Class C this winter.

Chris Peterson Havre Daily News cpeterson@havredailynews.com Pressure is a pretty regular thing in sports. Athletes and coaches have to deal with it all the time. Yet, when it comes to local high school boys basketball, maybe no team is feeling the pressure more than the Chinook Sugarbeeters. That’s because after reaching the semifinals at the Northern C Divisional tournament two years in a row, Chinook looks like one of the favorites, not only in the District 9C but in the Northern C Division and maybe even the state. “Our goals right now include just trying to get better each day,” Chinook head coach Mike Seymour said. “We are going to try and get better with every practice and every game and that’s our focus. We have big goals down the road but we have to stay focused on what we can control right now and that’s the next game or the next practice.” Of course, the Beeters are going to try and focus on what is right in front of them, however, that won’t stop others from speculating about just how good this team can become. One thing that makes Chinook so good is its size. Chinook has three players that stand 6-foot-4 or taller, which is rare in Class C basketball and two of them, Isaac Bell and Cord Schneider, were All-State players a season ago. Both Bell and Schneider are seniors and each offers something different. Bell is one of the top shooters in the 9C and was among the conference leaders in points last season. Schneider is also a dynamic offensive player. Yet,

he does more of his work inside. He is also very effective on the glass. Bell and Schneider may be the stars for Chinook, but they are far from the only pieces. Brenden Edwards, another All-Conference player is another key player from Chinook. Edwards is a force inside just like Schneider but he also has the ability to knock down a jumper. On top of that, Chinook has four other players who played heavy minutes a season ago in Trajan Hannum, James Christensen, Riley Kellam and Hunter Neibauer. “Our team has a lot of enthusiasm,” Seymour said. “Our seniors have shown some great leadership and I think we all know what is at stake with this group. We are goal oriented and we have been focusing on team defense and everyone guarding the basketball. I felt like defense was one of our weaknesses last year so that is something we will continue to focus on.” Chinook certainly appears to be the team to beat in the 9C, yet there will be some challenges. Fort Benton is one team that should be able to give Chinook a run for its money. The Longhorns have their own All-State standout in Garrett Diekhans and his size inside can help offset the Beeters’ advantage. Outside of Fort Benton, which made divisionals a season ago, other teams like North Star, Hays-Lodge Pole, Box Elder and Turner will all try to challenge the Beeters at the top. “I think our league is going to be very difficult again,” Seymour said. “It’s always a challenge from top to bottom. I think it’s going to be really wide open and I expect it to be very competitive.” Chinook will begin the defense of its district title Feb. 13 in Havre.


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Rocky Boy boys ready to stay in the hunt Chris Peterson Havre Daily News cpeterson@havredailynews.com The Rocky Boy boys basketball team put together a memorable season during the 2017-18 campaign and while the Stars didn’t win the Class B state championship, they did wind up hoisting up a trophy at the state tournament for the second time in four years. Just like back in 2015, Rocky Boy ended up finishing third last season and after the graduation of some important players from last year’s team, the Stars, once again under the direction of Adam Demontiney, will be a team to reckon with in the District 1B. One good thing for the Stars is that Demontiney has some experience rebuilding on the run. During his first season as the head coach, Rocky Boy won a trophy at the state tournament, only to graduate most of its key players. It took the stars a couple of seasons, but Demontiney finally got Rocky Boy back to that level once again in 2018 and he was helped by having players like Ben Iron Eyes and Kordell Small who were both seniors last season. Rocky Boy will have to replace a lot of key pieces from last year's squad, however, the Stars also have other players who played a key role on last season’s team such as Frankie Bacon and Olin Arkinson, who will take on the bulk of the scoring this year, and have plenty of experience after last year's run to a Class B trophy.

Of course, one thing that always makes each and every season a challenge for the Stars is the fact that they belong to the challenging District 1B, which has teams like Choteau, Shelby, Cut Bank, Conrad and Fairfield. Cut Bank, Shelby and Choteau have all had strong teams in recent years, along with Rocky Boy and the district looks like it will be loaded from top to bottom once again. On top of that, if Rocky Boy wants to make it back to the state tournament, it also has to compete with the rest of the schools in the Northern B, which includes teams like Harlem, Poplar, Wolf Point, Glasgow and Malta. In addition to squaring off against its usual conference rivals, Rocky Boy also renewed its rivalry with Box Elder this season, as the two teams met at the Native American Classic to open the season after not playing each other during 2017-18. The Stars will also play a home-and-away with the Havre Blue Ponies, another local rival of the Rocky Boy Stars. For the Stars and everyone else in the Northern B, the season leads up to the Northern B Divisional. However, in order to get there, Rocky Boy will need to get out of the District 1B tournament, which will take place at the end of the season starting Feb. 14. The Northern B Divisional will be soon after and will tip-off Feb. 28. The Class B state tournament will be held at the Belgrade Special Events Center. The tournament, which combines the boys and girls, was to be played in Bozeman, but a conflict with Montana State Bobcat basketball force the event to be moved.

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Big Sandy boys aim for success on the basketball court, too Chris Peterson Havre Daily News cpeterson@havredailynews.com

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Olin Arkinson is a key returner for the Rocky Boy Stars, who made a run to a third-place trophy at the Class B state tournament a year ago.

After a magical 2017-18 season, Morning Stars looking to reload George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor gferguson@havredailynews.com In terms of being a Class B program, last season was as good as it gets for the Rocky Boy Morning Stars. Led by a trio of talented seniors, the Morning Stars won a District 1B championship and eventually made it all the way to their first Class B state tournament. Yes, last season was a dream season. But graduation also took away some of those star players at Rocky Boy, and new head coach Shaneen Hammond will have to build up the Morning Stars for another run this season. “(Right now) the goals for our team is to play as one every game, work hard so that we develop good positive habits, and have fun,” Hammond said. And while Rocky Boy did lose some key players, they do return plenty of talented standouts. Rochelle Pease, Sasha Coffee, Jaynah Gopher, Kirsten LaMere and Mariah Arkinson will all be key players for the Morning Stars this season. Gopher averaged double digits a year ago, while Pease and Coffee were key contributors. “Our team strengths to help us be successful this season are on the defensive end, we have some big girls that will get some shots blocked, and should pull almost every rebound,” Hammond said. Rocky Boy also wants to hold on to its 1B title from a year ago. It was Rocky Boy’s first dis-

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Sasha Coffee is a key returnee for a Rocky Boy team that made it all the way to the Class B girls state tournament last spring. trict championship since moving up to Class B in 2008. But the 1B is always loaded with tough teams, and Hammond said, this year will be no different. “The District 1B should be a tight race, our district holds the toughest contenders,” Hammond said. “The top four teams are Fairfield, Rocky Boy, Shelby and Choteau.” Rocky Boy’s season is already underway. The Morning Stars will play at the 1B tournament Feb. 14-16 in Shelby. The Northern B will be held Feb. 21-23 in Malta and the Class B state tourney is March 7-9 in Belgrade.

The Big Sandy boys basketball team won only a couple of games within the District 9C last season, however, the Pioneers took a step forward with their young roster and with many of those same players back in the fold, Big Sandy took another step forward this season. For the second straight year, the Pioneers will be directed by head coach Thomas Dilworth and once again, he said the focus for his team is going to be defense. “We have some good size,” Dilworth said. “Most of our kids are at least 6-foot except for one. We aren’t like Chinook or anything but we have some good size and our biggest focus is going to be defense. That was our downfall last year. We just let people score too many points to easily and that’s what we need to change this season.” The Pioneers did get a win at the 9C tournament last season, which was a big step forward for the team, which will look to build around guys like Ryan Roth, Kade Strutz, Brock Proulx and Parker Proulx. All four of those players started last season and each of them played important roles in the Big Sandy football team which made the quarterfinals in Six-Man football. “I expect us to do fairly well this year,” Dilworth said. “I think that we should be in the middle of the pack throughout the season and if we can get some good chemistry going into districts it could be interesting. Chinook is going to be up there near the top and Fort Benton should be up there as well and maybe Hays-Lodge Pole. They are flying under the radar a little bit. But after the top two teams, I think the field is wide open. That’s how I see it this year.” While the Pioneers have four of their five starters back from a season ago, some other teams such as North Star and Hays-Lodge Pole graduated some key players, even Turner graduated an All-Conference performer in Eddie Harmon. The 9C is, in fact, open for the taking. As Dilworth alluded to, Chinook is going to be the heavy favorite again within the league after the Sugarbeeters tore through the 9C with an unbeaten record a season ago, sweeping both the regular season and district titles. North Star, which lost to Chinook, lost two All-Conference players and its head coach. Fort Benton was the other team that advanced to divisionals from the 9C last season and like Big Sandy, the Longhorns have most of their team back. That leaves Chinook and

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Naomi Terry is the new leader of the Pioneers George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor gferguson@havredailynews.com When the Big Sandy girls basketball team takes the floor this winter, a familiar face will be stalking the sidelines for the Pioneers. Big Sandy’s new head coach this season is former Havre High All-State standout Naomi Terry. Terry, who played basketball for the MSUNorthern Skylights last season but had to retire from basketball due to injuries, will bring a fresh outlook to the Pioneers, who have struggled to compete in the District 9C over the last decade. Terry also inherits a team with plenty of returning talent. Big Sandy did make strides as a young team last season, and Terry expects junior Amanda Cline, senior Jaylyn Cline, junior Lainey Gregory, and junior Seanna Demontiney to be the nucleus of the Pioneer squad this season. She also said that junior Stacey Allderdice and freshman Amiya Griffith will also be contributors on the first level.

Of course, Terry’s first season of coaching in the 9C will be daunting. The 9C is easily the deepest and toughest district in all of Class C girls basketball, with defending state champion Box Elder, defending 9C champion Fort Benton, and Turner returning all five starters, making the league very difficult. Add in Chinook on the rise, North Star and CJI returning quality teams, and every night in the 9C will be hard. But Terry said her team is looking forward to the challenges that they’ll face this winter. "The district is always competitive. Box Elder and Fort Benton are definitely the top two teams after last season,” Terry said. “Turner and North Star are also very competitive and have many returning players from last year. “A major goal this season is to really compete,” she continued “There are a lot of good teams in this district, and we have a chance to step up, work hard, and compete with them. Goal is to really work and improve every day especially on the fundamentals.” Of course, the ultimate goal will be to compete at the 9C Tournament, which runs Feb. 13-16 at the Havre High gymnasium.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Ryan Roth and the Big Sandy football team had a big season on the gridiron this fall. Now, the Pioneers are looking for more of the same success on the basketball floor this winter. Though they have to contend with the tough District 9C, the Pioneers have a lot of talent this season. Fort Benton as the two teams to beat in the 9C with everyone else just fighting to emerge from the pack. “We need to keep building on our chemistry and getting that going,” Dilworth said. “We have an advantage because these kids played together last year, but we need to keep that chemistry going and the other thing is we need to be mentally tough.” The Pioneers and the rest of the 9C will take part in the District tournament in Havre Feb. 13-16.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Jaylyn Cline and the Big Sandy girls basketball team has a new head coach this season in former Havre Blue Pony and MSU-Northern Skylight Naomi Terry.


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Longhorns aiming to Talented Fort Benton remain a Class C power boys ready to contend Chris Peterson Havre Daily News cpeterson@havredailynews.com

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Leah Gannon and the Fort Benton Longhorns enter the 2018-19 season as the defending District 9C champions, and the talented Longhorns are hungry for more this season.

George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor gferguson@havredailynews.com The Box Elder Bears are likely to have another amazing run in the District 9C and beyond this season. But if there’s a team out there that’s proven it can give the Bears a run for their money, it’s most certainly the Fort Benton Longhorns. A year ago, Fort Benton stunned Box Elder in the 9C title game, and while Box Elder went on to win the ultimate prize, the Class C state championship, the Longhorn’s proved they can play with the Bears on the biggest stage. Now, Fort Benton will try to do it again, as the Longhorns, of longtime head coach Cassie Pimperton aim to repeat as 9C champs. And to do that, the Longhorns, who did graduate some key seniors from a year ago, will lean on the talents of senior Leah Gannon, junior McKenzie Clark and sophomore scoring sensation Aspen Gieise. Fort Benton also

has plenty of talent around that trio, and athleticism is a strength for the Longhorns. “Our team is athletic and strong defensively. We have all our tournament team back this year, making our experience level from last year help quite a bit,” Pimperton said. Of course, making a run at the 9C title will include going through the likes of the Bears, Turner, North Star and Chinook, among others. “Our district will be as competitive as ever. Box Elder will be tough as always and Turner returned their team from last years’ tournament run,” Pimperton noted. And yet, all of the other coaches in the league would say, the Longhorns are a team to watch out for, too, and they make the 9C the tough district that it is. Still, not looking too far ahead, Pimperton just wants to see her team progress throughout the season. “We want to put together a strong conference showing and compete as far into the postseason as possible,” she said. “We want to be playing our best basketball in March.”

When it comes to local high school basketball, few teams have more talent and more reason to be excited about the upcoming season than the Fort Benton Longhorns. The Longhorns, who made the transition into the District 9C a few years back, had their best season in the district, at least for the boys basketball team, as Fort Benton defeated Hays-Lodge Pole to take third last season at the district tournament, which sent Fort Benton to Great Falls for the Northern C. However, once Fort Benton got to Great Falls, the Longhorns weren’t just happy to be there and they won a couple of games before bowing out in loser-out action. Yet, after their best season in years and with their best players all coming back, Fort Benton has high expectations for the 2018-19 season. “Last year was a huge success for us in the fact that we were able to play that extra week,” Fort Benton head coach Tyler Pasha said. “We got to play some quality opponents in the divisional tournament, and it was great to get that experience. Returning our starters this year is huge for us, too, but we can’t be complacent and think it will just be given to us. We have to go earn it. I think we surprised a few people last season, but we aren’t going to be a surprise anymore. We have that expectation from everybody. We want to be at the top and we have that expectation as a coaching staff that we should be right there.” One thing that will certainly help the Longhorns reach new heights this season will be junior standout Garrett Diekhans, who earned All-State honors for his efforts last season. Diekhans is a 6-foot-7 monster inside for the Longhorns, yet he is a skill player who can shoot and is athletic enough to play quarterback during football season. Outside of Isaac Bell with Chinook, he might be the most talented individual player in the district. However, Diekhans isn’t the only All-Conference player returning, in fact, he’s not even the only All-Conference player within his own family that is coming back, as his younger brother, Hayden Diekhans, will also be a key member of the Longhorns this season. Other players who got a lot of playing time last season but will be back in the lineup include Logan Giles and Damon Bird. Pasha

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More-experienced Hawks CJI girls young but talented looking to rise up the in 9C George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor gferguson@havredailynews.com

Since rejoining the District 9C four years ago, the Chester-Joplin-Inverness Hawks have had their ups and downs. The Hawks have made it to the Northern C but also have failed to make it to Saturday in the 9C tournament. And, after coming close to playing for a trophy at the 9C tourney a year ago, the Hawks, and head coach Kristie Pulse saw graduation hit the team hard, with CJI returning just one starter. But the Hawks, who return a lone senior starter in Peyton Hawks, won’t just be rebuilding their starting lineup this season, they’ll be an extremely young team. Pulse noted that of returning players from last year’s squad Molly Nelson is just a sopho-

said the other starting spot will be more up for grabs but that was excited to see his team get out on the floor. “We are excited to get out there and compete,” Pasha said. “The district is going to be tough. You can’t say enough about that Chinook, but I would say we are right there at No. 2. I would like to think those games against Chinook would be a dogfight. Hopefully, we get to play them twice during the season and another time in the championship game.” The Longhorns and the rest of the 9C will take part in the annual district tournament in Havre beginning Feb. 13.

more and Tatum Hall and Averie Mattson are freshmen. CJI does get back a pair of talented sophomores in Abby Fraser and Emma Wickum, both of whom missed last season due to injuries, but after that, CJI will rely on the likes of sophomore Kyla Mansfield, freshman Rhiannon Cole and eighth-graders Aaliyah Standiford and Haddie Woods. Still, as young as the Hawks will be this season, Pulse said that her team has plenty of strengths, and goals for the upcoming year. “Our strengths are senior leadership, quickness and our work ethic,” she said. “Our goals are to win, get better every practice and game, work hard, and have fun.” CJI will definitely work hard, but, the Hawks will also be underdogs in a loaded 9C that includes Box Elder, Fort Benton and Turner.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Evan Dahinden and the Chester-Joplin-Inverness Hawks were a very young team a year ago. Now, the Hawks feel they have the experience and the talent to improve this winter.

Chris Peterson Havre Daily News cpeterson@havredailynews.com

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Damon Bird and the Fort Benton Longhorns made a solid run last season. But, with virtually their entire team returning for this season, the Longhorns have even loftier goals.

When it comes to Chester-Joplin-Inverness and high school basketball, there is a rich history and tradition and under the leadership once again of T.J. Murphy, the Hawks are going to do their best to make some noise this season. Last season and for the past couple, the Hawks have been stuck near the bottom of the District 9C standings, as youth, experience and growing pains have plagued CJI over the past few seasons. Now, things are starting to change for the Hawks, who have most of their team back from a season ago in a district that looks to be wide open outside of Chinook, who is the heavy favorite after sweeping the 9C regular season and tournament titles a season ago. While the Beeters look like a team that could contend for a state championship, as far as the rest of the district is concerned, it seems like just about anyone could have a chance to step up and compete for one of the three Northern C Divisional berths that will be on the line at the end of the season. Of course, for the Hawks a big key is going to be the regular season. Last year, CJI went 2-16 during the regular season and went into the district tournament as the No. 7 team. That forced CJI to take on second-seeded North Star

in the quarterfinals. Well, the Hawks lost that game and then were defeated by Box Elder, knocking them out of the 9C without a win. Certainly, getting a win at the district tournament will be a good first step for the Hawks, who do have some quality players returning from last season’s team, including Spencer Richter, a junior, who has been starting since his freshman season. He will be among the Hawks, best players along with Tyler Wanken and Evan Dahinden. Jackson Diemert is another name to keep an eye on for the Hawks, he is another player who saw some heavy minutes in 2017-18. In the grand scheme of things, it was only a couple of years ago that CJI was making backto-back appearances at the Northern C Divisional. In order to get back there, the Hawks are going to have to topple some of their district rivals such as North Star, Hays-Lodge Pole, Turner, Box Elder, Big Sandy and Fort Benton, if the Hawks want to have any chance to play past districts. The 9C is always a tough conference, but last season the league more than held its own. Chinook, North Star and Fort Benton all won games at the district tournament. North Star lost some key players, but Chinook and Fort Benton are stacked again, while the Hawks and the rest of the league try to catch up. After playing a 16-game schedule within the district, the Hawks and everyone else will meet in Havre Feb. 13 for the start of the 9C tournament.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Peyton Hawks is the lone returning starter on what will be a young but athletic ChesterJoplin-Inverness girls team this season.


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Turner girls aim even Tornadoes ready to fight higher this season in the tough District 9C Chris Peterson Havre Daily News cpeterson@havredailynews.com

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Shyan Krass, left, and the Turner Tornadoes went on a magical ride last season, a ride that took them to a third-place finish in the District 9C and a trip to the Northern C Divisional for the first time in two decades. But with so much talent returning this winter, Turner could be poised to do even more.

George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor gferguson@havredailynews.com The Turner girls basketball team did something magical a year ago. They grabbed a trophy at the District 9C tournament for the first time in more than 20 years, and even went on to win games at the Northern C Divisional. Yes, it was a dream season for the Tornadoes last year. But, that dream is far from over because Turner returns literally its entire team from that dream season, so under new head coach Julie Welsh, the dream should continue. Led by returning starters Sarah Billmayer, Rylan and Reagan Conlan, Melanie Watkins, and one of the top post players on the Hi-Line in junior Shyan Krass, Turner is no longer a young team on the rise. No, this winter, Turner is an experienced and talent-

ed team that has proven itself over the last two years. The building process began in the 201617 season when a young Turner team posted its first winning record in years. Turner also captured a win at the 9C tourney that February. Then, things got even better in the 2018-19 season when the Tornadoes vaulted themselves to the top half of the 9C regular season standings, reached the 9C semifinals, then, on the final day of the 9C tourney, beat North Star and CJI to reach the divisional tournament. Now, Turner is back for more, and no one will be overlooking the Tornadoes this winter. With Turner’s team intact, they will have the full attention of everybody in the 9C, including defending state champion Box Elder and defending 9C champion Fort Benton. Turner will look to make it two straight years of getting a trophy at the 9C when the 2019 tournament takes place Feb. 13-16 in Havre.

When it comes to Turner, Montana, there are few things that are more important than basketball and that’s why the Tornadoes and head coach Zach Holland are looking forward to yet another season of District 9C basketball. In a lot of ways, the 2017-18 season was a magical one in the annals of Turner basketball. For one, the Turner girls basketball team finished third at the district tournament and advanced to divisionals, for the first time in decades. And while the boys team didn’t have that same success, the Tornadoes did win a game at districts, knocking off Big Sandy in loser-out action, but fell one win short of the consolation game at the 9C tournament. Now, the Tornadoes are hoping to aim higher and work their way into that conversation of top three teams within the 9C. “I think that we are going to have a pretty good team this season,” Holland said. “We have a lot of experience this season with three seniors and we have another junior that has really started to come around. My sophomore class is also really going to hold its weight.’ Like with any team, Turner did suffer some key losses, mostly Eddie Harmon, who was an All-Conference performer for the Tornadoes and a state champion in track. However, even without Harmon, the Tornadoes will have Cody Welsh, a senior, who like Harmon won a state championship in the hurdles in Class C and on the hardwood, he appears to be Turner’s go-to guy this season. Welsh was an All-Conference player last season and he should be a standout again this season, as well as one of the top scorers in the 9C. Tracer Heilig is another returning starter for the Tornadoes, along with fellow senior Kurt Calvert. Eddie Harmon’s younger brother Jack Harmon is a junior who will attempt to fill the void left by his brother. Other players who will contribute for Turner this season will be Shane Kimmel, Austin Welsh, Shea Humphreys and Trevor Kimmel. With some talent and experience back to work with Holland has high hopes for this season as he believes Turner can contend in a wide-open District 9C that has Chinook as the favorite to win, followed by teams like Fort Benton and Hays-Lodge Pole. Yet, most coaches believe the 9C is going to be filled with parity, which could provide a golden op-

portunity for the Tornadoes. “I think that it’s going to come down to which team is playing the best defense,” Holland said. “And I think that is going to make the difference in determining who wins and loses on a lot of nights. I think that it will be pretty even all the way around. People are going to be worried about Chinook and their height, but I think this conference is more wide open than it has ever been since I have been coaching.” Holland and the Tornadoes will play their 9C schedule and open the district tournament on Feb. 13. In Havre.

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North Star girls are a 9C threat George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor gferguson@havredailynews.com When it comes to District 9C girls basketball, the North Star Knights have always been a team to be reckoned with. But last season, the Knights didn’t quite have the season they were hoping for, and part of that was because the 9C is just so tough. The 9C being tough won’t change this season, not with loaded teams from Box Elder, Fort Benton and Turner, but that doesn’t mean the Knights of head coach Jennifer Wendland won’t be tough themselves. “We may be a small group of girls with little experience, but we feel we have the ability to make it to divisionals,” Wendland said, “which is our main goal. We will take one game at a time and just give 100 percent effort each game.” The Knights don’t have the numbers they’ve had in the past, but they do return three-time All-Conference standout Paij Peterson for her senior year. Juniors Saige O’Neil and Olivia King also return to give

the Knights a presence in the post, while sophomores Kenidee Wolery and Shayla Borlaug, freshman Jade Wendland and senior Tanicha Hudson will also be key contributors. Coach Wendland also noted that several eighth-graders will be brought up to the high school level for this season. “We don’t have a lot of size, so we will have to rely on our speed from the guard position,” Wendland said. “I feel we will be a disciplined defensive team and will have the ability to score quickly in transition.” Of course, North Star will also have to battle the rest of the 9C, which is as good as it gets when it comes to Class C basketball. And while she does feel her Knights will be a strong team this season, she also knows just how difficult the 9C is. “The top two teams in our league are Fort Benton and Box Elder,” coach Wendland said. “Looking back at last year … I believe the rest of the league will be fighting for the third position. It should be a great competitive season, and we look forward to having some fun and winning some games.”

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Paij Peterson and the North Star Knights have always been one of the top teams in the 9C, and they'll look to keep that going this season.

After a dream season, Knights start over Chris Peterson Havre Daily News cpeterson@havredailynews.com The North Star Knights waited a long time to get to the Northern C Divisional tournament and last season, the Knights finally achieved their goal. Now, with a new head coach and a bevy of new contributors, the mission will be to try and get back. When you are dealing with high school sports, change is one of the constants. Yet the Knights are having to deal with more changes than most programs and that’s because not only are the Knights going to be without key players such as Dylan Miller and Devon Miller, but the Knights also have a new head coach in Cody Donoven, who is taking over

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Cody Welsh, right, is a returning AllConference performer for the Turner boys basketball team this season. Turner lost some key pieces to graduation, but, the Tornadoes are planning on being right in the mix in the District 9C this winter.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Caden Rettig will be a key leader for the North Star boys this season. After last year, when the Knights played for a 9C championship and made it to the Northern C, North Star is reloading, including at head coach where former head man Cody Donoven is back at the helm after Walynn Burgess moved to Havre High.

for Walynn Burgess who took over at Havre High. While Donoven is the new head coach in a sense, he is not new to the position or the program. Donoven, who was a star for the Knights in his own time at the school, was previously the head coach prior to Burgess and also served as an assistant to Burgess last season. “I am excited,” Donoven said. “It’s a lot of fun. I was the head coach for a few years before, but it is fun to get back into it. Walynn left things in good shape. We are young and we only have eight kids right now but I think we have a good foundation. The start of the season might be a little rough, but I think we are going to be right in the mix.” The Knights behind the play of Dylan Miller, an All-State honoree, reached the championship game of the District 9C before advancing to the Northern C Divisional tournament. The Knights also won a game at divisionals before losing out to Chinook, which also toppled North Star in the district title game. “Chinook is the team to beat,” Donoven said. “I don’t think there is any doubt about that. They have some really talented play-

ers and some great height, so they offer a lot of problems. Fort Benton is another team that should be right up there, but after that I think that it’s wide open. I told the boys, ‘We aren’t going to blow a bunch of teams out and we aren’t going to get blown out.’ There are going to be a lot of tough games and on any given night, anyone can win. I really think at the end of the season, just about everyone has a shot at that top three.” North Star is going to be young and short on depth, however, the Knights do return Caden Rettig, an All-Conference point guard a season ago. He will team with Bailey Spicher, another player Donoven said the Knights will rely on for points. Hayden Masser is another player who should see significant minutes for the Knights, who will compete with Chinook, Fort Benton, Big Sandy, Hays-Lodge Pole, Box Elder, Chester-JoplinInverness and Turner for a top-three spot at districts and another berth in the divisional tournament. The Knights will start their journey at the District 9C tournament Feb. 13-16. The Northern C, which the Knights hope to return to will be held the following week in Great Falls.


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Harlem girls should Young Wildcats are be a contender again still trying to rebuild Chris Peterson Havre Daily News cpeterson@havredailynews.com

The Harlem girls basketball program has taken some huge steps forward in the past couple of seasons, but with the 2018-19 basketball season coming into focus, the Wildcats want to take the next step and that means reaching the Class B state tournament, Reaching the state tournament would be huge for the Harlem girls basketball team because, while the boys team has plenty of history and even some state championships, the girls team doesn’t and there is no doubt the Wildcat girls want to start winning some hardware on their own. Last season, Harlem had the look of a state tournament contender, especially at the midway point of the season. Soon after the holiday break, the Wildcats, who were ranked as the No. 6 team in the state played host to Poplar, which was ranked second at the time. In a dramatic game, the Wildcats pulled off the upset and got themselves as high as No. 2 in the polls before falling off at the end of last season. Harlem did manage to advance to the Northern C Divisional tournament, which was still a step in the right direction, however, the Wildcats were eliminated before Saturday night and didn’t get an opportunity to even play for third or fourth. Yet, a lot can change in one year, especially when it comes to high school sports, and the Wildcats aren’t immune to those changes. Laramie Schwenke, who was the coach of Harlem, left to be a graduate assistant at Idaho State, and now, in her absence, Martin Lawrence, an assistant last season, will take over the head coaching job. Schwenke led the Wildcats to a 15-1 start a season ago and Harlem also took a 16-4 record into the divisional tournament. Yet, the Wildcats were too young to get out of the Northern C. Their top player a season ago was sophomore L’Tia Lawrence, who will now enter her junior season fresh off an All-State berth and a spot on the All-Hi-Line team. While Lawrence is dynamic, she isn’t the only solid returning player coming back.

Chris Peterson Havre Daily News cpeterson@havredailynews.com

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Despite losing head coach Laramie Schwenke, Skylee Dirden, left, and the Harlem girls will still be a top team in Class B girls basketball this season.

Skyee Dirden also had a stellar season a year ago for the Wildcats, and the wing, who is Harlem’s other top scorers, will be back in the fold again. The first objective for the Wildcats will be getting out of the District 2B, which is easier said than done with Malta, Glasgow, Poplar and Wolf Point. Then, it will be a matter of taking down whoever represents the 1B at the divisional tournament out of Rocky Boy, Fairfield, Cut Bank, Conrad, Choteau and Shelby. The 2B District tournament will come in the middle of February and the Northern B Divisional tournament will tip-off for the Wildcats and the rest of the division Feb. 21.

For the past few years, the Harlem boys basketball team has been trying to fight its way back toward contention in the District 2B, yet they just haven’t been able to take that step forward as a program. Last season, the Wildcats seemed headed in the right direction under head coach Cole McCabe, but McCabe ultimately decided not to come back for another season in Harlem and filling his shoes will be former Wildcat player Geno LeValdo. “I played for Harlem back in the 1990s,” LeValdo said. “I have been getting back into coaching and when coach McCabe decided not to come back, they asked me to do it and so I decided to see what I could do. I think for us, the biggest thing is that we want to get the rest of the teams in Class B to fear and respect us. That is our first goal, we have to get that respect.” One thing that helped McCabe and the Wildcats put together some momentum last season was All-Conference selection Brad Cichosz. However, the junior, who was going to be Harlem’s best player this season, injured his leg according to LeValdo and may not play at all during the 2018-19 season. “He said he wants to try and come back,” LeValdo said. “We probably won’t let him. We will see.” Without Cichosz, the Wildcats are very young and will rely on a number of freshmen. Harlem does have some veteran experience, namely Lane Allen, who was a starter last season, but now the senior will be surrounded by some youngsters. “We are going to try and rally around Lane Allen,” LeValdo said. “He’s our senior and he’s our leader. He’s going to get a lot more attention from the defense and things like that but he can also open some things up for everyone else.” R.J. Ranane is one player who will need to help pick up the slack for the Wildcats and he has the look of a scorer. Truth Brockie is another player to watch and one of the few returning with experience. He should also see some key minutes. “We have four or five freshmen that are going to play a lot for us,” LeValdo said. “They all have played a lot and have really strong basketball IQ. Some of them just need to grow

into their bodies a little bit. But we probably could be starting three or four freshmen.” Harlem will be competing in the always difficult District 2B which is part of the Northern B Division. The Wildcats will be battling teams like Malta, Glasgow, Poplar and Wolf Point for position within the district, as Harlem tries to advance to the Northern C Divisional tournament at the end of the season. “I think that we will be able to surprise some people,” LeValdo said. “We have some talent. We just need to mature and get some experience. Lane Allen is going to be the guy we build around, but we have a bunch of shooters around him and we will see where we are at by the end of the season.”

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Bears hungry for more Class C glory

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Joelnell Momberg and the Box Elder Bears captured the 2018 Class C girls state championship. And with so many top players back, there's no reason why they can't repeat.

George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor gferguson@havredailynews.com

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Brad Cichosz was a Class B All-State performer last season, but an injury could force him to miss much of this year and will make Harlem a young, inexperienced team.

The 2017-18 season was a dream for the Box Elder Lady Bears. After all, they captured their first Class C state championship in exactly 20 years. Now, a new year is upon the Bears, and they’re out to prove that history can indeed repeat itself. After winning the 2018 state championship, Box Elder is back for me, and the Bears have a little revenge on their mind, as they came up short of winning the 9C tourney title a year ago. So no doubt, that will be a main goal for Joel Rosette and his squad, but he also insists there won’t be any pressure on the Bears this season either. “No pressure for our team,” Rosette said. “We have expectations and goals that we want to accomplish and we focus on getting better each day. To be the toughest and most competitive team we can be each day.” If the Bears do that, they will certainly

achieve their goals, because Box Elder is absolutely loaded with returning talent, including 2018 Class C State MVP Lilly Gopher, a four-year starter for Box Elder. But Gopher has plenty of her state tourney teammates back including Class C All-Stater Joelnell Momberg and All-Northern C standout Maddie Wolf Chief. In fact, the Bears return four of their five starters from last year’s state title team, with Eve The Boy also back, and Sarah Parisian a main contributor to last year’s team. “We are an athletic, experienced and tough group of girls who are very competitive and love to play basketball,” Rosette said about his 2018-19 squad, while will be favored to repeat as state champions. Before that, though, Box Elder will look to win back the 9C title when the 2019 9C tourney goes down Feb. 13-16 in Havre. Then, Box Elder will look to repeat as Northern C champions, when the 2019 Northern C Divisional will take place Feb. 20-23 in Great Falls. The 2019 Class C state tournament is also in Great Falls Feb. 28-March 2.

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Box Elder boys look to grow this season Chris Peterson Havre Daily News cpeterson@havredailynews.com The Box Elder boys basketball team went through a big transition during the 2017-18 season as the Bears not only had a bunch of fresh faces on the floor, they also had a fresh face on the sideline. For the first time in years, the legendary Jeremy through MacDonald wasn’t on the bench for Box Elder, as MacDonald stepped down following the 2016-17 season. Before leaving, MacDonald handed things over to one of his trusted assistants, LaVon Myers, and while Myers first season didn’t go exactly as planned, the Bears are hungry and looking to break out of last season’s hibernation. “I think that we can take a lot of lessons from last year,” Myers said. “I think we needed to learn that all of the small things add up to big things. But I think that we have a chance this year. Chinook is going to be dominant. Fort Benton also has a lot of other players back. Then I think the rest of us are really close. I think the most important thing is going to be peaking at the right time and trying to make a run at one of those top three spots.” One benefit of having such a young team is getting so many core players back and that is one thing that Myers will get to enjoy this season as he will return a number of key con-

tributors such as Nicona Limberhand, Chris Burns, Malik Rosette and Kaden Duran just to name a few. “I think that we got a little bigger and we got a little stronger,” Myers said. “I think that we are faster and more athletic. The kids have really worked hard in the offseason and they are really excited for the season to start.” Prior to last season, the Bears owned the 9C and in particular the 9C tournament. From 2013 to 2017, Box Elder swept the district tournament, winning five consecutive titles to go along with two Northern C championships and two Class C state championships. Last season, the Bears took a step back with the loss of MacDonald and loads of experience. However, Myers, who was a standout in his own right at Montana State UniversityNorthern, believes his team has the ingredients to step right back into contention. “I think the biggest thing for us getting some leadership,” Myers said. “I think we need some of our players to step into those roles but if we can get that, we should have a good chance. I really do think the district is wide open. Just about every team is going to have a chance and it’s going to be a battle every night.” The Bears opened their season at the Native American Classic against Rocky Boy and will battle through a 14-game district schedule before taking part in the District 9C tournament, which starts Feb. 13 in Havre.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Chris Burns and the Box Elder Bears have a much more seasoned team this year for second-year head coach LaVon Meyers.


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December 14th December 15th December 18th December 22nd January 3rd January 5th January 10th January 12th January 18th January 19th January 25th January 26th January 31st February 2nd February 7th February 9th February 20th-23rd March 7th-9th

vs. Park - Park ~ 6:00 p.m. vs. Belgrade - Belgrade ~ 1:00 p.m. vs. Malta - Malta ~ 6:00 p.m. vs. CMR - Havre ~ 7:00 p.m. vs. Rocky Boy - Havre ~ 5:30 p.m. vs. Lewistown - Lewistown ~ 5:00 p.m. vs. Browning - Havre ~ 7:00 p.m. vs. Fairfield - Havre ~ 5:00 p.m. vs. Park - Havre ~ 5:30 p.m. vs. Belgrade - Havre ~ 3:00 p.m. vs. Great Falls - Great Falls ~ 7:00 p.m. vs. Malta - Havre ~ 4:00 p.m. vs. Rocky Boy - Rocky Boy ~ 6:00 p.m. vs. Lewistown - Havre ~ 5:00 p.m. vs. Browning - Browning ~ 7:00 p.m. vs. Fairfield - Fairfield ~ TBA DIVISIONALS - Billings (Metra) STATE - Great Falls

Chris Peterson Havre Daily News cpeterson@havredailynews.com One key to winning back-to-back championships at any level is knowing how to deal with success and, when it comes to the Havre High girls basketball team, that’s one area where they have plenty of experience. Havre has repeatedly been a state tournament participant under head coach Dustin Kraske, and last season, the Blue Ponies won their second state championship since 2014, defeating Hardin in the title game to cap a perfect season (24-0). “We have goals,” HHS head coach Dustin Kraske said. “But right now our goal is just getting better every day in everything that we do. As long as we keep doing that, the rest will take care of itself.” The Ponies are known for their work ethic and this season, Kraske will have to work to replace four key players from last season’s state championship team, starting with All-State performers Marca Herron and Danielle Wallace. Kaylee Nystrom and Kyley Verploegen were two other graduates. Of the four players, three got scholarships to play college basketball, while Nystrom is running cross country. Those losses were significant and there is no minimizing them, however, the Ponies are about as well positioned to reload as you can be. For starters, HHS still has Kyndall Keller, a two-time All-State performer who was among the leading scorers in Class A last season. Keller is a junior and joining her as a returning starter is fellow junior Kadia Miller, a two-time All-State runner in cross country who took on a greater role offensively at the end of last season. Keller and Miller will be fixtures in the starting lineup for the Ponies, but the other spots could have some fluidity. One player who should see plenty of playing time is guard Kylie Walker, who saw significant minutes last season and made a clutch 3-pointer in the state quarterfinals against Hamilton. Katie Wirtzberger, Jessa Chvilicek, Sam Oliver, Kassidy Compton, Abbey Morse, Lauren Kato, Loy Waid and Sadie Filius are others

2018-2019

www.havredailynews.com

Loaded pony girls chase more history After a perfect season and a Class A state championship, the Havre High girls basketball team is eager for more

www.havredailynews.com

December 14th December 15th December 18th December 21st January 3rd January 5th January 11th January 12th January 18th January 19th January 25th January 26th January 31st February 2nd February 7th February 9th February 20th-23rd March 7th-9th

WINTER SPORTS

vs. Park - Park ~ 7:30 p.m. vs. Belgrade - Belgrade ~ 2:30 p.m. vs. Malta - Malta ~ 7:30 p.m. vs. CMR - CMR ~ 7:00 p.m. vs. Rocky Boy - Havre ~ 7:00 p.m. vs. Lewistown - Lewistown ~ 6:30 p.m. vs. Browning - Browning ~ 7:00 p.m. vs. Fairfield - Havre ~ 6:30 p.m. vs. Park - Havre ~ 7:30 p.m. vs. Belgrade - Havre ~ 4:30 p.m. vs. Great Falls - Havre ~ 7:00 p.m. vs. Malta - Havre ~ 5:30 p.m. vs. Rocky Boy - Rocky Boy ~ 7:30 p.m. vs. Lewistown - Havre ~ 6:30 p.m. vs. Browning - Browning ~ 7:00 p.m. vs. Fairfield - Fairfield ~ TBA DIVISIONALS - Billings (Metra) STATE - Great Falls

December 2018

9

havre high boys start a new era Blue Ponies begin their first season under new head coach Walynn Burgess Chris Peterson Havre Daily News cpeterson@havredailynews.com

who will see the floor for the Ponies this season. “I think that we have some really hardworking kids,” Kraske said. “We aren’t going to be able to replace those kids that we lost, but I think we have some kids that can step into those roles. That is what we are still trying to figure out in a way, just how everyone fits on this team and what the roles are going to be.” In terms of the Central A conference, the Ponies will be a heavy favorite to come away with the top seed for the Eastern A Divisional tournament, which Havre won last year. Divisionals will take place Feb. 20-23 at the Metra in Billings. “I think that our league is going to be pretty solid,” Kraske said. “Livingston is much better and they might have the best team they have had in years. Belgrade has some talent back and as a whole, the Eastern has some quality teams. Billings Central is a really good team and it will be exciting to get a chance to play them and Glendive, two state tournament teams from last season. Laurel is another solid team and Miles City is really athletic. Also, Hardin is always tough.” Havre will open the season with a 24-game winning streak and it should be favored to win most of its games this season. Billings Central, Glendive, Livingston, Belgrade and Browning will be the top threats Havre will play in Class A during the regular season. The Ponies will also take on Great Falls High and CMR, along with Malta and Fairfield. If the Ponies make it back to the state tournament, it will be in Great Falls once again at the Four Seasons Arena. The past two times it has been held there, Havre has won the state championship. The girls Class A state tournament is set for March 7-9.

The Havre High boys basketball team has gone through a rough patch since a slew of state tournament appearances, but with a new head coach, the Blue Ponies are ready to rebound. Following last season, former head coach Curt Leeds stepped down after leading Havre to the state tournament multiple times and the Eastern A Divisional championship back in 2016. To replace Leeds, the Ponies tapped former North Star head coach Walynn Burgess, who was fresh off leading the Class C school to its first divisional appearance in a decade. “I am excited about the way things are going,” Burgess said. “We have some work to do to instill the kind of culture that I want and to play the way that I want to play, but we are getting there. It takes time when you have a new coach, but they are really buying in and they have really gotten after it.” After winning just a handful of games in each of the past two seasons, the Ponies are certainly hungry for a turnaround and in order to get one, Havre will have to rely on a mix of youth and experience. Gone are key contributors like Ivar Aageson and Jacob Irvin, however, others with starting experience such as Tysen Sangrey and Austin Delarosa are back in the fold. Those two seniors will help anchor the starting lineup for Burgess along with sophomore Kellen Dietrick, who will play in the frontcourt. Tommy Brown, another returning starter and the leading scorer from last season, will be out on the wing, and handling the ball will be Mason Rismon, another player with varsity minutes under his belt. Other guys who will find their way in the rotation are Jake Huston, Josh Warp and Max Olson. While finding a way to score more points will be an important part of any improvement this season for the Ponies, Burgess said his focus, first and foremost, will always be

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Havre High's Katie Wirtzberger is a key returner for the Havre High girls basketball team this season. The Blue Ponies are coming off a magical 2017-18 season in which they went 24-0 and captured the Class A state championship. And with so much returning talent, the Ponies are heavy favorites to repeat.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Havre High' senior Tysen Sangrey drives the ball during a 2017-18 HHS boys basketball game. Sangrey and the Blue Ponies take the floor this season under new head coach Walynn Burgess, who came to Havre from North Star after longtime Blue Pony head coach Curt Leeds retired last spring. HHS' season is already underway.

on the defensive end of the floor. “Defense is going to be our focus, that is going to be the foundation,” Burgess said. “That is always where it starts with me. If you want to win games and win championships you have to play defense, so that’s what we want this program to be about. We want to be tough and just have that mentality that we are going to get after it and play defense no matter what.” Burgess will be challenged in a Central A conference that boasts one of the better teams in the state in Lewistown, which was a state semifinalist a season ago. Belgrade also made it to state last season but will have to replace Dawson Fowler, one of the top scorers in Class A. “I think we all know that everyone is chasing Lewistown in the Central A,” Burgess said. “They were a semi-final team last season and they got some of their studs back, so they are going to be the team to beat. Belgrade is always going to have athletes, so it will be a challenge but we are looking forward to it.” Havre will also get to test itself against some other teams within the Eastern A such as Billings Central and Glendive. In other non-conference games, the Ponies will go head-to-head with Malta, Fairfield and Rocky Boy of Class B, as well as Great Falls High and CMR of Class AA. The Ponies will also play another Class A team in Browning. “I like the schedule,” Burgess said. “We start off with four of the first six on the road and I like that. It will help us bond as a team and help us come together.” Because Havre won just a few games last season, Burgess his first goal is just improving, yet he said his ultimate goal is to start winning games at the divisional tournament. “We know that we aren’t going to be competing for a state championship or anything,” Burgess said. “We just want to improve and get better every day and then at the end of the year, we want to win in the divisional tournament. That’s our first goal. Get a win there.” The Eastern A Divisional will be Feb. 2023 in Billings, while the Class A state tournament will be March 7-9 in Great Falls at the Four Seasons Arena. This is the first year that Class A will have a combined boys and girls state basketball tournament. Havre will also be moving to the new Northwest A Conference next season. It will be composed of Havre, Miles City, Sidney and Glendive.


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WINTER SPORTS

December 2018

December 14th December 15th December 18th December 22nd January 3rd January 5th January 10th January 12th January 18th January 19th January 25th January 26th January 31st February 2nd February 7th February 9th February 20th-23rd March 7th-9th

vs. Park - Park ~ 6:00 p.m. vs. Belgrade - Belgrade ~ 1:00 p.m. vs. Malta - Malta ~ 6:00 p.m. vs. CMR - Havre ~ 7:00 p.m. vs. Rocky Boy - Havre ~ 5:30 p.m. vs. Lewistown - Lewistown ~ 5:00 p.m. vs. Browning - Havre ~ 7:00 p.m. vs. Fairfield - Havre ~ 5:00 p.m. vs. Park - Havre ~ 5:30 p.m. vs. Belgrade - Havre ~ 3:00 p.m. vs. Great Falls - Great Falls ~ 7:00 p.m. vs. Malta - Havre ~ 4:00 p.m. vs. Rocky Boy - Rocky Boy ~ 6:00 p.m. vs. Lewistown - Havre ~ 5:00 p.m. vs. Browning - Browning ~ 7:00 p.m. vs. Fairfield - Fairfield ~ TBA DIVISIONALS - Billings (Metra) STATE - Great Falls

Chris Peterson Havre Daily News cpeterson@havredailynews.com One key to winning back-to-back championships at any level is knowing how to deal with success and, when it comes to the Havre High girls basketball team, that’s one area where they have plenty of experience. Havre has repeatedly been a state tournament participant under head coach Dustin Kraske, and last season, the Blue Ponies won their second state championship since 2014, defeating Hardin in the title game to cap a perfect season (24-0). “We have goals,” HHS head coach Dustin Kraske said. “But right now our goal is just getting better every day in everything that we do. As long as we keep doing that, the rest will take care of itself.” The Ponies are known for their work ethic and this season, Kraske will have to work to replace four key players from last season’s state championship team, starting with All-State performers Marca Herron and Danielle Wallace. Kaylee Nystrom and Kyley Verploegen were two other graduates. Of the four players, three got scholarships to play college basketball, while Nystrom is running cross country. Those losses were significant and there is no minimizing them, however, the Ponies are about as well positioned to reload as you can be. For starters, HHS still has Kyndall Keller, a two-time All-State performer who was among the leading scorers in Class A last season. Keller is a junior and joining her as a returning starter is fellow junior Kadia Miller, a two-time All-State runner in cross country who took on a greater role offensively at the end of last season. Keller and Miller will be fixtures in the starting lineup for the Ponies, but the other spots could have some fluidity. One player who should see plenty of playing time is guard Kylie Walker, who saw significant minutes last season and made a clutch 3-pointer in the state quarterfinals against Hamilton. Katie Wirtzberger, Jessa Chvilicek, Sam Oliver, Kassidy Compton, Abbey Morse, Lauren Kato, Loy Waid and Sadie Filius are others

2018-2019

www.havredailynews.com

Loaded pony girls chase more history After a perfect season and a Class A state championship, the Havre High girls basketball team is eager for more

www.havredailynews.com

December 14th December 15th December 18th December 21st January 3rd January 5th January 11th January 12th January 18th January 19th January 25th January 26th January 31st February 2nd February 7th February 9th February 20th-23rd March 7th-9th

WINTER SPORTS

vs. Park - Park ~ 7:30 p.m. vs. Belgrade - Belgrade ~ 2:30 p.m. vs. Malta - Malta ~ 7:30 p.m. vs. CMR - CMR ~ 7:00 p.m. vs. Rocky Boy - Havre ~ 7:00 p.m. vs. Lewistown - Lewistown ~ 6:30 p.m. vs. Browning - Browning ~ 7:00 p.m. vs. Fairfield - Havre ~ 6:30 p.m. vs. Park - Havre ~ 7:30 p.m. vs. Belgrade - Havre ~ 4:30 p.m. vs. Great Falls - Havre ~ 7:00 p.m. vs. Malta - Havre ~ 5:30 p.m. vs. Rocky Boy - Rocky Boy ~ 7:30 p.m. vs. Lewistown - Havre ~ 6:30 p.m. vs. Browning - Browning ~ 7:00 p.m. vs. Fairfield - Fairfield ~ TBA DIVISIONALS - Billings (Metra) STATE - Great Falls

December 2018

9

havre high boys start a new era Blue Ponies begin their first season under new head coach Walynn Burgess Chris Peterson Havre Daily News cpeterson@havredailynews.com

who will see the floor for the Ponies this season. “I think that we have some really hardworking kids,” Kraske said. “We aren’t going to be able to replace those kids that we lost, but I think we have some kids that can step into those roles. That is what we are still trying to figure out in a way, just how everyone fits on this team and what the roles are going to be.” In terms of the Central A conference, the Ponies will be a heavy favorite to come away with the top seed for the Eastern A Divisional tournament, which Havre won last year. Divisionals will take place Feb. 20-23 at the Metra in Billings. “I think that our league is going to be pretty solid,” Kraske said. “Livingston is much better and they might have the best team they have had in years. Belgrade has some talent back and as a whole, the Eastern has some quality teams. Billings Central is a really good team and it will be exciting to get a chance to play them and Glendive, two state tournament teams from last season. Laurel is another solid team and Miles City is really athletic. Also, Hardin is always tough.” Havre will open the season with a 24-game winning streak and it should be favored to win most of its games this season. Billings Central, Glendive, Livingston, Belgrade and Browning will be the top threats Havre will play in Class A during the regular season. The Ponies will also take on Great Falls High and CMR, along with Malta and Fairfield. If the Ponies make it back to the state tournament, it will be in Great Falls once again at the Four Seasons Arena. The past two times it has been held there, Havre has won the state championship. The girls Class A state tournament is set for March 7-9.

The Havre High boys basketball team has gone through a rough patch since a slew of state tournament appearances, but with a new head coach, the Blue Ponies are ready to rebound. Following last season, former head coach Curt Leeds stepped down after leading Havre to the state tournament multiple times and the Eastern A Divisional championship back in 2016. To replace Leeds, the Ponies tapped former North Star head coach Walynn Burgess, who was fresh off leading the Class C school to its first divisional appearance in a decade. “I am excited about the way things are going,” Burgess said. “We have some work to do to instill the kind of culture that I want and to play the way that I want to play, but we are getting there. It takes time when you have a new coach, but they are really buying in and they have really gotten after it.” After winning just a handful of games in each of the past two seasons, the Ponies are certainly hungry for a turnaround and in order to get one, Havre will have to rely on a mix of youth and experience. Gone are key contributors like Ivar Aageson and Jacob Irvin, however, others with starting experience such as Tysen Sangrey and Austin Delarosa are back in the fold. Those two seniors will help anchor the starting lineup for Burgess along with sophomore Kellen Dietrick, who will play in the frontcourt. Tommy Brown, another returning starter and the leading scorer from last season, will be out on the wing, and handling the ball will be Mason Rismon, another player with varsity minutes under his belt. Other guys who will find their way in the rotation are Jake Huston, Josh Warp and Max Olson. While finding a way to score more points will be an important part of any improvement this season for the Ponies, Burgess said his focus, first and foremost, will always be

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Havre High's Katie Wirtzberger is a key returner for the Havre High girls basketball team this season. The Blue Ponies are coming off a magical 2017-18 season in which they went 24-0 and captured the Class A state championship. And with so much returning talent, the Ponies are heavy favorites to repeat.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Havre High' senior Tysen Sangrey drives the ball during a 2017-18 HHS boys basketball game. Sangrey and the Blue Ponies take the floor this season under new head coach Walynn Burgess, who came to Havre from North Star after longtime Blue Pony head coach Curt Leeds retired last spring. HHS' season is already underway.

on the defensive end of the floor. “Defense is going to be our focus, that is going to be the foundation,” Burgess said. “That is always where it starts with me. If you want to win games and win championships you have to play defense, so that’s what we want this program to be about. We want to be tough and just have that mentality that we are going to get after it and play defense no matter what.” Burgess will be challenged in a Central A conference that boasts one of the better teams in the state in Lewistown, which was a state semifinalist a season ago. Belgrade also made it to state last season but will have to replace Dawson Fowler, one of the top scorers in Class A. “I think we all know that everyone is chasing Lewistown in the Central A,” Burgess said. “They were a semi-final team last season and they got some of their studs back, so they are going to be the team to beat. Belgrade is always going to have athletes, so it will be a challenge but we are looking forward to it.” Havre will also get to test itself against some other teams within the Eastern A such as Billings Central and Glendive. In other non-conference games, the Ponies will go head-to-head with Malta, Fairfield and Rocky Boy of Class B, as well as Great Falls High and CMR of Class AA. The Ponies will also play another Class A team in Browning. “I like the schedule,” Burgess said. “We start off with four of the first six on the road and I like that. It will help us bond as a team and help us come together.” Because Havre won just a few games last season, Burgess his first goal is just improving, yet he said his ultimate goal is to start winning games at the divisional tournament. “We know that we aren’t going to be competing for a state championship or anything,” Burgess said. “We just want to improve and get better every day and then at the end of the year, we want to win in the divisional tournament. That’s our first goal. Get a win there.” The Eastern A Divisional will be Feb. 2023 in Billings, while the Class A state tournament will be March 7-9 in Great Falls at the Four Seasons Arena. This is the first year that Class A will have a combined boys and girls state basketball tournament. Havre will also be moving to the new Northwest A Conference next season. It will be composed of Havre, Miles City, Sidney and Glendive.


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WINTER SPORTS

2018-2019

www.havredailynews.com

Harlem girls should Young Wildcats are be a contender again still trying to rebuild Chris Peterson Havre Daily News cpeterson@havredailynews.com

The Harlem girls basketball program has taken some huge steps forward in the past couple of seasons, but with the 2018-19 basketball season coming into focus, the Wildcats want to take the next step and that means reaching the Class B state tournament, Reaching the state tournament would be huge for the Harlem girls basketball team because, while the boys team has plenty of history and even some state championships, the girls team doesn’t and there is no doubt the Wildcat girls want to start winning some hardware on their own. Last season, Harlem had the look of a state tournament contender, especially at the midway point of the season. Soon after the holiday break, the Wildcats, who were ranked as the No. 6 team in the state played host to Poplar, which was ranked second at the time. In a dramatic game, the Wildcats pulled off the upset and got themselves as high as No. 2 in the polls before falling off at the end of last season. Harlem did manage to advance to the Northern C Divisional tournament, which was still a step in the right direction, however, the Wildcats were eliminated before Saturday night and didn’t get an opportunity to even play for third or fourth. Yet, a lot can change in one year, especially when it comes to high school sports, and the Wildcats aren’t immune to those changes. Laramie Schwenke, who was the coach of Harlem, left to be a graduate assistant at Idaho State, and now, in her absence, Martin Lawrence, an assistant last season, will take over the head coaching job. Schwenke led the Wildcats to a 15-1 start a season ago and Harlem also took a 16-4 record into the divisional tournament. Yet, the Wildcats were too young to get out of the Northern C. Their top player a season ago was sophomore L’Tia Lawrence, who will now enter her junior season fresh off an All-State berth and a spot on the All-Hi-Line team. While Lawrence is dynamic, she isn’t the only solid returning player coming back.

Chris Peterson Havre Daily News cpeterson@havredailynews.com

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Despite losing head coach Laramie Schwenke, Skylee Dirden, left, and the Harlem girls will still be a top team in Class B girls basketball this season.

Skyee Dirden also had a stellar season a year ago for the Wildcats, and the wing, who is Harlem’s other top scorers, will be back in the fold again. The first objective for the Wildcats will be getting out of the District 2B, which is easier said than done with Malta, Glasgow, Poplar and Wolf Point. Then, it will be a matter of taking down whoever represents the 1B at the divisional tournament out of Rocky Boy, Fairfield, Cut Bank, Conrad, Choteau and Shelby. The 2B District tournament will come in the middle of February and the Northern B Divisional tournament will tip-off for the Wildcats and the rest of the division Feb. 21.

For the past few years, the Harlem boys basketball team has been trying to fight its way back toward contention in the District 2B, yet they just haven’t been able to take that step forward as a program. Last season, the Wildcats seemed headed in the right direction under head coach Cole McCabe, but McCabe ultimately decided not to come back for another season in Harlem and filling his shoes will be former Wildcat player Geno LeValdo. “I played for Harlem back in the 1990s,” LeValdo said. “I have been getting back into coaching and when coach McCabe decided not to come back, they asked me to do it and so I decided to see what I could do. I think for us, the biggest thing is that we want to get the rest of the teams in Class B to fear and respect us. That is our first goal, we have to get that respect.” One thing that helped McCabe and the Wildcats put together some momentum last season was All-Conference selection Brad Cichosz. However, the junior, who was going to be Harlem’s best player this season, injured his leg according to LeValdo and may not play at all during the 2018-19 season. “He said he wants to try and come back,” LeValdo said. “We probably won’t let him. We will see.” Without Cichosz, the Wildcats are very young and will rely on a number of freshmen. Harlem does have some veteran experience, namely Lane Allen, who was a starter last season, but now the senior will be surrounded by some youngsters. “We are going to try and rally around Lane Allen,” LeValdo said. “He’s our senior and he’s our leader. He’s going to get a lot more attention from the defense and things like that but he can also open some things up for everyone else.” R.J. Ranane is one player who will need to help pick up the slack for the Wildcats and he has the look of a scorer. Truth Brockie is another player to watch and one of the few returning with experience. He should also see some key minutes. “We have four or five freshmen that are going to play a lot for us,” LeValdo said. “They all have played a lot and have really strong basketball IQ. Some of them just need to grow

into their bodies a little bit. But we probably could be starting three or four freshmen.” Harlem will be competing in the always difficult District 2B which is part of the Northern B Division. The Wildcats will be battling teams like Malta, Glasgow, Poplar and Wolf Point for position within the district, as Harlem tries to advance to the Northern C Divisional tournament at the end of the season. “I think that we will be able to surprise some people,” LeValdo said. “We have some talent. We just need to mature and get some experience. Lane Allen is going to be the guy we build around, but we have a bunch of shooters around him and we will see where we are at by the end of the season.”

www.havredailynews.com

WINTER SPORTS

Bears hungry for more Class C glory

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Joelnell Momberg and the Box Elder Bears captured the 2018 Class C girls state championship. And with so many top players back, there's no reason why they can't repeat.

George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor gferguson@havredailynews.com

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Brad Cichosz was a Class B All-State performer last season, but an injury could force him to miss much of this year and will make Harlem a young, inexperienced team.

The 2017-18 season was a dream for the Box Elder Lady Bears. After all, they captured their first Class C state championship in exactly 20 years. Now, a new year is upon the Bears, and they’re out to prove that history can indeed repeat itself. After winning the 2018 state championship, Box Elder is back for me, and the Bears have a little revenge on their mind, as they came up short of winning the 9C tourney title a year ago. So no doubt, that will be a main goal for Joel Rosette and his squad, but he also insists there won’t be any pressure on the Bears this season either. “No pressure for our team,” Rosette said. “We have expectations and goals that we want to accomplish and we focus on getting better each day. To be the toughest and most competitive team we can be each day.” If the Bears do that, they will certainly

achieve their goals, because Box Elder is absolutely loaded with returning talent, including 2018 Class C State MVP Lilly Gopher, a four-year starter for Box Elder. But Gopher has plenty of her state tourney teammates back including Class C All-Stater Joelnell Momberg and All-Northern C standout Maddie Wolf Chief. In fact, the Bears return four of their five starters from last year’s state title team, with Eve The Boy also back, and Sarah Parisian a main contributor to last year’s team. “We are an athletic, experienced and tough group of girls who are very competitive and love to play basketball,” Rosette said about his 2018-19 squad, while will be favored to repeat as state champions. Before that, though, Box Elder will look to win back the 9C title when the 2019 9C tourney goes down Feb. 13-16 in Havre. Then, Box Elder will look to repeat as Northern C champions, when the 2019 Northern C Divisional will take place Feb. 20-23 in Great Falls. The 2019 Class C state tournament is also in Great Falls Feb. 28-March 2.

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Box Elder boys look to grow this season Chris Peterson Havre Daily News cpeterson@havredailynews.com The Box Elder boys basketball team went through a big transition during the 2017-18 season as the Bears not only had a bunch of fresh faces on the floor, they also had a fresh face on the sideline. For the first time in years, the legendary Jeremy through MacDonald wasn’t on the bench for Box Elder, as MacDonald stepped down following the 2016-17 season. Before leaving, MacDonald handed things over to one of his trusted assistants, LaVon Myers, and while Myers first season didn’t go exactly as planned, the Bears are hungry and looking to break out of last season’s hibernation. “I think that we can take a lot of lessons from last year,” Myers said. “I think we needed to learn that all of the small things add up to big things. But I think that we have a chance this year. Chinook is going to be dominant. Fort Benton also has a lot of other players back. Then I think the rest of us are really close. I think the most important thing is going to be peaking at the right time and trying to make a run at one of those top three spots.” One benefit of having such a young team is getting so many core players back and that is one thing that Myers will get to enjoy this season as he will return a number of key con-

tributors such as Nicona Limberhand, Chris Burns, Malik Rosette and Kaden Duran just to name a few. “I think that we got a little bigger and we got a little stronger,” Myers said. “I think that we are faster and more athletic. The kids have really worked hard in the offseason and they are really excited for the season to start.” Prior to last season, the Bears owned the 9C and in particular the 9C tournament. From 2013 to 2017, Box Elder swept the district tournament, winning five consecutive titles to go along with two Northern C championships and two Class C state championships. Last season, the Bears took a step back with the loss of MacDonald and loads of experience. However, Myers, who was a standout in his own right at Montana State UniversityNorthern, believes his team has the ingredients to step right back into contention. “I think the biggest thing for us getting some leadership,” Myers said. “I think we need some of our players to step into those roles but if we can get that, we should have a good chance. I really do think the district is wide open. Just about every team is going to have a chance and it’s going to be a battle every night.” The Bears opened their season at the Native American Classic against Rocky Boy and will battle through a 14-game district schedule before taking part in the District 9C tournament, which starts Feb. 13 in Havre.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Chris Burns and the Box Elder Bears have a much more seasoned team this year for second-year head coach LaVon Meyers.


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www.havredailynews.com

Turner girls aim even Tornadoes ready to fight higher this season in the tough District 9C Chris Peterson Havre Daily News cpeterson@havredailynews.com

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Shyan Krass, left, and the Turner Tornadoes went on a magical ride last season, a ride that took them to a third-place finish in the District 9C and a trip to the Northern C Divisional for the first time in two decades. But with so much talent returning this winter, Turner could be poised to do even more.

George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor gferguson@havredailynews.com The Turner girls basketball team did something magical a year ago. They grabbed a trophy at the District 9C tournament for the first time in more than 20 years, and even went on to win games at the Northern C Divisional. Yes, it was a dream season for the Tornadoes last year. But, that dream is far from over because Turner returns literally its entire team from that dream season, so under new head coach Julie Welsh, the dream should continue. Led by returning starters Sarah Billmayer, Rylan and Reagan Conlan, Melanie Watkins, and one of the top post players on the Hi-Line in junior Shyan Krass, Turner is no longer a young team on the rise. No, this winter, Turner is an experienced and talent-

ed team that has proven itself over the last two years. The building process began in the 201617 season when a young Turner team posted its first winning record in years. Turner also captured a win at the 9C tourney that February. Then, things got even better in the 2018-19 season when the Tornadoes vaulted themselves to the top half of the 9C regular season standings, reached the 9C semifinals, then, on the final day of the 9C tourney, beat North Star and CJI to reach the divisional tournament. Now, Turner is back for more, and no one will be overlooking the Tornadoes this winter. With Turner’s team intact, they will have the full attention of everybody in the 9C, including defending state champion Box Elder and defending 9C champion Fort Benton. Turner will look to make it two straight years of getting a trophy at the 9C when the 2019 tournament takes place Feb. 13-16 in Havre.

When it comes to Turner, Montana, there are few things that are more important than basketball and that’s why the Tornadoes and head coach Zach Holland are looking forward to yet another season of District 9C basketball. In a lot of ways, the 2017-18 season was a magical one in the annals of Turner basketball. For one, the Turner girls basketball team finished third at the district tournament and advanced to divisionals, for the first time in decades. And while the boys team didn’t have that same success, the Tornadoes did win a game at districts, knocking off Big Sandy in loser-out action, but fell one win short of the consolation game at the 9C tournament. Now, the Tornadoes are hoping to aim higher and work their way into that conversation of top three teams within the 9C. “I think that we are going to have a pretty good team this season,” Holland said. “We have a lot of experience this season with three seniors and we have another junior that has really started to come around. My sophomore class is also really going to hold its weight.’ Like with any team, Turner did suffer some key losses, mostly Eddie Harmon, who was an All-Conference performer for the Tornadoes and a state champion in track. However, even without Harmon, the Tornadoes will have Cody Welsh, a senior, who like Harmon won a state championship in the hurdles in Class C and on the hardwood, he appears to be Turner’s go-to guy this season. Welsh was an All-Conference player last season and he should be a standout again this season, as well as one of the top scorers in the 9C. Tracer Heilig is another returning starter for the Tornadoes, along with fellow senior Kurt Calvert. Eddie Harmon’s younger brother Jack Harmon is a junior who will attempt to fill the void left by his brother. Other players who will contribute for Turner this season will be Shane Kimmel, Austin Welsh, Shea Humphreys and Trevor Kimmel. With some talent and experience back to work with Holland has high hopes for this season as he believes Turner can contend in a wide-open District 9C that has Chinook as the favorite to win, followed by teams like Fort Benton and Hays-Lodge Pole. Yet, most coaches believe the 9C is going to be filled with parity, which could provide a golden op-

portunity for the Tornadoes. “I think that it’s going to come down to which team is playing the best defense,” Holland said. “And I think that is going to make the difference in determining who wins and loses on a lot of nights. I think that it will be pretty even all the way around. People are going to be worried about Chinook and their height, but I think this conference is more wide open than it has ever been since I have been coaching.” Holland and the Tornadoes will play their 9C schedule and open the district tournament on Feb. 13. In Havre.

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North Star girls are a 9C threat George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor gferguson@havredailynews.com When it comes to District 9C girls basketball, the North Star Knights have always been a team to be reckoned with. But last season, the Knights didn’t quite have the season they were hoping for, and part of that was because the 9C is just so tough. The 9C being tough won’t change this season, not with loaded teams from Box Elder, Fort Benton and Turner, but that doesn’t mean the Knights of head coach Jennifer Wendland won’t be tough themselves. “We may be a small group of girls with little experience, but we feel we have the ability to make it to divisionals,” Wendland said, “which is our main goal. We will take one game at a time and just give 100 percent effort each game.” The Knights don’t have the numbers they’ve had in the past, but they do return three-time All-Conference standout Paij Peterson for her senior year. Juniors Saige O’Neil and Olivia King also return to give

the Knights a presence in the post, while sophomores Kenidee Wolery and Shayla Borlaug, freshman Jade Wendland and senior Tanicha Hudson will also be key contributors. Coach Wendland also noted that several eighth-graders will be brought up to the high school level for this season. “We don’t have a lot of size, so we will have to rely on our speed from the guard position,” Wendland said. “I feel we will be a disciplined defensive team and will have the ability to score quickly in transition.” Of course, North Star will also have to battle the rest of the 9C, which is as good as it gets when it comes to Class C basketball. And while she does feel her Knights will be a strong team this season, she also knows just how difficult the 9C is. “The top two teams in our league are Fort Benton and Box Elder,” coach Wendland said. “Looking back at last year … I believe the rest of the league will be fighting for the third position. It should be a great competitive season, and we look forward to having some fun and winning some games.”

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Paij Peterson and the North Star Knights have always been one of the top teams in the 9C, and they'll look to keep that going this season.

After a dream season, Knights start over Chris Peterson Havre Daily News cpeterson@havredailynews.com The North Star Knights waited a long time to get to the Northern C Divisional tournament and last season, the Knights finally achieved their goal. Now, with a new head coach and a bevy of new contributors, the mission will be to try and get back. When you are dealing with high school sports, change is one of the constants. Yet the Knights are having to deal with more changes than most programs and that’s because not only are the Knights going to be without key players such as Dylan Miller and Devon Miller, but the Knights also have a new head coach in Cody Donoven, who is taking over

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Cody Welsh, right, is a returning AllConference performer for the Turner boys basketball team this season. Turner lost some key pieces to graduation, but, the Tornadoes are planning on being right in the mix in the District 9C this winter.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Caden Rettig will be a key leader for the North Star boys this season. After last year, when the Knights played for a 9C championship and made it to the Northern C, North Star is reloading, including at head coach where former head man Cody Donoven is back at the helm after Walynn Burgess moved to Havre High.

for Walynn Burgess who took over at Havre High. While Donoven is the new head coach in a sense, he is not new to the position or the program. Donoven, who was a star for the Knights in his own time at the school, was previously the head coach prior to Burgess and also served as an assistant to Burgess last season. “I am excited,” Donoven said. “It’s a lot of fun. I was the head coach for a few years before, but it is fun to get back into it. Walynn left things in good shape. We are young and we only have eight kids right now but I think we have a good foundation. The start of the season might be a little rough, but I think we are going to be right in the mix.” The Knights behind the play of Dylan Miller, an All-State honoree, reached the championship game of the District 9C before advancing to the Northern C Divisional tournament. The Knights also won a game at divisionals before losing out to Chinook, which also toppled North Star in the district title game. “Chinook is the team to beat,” Donoven said. “I don’t think there is any doubt about that. They have some really talented play-

ers and some great height, so they offer a lot of problems. Fort Benton is another team that should be right up there, but after that I think that it’s wide open. I told the boys, ‘We aren’t going to blow a bunch of teams out and we aren’t going to get blown out.’ There are going to be a lot of tough games and on any given night, anyone can win. I really think at the end of the season, just about everyone has a shot at that top three.” North Star is going to be young and short on depth, however, the Knights do return Caden Rettig, an All-Conference point guard a season ago. He will team with Bailey Spicher, another player Donoven said the Knights will rely on for points. Hayden Masser is another player who should see significant minutes for the Knights, who will compete with Chinook, Fort Benton, Big Sandy, Hays-Lodge Pole, Box Elder, Chester-JoplinInverness and Turner for a top-three spot at districts and another berth in the divisional tournament. The Knights will start their journey at the District 9C tournament Feb. 13-16. The Northern C, which the Knights hope to return to will be held the following week in Great Falls.


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Longhorns aiming to Talented Fort Benton remain a Class C power boys ready to contend Chris Peterson Havre Daily News cpeterson@havredailynews.com

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Leah Gannon and the Fort Benton Longhorns enter the 2018-19 season as the defending District 9C champions, and the talented Longhorns are hungry for more this season.

George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor gferguson@havredailynews.com The Box Elder Bears are likely to have another amazing run in the District 9C and beyond this season. But if there’s a team out there that’s proven it can give the Bears a run for their money, it’s most certainly the Fort Benton Longhorns. A year ago, Fort Benton stunned Box Elder in the 9C title game, and while Box Elder went on to win the ultimate prize, the Class C state championship, the Longhorn’s proved they can play with the Bears on the biggest stage. Now, Fort Benton will try to do it again, as the Longhorns, of longtime head coach Cassie Pimperton aim to repeat as 9C champs. And to do that, the Longhorns, who did graduate some key seniors from a year ago, will lean on the talents of senior Leah Gannon, junior McKenzie Clark and sophomore scoring sensation Aspen Gieise. Fort Benton also

has plenty of talent around that trio, and athleticism is a strength for the Longhorns. “Our team is athletic and strong defensively. We have all our tournament team back this year, making our experience level from last year help quite a bit,” Pimperton said. Of course, making a run at the 9C title will include going through the likes of the Bears, Turner, North Star and Chinook, among others. “Our district will be as competitive as ever. Box Elder will be tough as always and Turner returned their team from last years’ tournament run,” Pimperton noted. And yet, all of the other coaches in the league would say, the Longhorns are a team to watch out for, too, and they make the 9C the tough district that it is. Still, not looking too far ahead, Pimperton just wants to see her team progress throughout the season. “We want to put together a strong conference showing and compete as far into the postseason as possible,” she said. “We want to be playing our best basketball in March.”

When it comes to local high school basketball, few teams have more talent and more reason to be excited about the upcoming season than the Fort Benton Longhorns. The Longhorns, who made the transition into the District 9C a few years back, had their best season in the district, at least for the boys basketball team, as Fort Benton defeated Hays-Lodge Pole to take third last season at the district tournament, which sent Fort Benton to Great Falls for the Northern C. However, once Fort Benton got to Great Falls, the Longhorns weren’t just happy to be there and they won a couple of games before bowing out in loser-out action. Yet, after their best season in years and with their best players all coming back, Fort Benton has high expectations for the 2018-19 season. “Last year was a huge success for us in the fact that we were able to play that extra week,” Fort Benton head coach Tyler Pasha said. “We got to play some quality opponents in the divisional tournament, and it was great to get that experience. Returning our starters this year is huge for us, too, but we can’t be complacent and think it will just be given to us. We have to go earn it. I think we surprised a few people last season, but we aren’t going to be a surprise anymore. We have that expectation from everybody. We want to be at the top and we have that expectation as a coaching staff that we should be right there.” One thing that will certainly help the Longhorns reach new heights this season will be junior standout Garrett Diekhans, who earned All-State honors for his efforts last season. Diekhans is a 6-foot-7 monster inside for the Longhorns, yet he is a skill player who can shoot and is athletic enough to play quarterback during football season. Outside of Isaac Bell with Chinook, he might be the most talented individual player in the district. However, Diekhans isn’t the only All-Conference player returning, in fact, he’s not even the only All-Conference player within his own family that is coming back, as his younger brother, Hayden Diekhans, will also be a key member of the Longhorns this season. Other players who got a lot of playing time last season but will be back in the lineup include Logan Giles and Damon Bird. Pasha

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More-experienced Hawks CJI girls young but talented looking to rise up the in 9C George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor gferguson@havredailynews.com

Since rejoining the District 9C four years ago, the Chester-Joplin-Inverness Hawks have had their ups and downs. The Hawks have made it to the Northern C but also have failed to make it to Saturday in the 9C tournament. And, after coming close to playing for a trophy at the 9C tourney a year ago, the Hawks, and head coach Kristie Pulse saw graduation hit the team hard, with CJI returning just one starter. But the Hawks, who return a lone senior starter in Peyton Hawks, won’t just be rebuilding their starting lineup this season, they’ll be an extremely young team. Pulse noted that of returning players from last year’s squad Molly Nelson is just a sopho-

said the other starting spot will be more up for grabs but that was excited to see his team get out on the floor. “We are excited to get out there and compete,” Pasha said. “The district is going to be tough. You can’t say enough about that Chinook, but I would say we are right there at No. 2. I would like to think those games against Chinook would be a dogfight. Hopefully, we get to play them twice during the season and another time in the championship game.” The Longhorns and the rest of the 9C will take part in the annual district tournament in Havre beginning Feb. 13.

more and Tatum Hall and Averie Mattson are freshmen. CJI does get back a pair of talented sophomores in Abby Fraser and Emma Wickum, both of whom missed last season due to injuries, but after that, CJI will rely on the likes of sophomore Kyla Mansfield, freshman Rhiannon Cole and eighth-graders Aaliyah Standiford and Haddie Woods. Still, as young as the Hawks will be this season, Pulse said that her team has plenty of strengths, and goals for the upcoming year. “Our strengths are senior leadership, quickness and our work ethic,” she said. “Our goals are to win, get better every practice and game, work hard, and have fun.” CJI will definitely work hard, but, the Hawks will also be underdogs in a loaded 9C that includes Box Elder, Fort Benton and Turner.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Evan Dahinden and the Chester-Joplin-Inverness Hawks were a very young team a year ago. Now, the Hawks feel they have the experience and the talent to improve this winter.

Chris Peterson Havre Daily News cpeterson@havredailynews.com

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Damon Bird and the Fort Benton Longhorns made a solid run last season. But, with virtually their entire team returning for this season, the Longhorns have even loftier goals.

When it comes to Chester-Joplin-Inverness and high school basketball, there is a rich history and tradition and under the leadership once again of T.J. Murphy, the Hawks are going to do their best to make some noise this season. Last season and for the past couple, the Hawks have been stuck near the bottom of the District 9C standings, as youth, experience and growing pains have plagued CJI over the past few seasons. Now, things are starting to change for the Hawks, who have most of their team back from a season ago in a district that looks to be wide open outside of Chinook, who is the heavy favorite after sweeping the 9C regular season and tournament titles a season ago. While the Beeters look like a team that could contend for a state championship, as far as the rest of the district is concerned, it seems like just about anyone could have a chance to step up and compete for one of the three Northern C Divisional berths that will be on the line at the end of the season. Of course, for the Hawks a big key is going to be the regular season. Last year, CJI went 2-16 during the regular season and went into the district tournament as the No. 7 team. That forced CJI to take on second-seeded North Star

in the quarterfinals. Well, the Hawks lost that game and then were defeated by Box Elder, knocking them out of the 9C without a win. Certainly, getting a win at the district tournament will be a good first step for the Hawks, who do have some quality players returning from last season’s team, including Spencer Richter, a junior, who has been starting since his freshman season. He will be among the Hawks, best players along with Tyler Wanken and Evan Dahinden. Jackson Diemert is another name to keep an eye on for the Hawks, he is another player who saw some heavy minutes in 2017-18. In the grand scheme of things, it was only a couple of years ago that CJI was making backto-back appearances at the Northern C Divisional. In order to get back there, the Hawks are going to have to topple some of their district rivals such as North Star, Hays-Lodge Pole, Turner, Box Elder, Big Sandy and Fort Benton, if the Hawks want to have any chance to play past districts. The 9C is always a tough conference, but last season the league more than held its own. Chinook, North Star and Fort Benton all won games at the district tournament. North Star lost some key players, but Chinook and Fort Benton are stacked again, while the Hawks and the rest of the league try to catch up. After playing a 16-game schedule within the district, the Hawks and everyone else will meet in Havre Feb. 13 for the start of the 9C tournament.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Peyton Hawks is the lone returning starter on what will be a young but athletic ChesterJoplin-Inverness girls team this season.


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Rocky Boy boys ready to stay in the hunt Chris Peterson Havre Daily News cpeterson@havredailynews.com The Rocky Boy boys basketball team put together a memorable season during the 2017-18 campaign and while the Stars didn’t win the Class B state championship, they did wind up hoisting up a trophy at the state tournament for the second time in four years. Just like back in 2015, Rocky Boy ended up finishing third last season and after the graduation of some important players from last year’s team, the Stars, once again under the direction of Adam Demontiney, will be a team to reckon with in the District 1B. One good thing for the Stars is that Demontiney has some experience rebuilding on the run. During his first season as the head coach, Rocky Boy won a trophy at the state tournament, only to graduate most of its key players. It took the stars a couple of seasons, but Demontiney finally got Rocky Boy back to that level once again in 2018 and he was helped by having players like Ben Iron Eyes and Kordell Small who were both seniors last season. Rocky Boy will have to replace a lot of key pieces from last year's squad, however, the Stars also have other players who played a key role on last season’s team such as Frankie Bacon and Olin Arkinson, who will take on the bulk of the scoring this year, and have plenty of experience after last year's run to a Class B trophy.

Of course, one thing that always makes each and every season a challenge for the Stars is the fact that they belong to the challenging District 1B, which has teams like Choteau, Shelby, Cut Bank, Conrad and Fairfield. Cut Bank, Shelby and Choteau have all had strong teams in recent years, along with Rocky Boy and the district looks like it will be loaded from top to bottom once again. On top of that, if Rocky Boy wants to make it back to the state tournament, it also has to compete with the rest of the schools in the Northern B, which includes teams like Harlem, Poplar, Wolf Point, Glasgow and Malta. In addition to squaring off against its usual conference rivals, Rocky Boy also renewed its rivalry with Box Elder this season, as the two teams met at the Native American Classic to open the season after not playing each other during 2017-18. The Stars will also play a home-and-away with the Havre Blue Ponies, another local rival of the Rocky Boy Stars. For the Stars and everyone else in the Northern B, the season leads up to the Northern B Divisional. However, in order to get there, Rocky Boy will need to get out of the District 1B tournament, which will take place at the end of the season starting Feb. 14. The Northern B Divisional will be soon after and will tip-off Feb. 28. The Class B state tournament will be held at the Belgrade Special Events Center. The tournament, which combines the boys and girls, was to be played in Bozeman, but a conflict with Montana State Bobcat basketball force the event to be moved.

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Big Sandy boys aim for success on the basketball court, too Chris Peterson Havre Daily News cpeterson@havredailynews.com

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Olin Arkinson is a key returner for the Rocky Boy Stars, who made a run to a third-place trophy at the Class B state tournament a year ago.

After a magical 2017-18 season, Morning Stars looking to reload George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor gferguson@havredailynews.com In terms of being a Class B program, last season was as good as it gets for the Rocky Boy Morning Stars. Led by a trio of talented seniors, the Morning Stars won a District 1B championship and eventually made it all the way to their first Class B state tournament. Yes, last season was a dream season. But graduation also took away some of those star players at Rocky Boy, and new head coach Shaneen Hammond will have to build up the Morning Stars for another run this season. “(Right now) the goals for our team is to play as one every game, work hard so that we develop good positive habits, and have fun,” Hammond said. And while Rocky Boy did lose some key players, they do return plenty of talented standouts. Rochelle Pease, Sasha Coffee, Jaynah Gopher, Kirsten LaMere and Mariah Arkinson will all be key players for the Morning Stars this season. Gopher averaged double digits a year ago, while Pease and Coffee were key contributors. “Our team strengths to help us be successful this season are on the defensive end, we have some big girls that will get some shots blocked, and should pull almost every rebound,” Hammond said. Rocky Boy also wants to hold on to its 1B title from a year ago. It was Rocky Boy’s first dis-

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Sasha Coffee is a key returnee for a Rocky Boy team that made it all the way to the Class B girls state tournament last spring. trict championship since moving up to Class B in 2008. But the 1B is always loaded with tough teams, and Hammond said, this year will be no different. “The District 1B should be a tight race, our district holds the toughest contenders,” Hammond said. “The top four teams are Fairfield, Rocky Boy, Shelby and Choteau.” Rocky Boy’s season is already underway. The Morning Stars will play at the 1B tournament Feb. 14-16 in Shelby. The Northern B will be held Feb. 21-23 in Malta and the Class B state tourney is March 7-9 in Belgrade.

The Big Sandy boys basketball team won only a couple of games within the District 9C last season, however, the Pioneers took a step forward with their young roster and with many of those same players back in the fold, Big Sandy took another step forward this season. For the second straight year, the Pioneers will be directed by head coach Thomas Dilworth and once again, he said the focus for his team is going to be defense. “We have some good size,” Dilworth said. “Most of our kids are at least 6-foot except for one. We aren’t like Chinook or anything but we have some good size and our biggest focus is going to be defense. That was our downfall last year. We just let people score too many points to easily and that’s what we need to change this season.” The Pioneers did get a win at the 9C tournament last season, which was a big step forward for the team, which will look to build around guys like Ryan Roth, Kade Strutz, Brock Proulx and Parker Proulx. All four of those players started last season and each of them played important roles in the Big Sandy football team which made the quarterfinals in Six-Man football. “I expect us to do fairly well this year,” Dilworth said. “I think that we should be in the middle of the pack throughout the season and if we can get some good chemistry going into districts it could be interesting. Chinook is going to be up there near the top and Fort Benton should be up there as well and maybe Hays-Lodge Pole. They are flying under the radar a little bit. But after the top two teams, I think the field is wide open. That’s how I see it this year.” While the Pioneers have four of their five starters back from a season ago, some other teams such as North Star and Hays-Lodge Pole graduated some key players, even Turner graduated an All-Conference performer in Eddie Harmon. The 9C is, in fact, open for the taking. As Dilworth alluded to, Chinook is going to be the heavy favorite again within the league after the Sugarbeeters tore through the 9C with an unbeaten record a season ago, sweeping both the regular season and district titles. North Star, which lost to Chinook, lost two All-Conference players and its head coach. Fort Benton was the other team that advanced to divisionals from the 9C last season and like Big Sandy, the Longhorns have most of their team back. That leaves Chinook and

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Naomi Terry is the new leader of the Pioneers George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor gferguson@havredailynews.com When the Big Sandy girls basketball team takes the floor this winter, a familiar face will be stalking the sidelines for the Pioneers. Big Sandy’s new head coach this season is former Havre High All-State standout Naomi Terry. Terry, who played basketball for the MSUNorthern Skylights last season but had to retire from basketball due to injuries, will bring a fresh outlook to the Pioneers, who have struggled to compete in the District 9C over the last decade. Terry also inherits a team with plenty of returning talent. Big Sandy did make strides as a young team last season, and Terry expects junior Amanda Cline, senior Jaylyn Cline, junior Lainey Gregory, and junior Seanna Demontiney to be the nucleus of the Pioneer squad this season. She also said that junior Stacey Allderdice and freshman Amiya Griffith will also be contributors on the first level.

Of course, Terry’s first season of coaching in the 9C will be daunting. The 9C is easily the deepest and toughest district in all of Class C girls basketball, with defending state champion Box Elder, defending 9C champion Fort Benton, and Turner returning all five starters, making the league very difficult. Add in Chinook on the rise, North Star and CJI returning quality teams, and every night in the 9C will be hard. But Terry said her team is looking forward to the challenges that they’ll face this winter. "The district is always competitive. Box Elder and Fort Benton are definitely the top two teams after last season,” Terry said. “Turner and North Star are also very competitive and have many returning players from last year. “A major goal this season is to really compete,” she continued “There are a lot of good teams in this district, and we have a chance to step up, work hard, and compete with them. Goal is to really work and improve every day especially on the fundamentals.” Of course, the ultimate goal will be to compete at the 9C Tournament, which runs Feb. 13-16 at the Havre High gymnasium.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Ryan Roth and the Big Sandy football team had a big season on the gridiron this fall. Now, the Pioneers are looking for more of the same success on the basketball floor this winter. Though they have to contend with the tough District 9C, the Pioneers have a lot of talent this season. Fort Benton as the two teams to beat in the 9C with everyone else just fighting to emerge from the pack. “We need to keep building on our chemistry and getting that going,” Dilworth said. “We have an advantage because these kids played together last year, but we need to keep that chemistry going and the other thing is we need to be mentally tough.” The Pioneers and the rest of the 9C will take part in the District tournament in Havre Feb. 13-16.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Jaylyn Cline and the Big Sandy girls basketball team has a new head coach this season in former Havre Blue Pony and MSU-Northern Skylight Naomi Terry.


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T-Birds look to make a 9C comeback Beeters plan to be Big things in store Chris Peterson Havre Daily News cpeterson@havredailynews.com

The Hays-Lodge Pole boys basketball team was just a few points away from advancing to the Northern C Divisional tournament once again last season, instead they got fourth and they have had an entire offseason to think about it. And now, as the Thunderbirds get set to begin the 2018-19 season, head coach Derrick Shambo has confidence in his team, despite the loss of some key players such as All-Conference standout Chance Main. “I think that people are sleeping on us a little bit,” Shambo said. “We have some talent and some good athletes. Another thing that we have is some depth. We didn’t really have that last year and we couldn’t really get up and down and press like we wanted to. I think that we have a good chance to beat the No. 2 team right there behind Chinook.” Over the last few seasons, Shambo has helped take the T-Birds on a couple of deep postseason runs. Two years ago, HLP won the Northern C championship and eventually finished fourth at the Class C state tournament. Shambo also helped HLP reach divisionals in his first year as the head coach back in 201516. One thing he has been unable to capture is a District 9C championship. And while it may prove difficult to win that this season, Shambo said his team has a good chance of getting back to divisionals.

“I think that after Chinook, there are a lot of teams that are going to have a chance,” Shambo said. “Chinook is going to be really tough and they will be the team to beat. But after that, I think we have a chance to be right there.” One thing that will help HLP will be the addition of two transfers from Harlem, Desmond Shambo and Frank Young Jr. Both players played for the Wildcats last season as juniors and will play key minutes for the T-Birds this season. Gilbert Snow is another name to watch this season for HLP, along with Jeremy Pretty Paint, Ken Black Crow and Jeffrey Stiffarm. “We lost a lot of seniors from last year’s team,” Shambo said. “But we had some additions come in and so we are going to have a lot of seniors again. We are going to have a lot of speed, but we aren’t going to have much height.” When it comes to the 9C, the T-Birds, who finished with the third-best record a season ago in the regular season, should be near the top of the standings when the season is all said and done. Yet, they will be joining a large group of other schools, including North Star, Chester-Joplin-Inverness, Turner, Big Sandy and Box Elder that will all be fighting it out for a spot in the top three by season’s end. “Fort Benton has a lot of returning players,” Shambo said, “But I would go as far as putting us second right up there with them. They are going to be tough and I think Box Elder will be right there too. It’s going to be tough but I think we are that good.”

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back in the 9C mix for the Chinook boys George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor gferguson@havredailynews.com

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Jeffrey Stiffarm and the Hays-Lodge Pole boys basketball team look to get back into the mix for a 9C championship this season, the Thunderbirds have the talent to do just that.

HLP girls striving for improvement George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor gferguson@havredailynews.com

It’s been a long time since the Hays-Lodge Pole Thunderbirds contended in the District 9C girls basketball race. Part of it is because the T-Birds have been low on numbers and have been young every year. The other part is that during the same stretch, the 9C has become the toughest district in all of Class C girls basketball. Unfortunately for HLP, that trend will likely continue this season. HLP does return several key players from a team which showed improvement a year ago. Those returners include Nature Andrew, Ella Messerly and Latasha Kirkdaldie. However, HLP will also once again have to contend with a 9C that might be deeper and tougher than it’s ever been. Box Elder returns as the defending Class C state champion, Fort Benton is the defending 9C champion, and Turner won two games at the Northern C a year ago. Add to that Chinook, North Star and CJI should all be strong this season, and it is likely going to be another tough winter for the HLP girls. The 2019 9C tournament runs Feb. 13-16 in Havre. The 2019 Northern C tournament will take place the following week in Great Falls.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Chinook's Kourtney Hanson drives the ball during a 2018 District 9C tournament game last February in Havre. Chinook didn't finish in the top three at the 9C last year, for the first time in ages, but the Sugarbeeters return for a new season, and they certainly have the talent on their roster to compete for a top spot in the loaded 9C this season.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson The Hays-Lodge Pole girls have struggled to keep pace with the top teams in the District 9C in recent years. But the T-Birds are always a tough opponent for whomever has to face them.

The Chinook Sugarbeeters know what it takes to compete in the District 9C. After all, Chinook has been at, or near, the top of the 9C for a long, long time now. And while last year, the Beeters saw their run of consecutive Northern C tournament appearances come to an end, don’t expect Chinook to stay down, not with the return of five seniors. “This season we are hoping to be competitive in our very tough 9C district,” Chinook second-year head coach Lesa MacLeod said. “The girls have great work ethic and positive, competitive attitudes. This should help carry us through our more difficult games. We hope to learn and grow every day in practice and to see that translate to the games.” The 9C will be tough again, but Chinook brings back a lot of firepower, led by seniors Megan Molyneaux, Kourtney Hanson, Rachel Gunderson, Ashley MacLeod, and Lincy Johnson. Sophomores Delaney Kellam and Lilly Surber will also be called upon to bolster the Chinook roster this season. But Chinook is certainly talented, and athletic, but so, too, is practically the entire 9C. Defending state champion Box Elder looks to be favored again, while Fort Benton is also loaded, as is last year’s 9C Cinderella, Turner. Add in plenty of talent at CJI and North Star, and the 9C is once again the deepest district in all of Class C girls basketball. “The 9C will be extremely competitive this season,” MacLeod said. “I look for Box Elder to once again be a leader in our league with tough players like Lilian Gopher and Joelnell Momberg returning for the Bears. The Fort Benton Longhorns will return most of their players from last years Divisional team. This will make them a tough matchup once again. I also expect Turner to have another successful season as they return all of their players from last year.” All of the 9C will once again meet in Havre, when the 2019 9C Tournament will be held Feb. 13-16 at the HHS gymnasium.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Cord Schneider, left, and the Chinook Sugarbeeters are the defending District 9C boys champions, and with so much returning talent, the Beeters could very well be one of the top teams in all of Class C this winter.

Chris Peterson Havre Daily News cpeterson@havredailynews.com Pressure is a pretty regular thing in sports. Athletes and coaches have to deal with it all the time. Yet, when it comes to local high school boys basketball, maybe no team is feeling the pressure more than the Chinook Sugarbeeters. That’s because after reaching the semifinals at the Northern C Divisional tournament two years in a row, Chinook looks like one of the favorites, not only in the District 9C but in the Northern C Division and maybe even the state. “Our goals right now include just trying to get better each day,” Chinook head coach Mike Seymour said. “We are going to try and get better with every practice and every game and that’s our focus. We have big goals down the road but we have to stay focused on what we can control right now and that’s the next game or the next practice.” Of course, the Beeters are going to try and focus on what is right in front of them, however, that won’t stop others from speculating about just how good this team can become. One thing that makes Chinook so good is its size. Chinook has three players that stand 6-foot-4 or taller, which is rare in Class C basketball and two of them, Isaac Bell and Cord Schneider, were All-State players a season ago. Both Bell and Schneider are seniors and each offers something different. Bell is one of the top shooters in the 9C and was among the conference leaders in points last season. Schneider is also a dynamic offensive player. Yet,

he does more of his work inside. He is also very effective on the glass. Bell and Schneider may be the stars for Chinook, but they are far from the only pieces. Brenden Edwards, another All-Conference player is another key player from Chinook. Edwards is a force inside just like Schneider but he also has the ability to knock down a jumper. On top of that, Chinook has four other players who played heavy minutes a season ago in Trajan Hannum, James Christensen, Riley Kellam and Hunter Neibauer. “Our team has a lot of enthusiasm,” Seymour said. “Our seniors have shown some great leadership and I think we all know what is at stake with this group. We are goal oriented and we have been focusing on team defense and everyone guarding the basketball. I felt like defense was one of our weaknesses last year so that is something we will continue to focus on.” Chinook certainly appears to be the team to beat in the 9C, yet there will be some challenges. Fort Benton is one team that should be able to give Chinook a run for its money. The Longhorns have their own All-State standout in Garrett Diekhans and his size inside can help offset the Beeters’ advantage. Outside of Fort Benton, which made divisionals a season ago, other teams like North Star, Hays-Lodge Pole, Box Elder and Turner will all try to challenge the Beeters at the top. “I think our league is going to be very difficult again,” Seymour said. “It’s always a challenge from top to bottom. I think it’s going to be really wide open and I expect it to be very competitive.” Chinook will begin the defense of its district title Feb. 13 in Havre.


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December 2018

December 14th December 15th January 5th January 12th January 19th January 26th February 2nd February 8th-9th

WINTER SPORTS

Great Falls ~ 4:30 p.m. Great Falls ~ 12:00 p.m. Class "A" Meet ~ Havre ~ 1:00 p.m. CMR/Great Falls High School ~ 12:00 p.m. Missoula ~ TBA Butte ~ 11:00 a.m. Open State ~ Bozeman

2018-2019

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As always, Havre High swimmers have lofty goals for the 2018-19 season

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Havre High senior Ammon Lines is one of a large group of Blue Pony boys and girls out for head coach Bill Kilgore's HHS swim team this season. The Blue Ponies have talent and experience as well, and they're excited by the fact that they get to swim at home, not once, but twice this winter.

George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor gferguson@havredailynews.com With strong numbers and veteran talent, the Havre High swim team is excited to get back in the pool for another season. The Blue Ponies are once again led by head coach Bill Kilgore, and the veteran swim coach says his boys and girls teams are training hard and are ready for another season in the lanes. “We have had a very strong preseason with lots of kids volunteering to come in for extra work. I think this team understands the level of dedication it is going to take to accomplish some lofty goals,” Kilgore said. “This allowed me to start the season with workouts with more meters than I have ever given any of our teams at any point in the season. Our first week of practice the top lanes were averaging over 5,000 meters a practice. They have bought in to the quality of practice needed, as well. Our team motto this year is that the chain is only as strong as the weakest link. So I had a long talk with the kids on the first day and I explained to them that they were each a link in the chain of the Havre High Swim Team, and as such owed it, not only to themselves

to put in hard, good quality work, but they owed it to the chain to be a better, stronger link. That’s exactly what they have been doing, and I am proud of their work to this point.” And the chain should be strong on both the boys and girls sides. The Blue Pony girls are expected to be led by seniors Lacey Huesby, Hannah Lunak, Aria Pratt, and Natalie Verploegen, as well as talented sophomores Kobi Burchard, Blakelee Lines and Megan Miller. Kilgore added that newcomers Katelyn Maloughney, Nina Flores and Aliviah Pratt will also be contributors, as will Hannah Pratt and Angela Rhines. On the boys side, a big senior class will also lead the way. Noah Gjesdal, John Klein, Ammon Lines, Paxtin McCann and Logan Twombly are all four-year swimmers with a ton of experience. But the Pony boys also have some depth, too, as Kilgore said 15 boys are out to compete on the team this season. Jacob Miller, Christian Mathis and Riley Kilgore also return and should provide big points for the Ponies this season, while exchange student Sergio Tamayo is an outstanding swimmer, and newcomers Troy Powell and Hiram Cammon could also provide the Ponies with depth and talent, too. With so many strong swimmers, from all classes, and in many different events, coach Kilgore said, his team is ready to take the steps toward achieving their season-long goals, which will include competing for trophies at the Montana State Swimming Championship, which will take place in February in Bozeman. Havre’s schedule, which starts with the annual Havre Invitational, will also lend itself to helping the Blue Ponies reach those goals. The Ponies swim twice in Great Falls before Christmas break, then host the Class A Meet in Havre, before going to meets in Great Falls, Missoula and Butte. In many of those meets, Havre gets to take on top Class AA competition, as well. "I don’t think our Blue Pony swim teams ever have a goal that falls short of a state championship, but I want this team’s goals to be to get better at every practice, both physically and mentally so we can strengthen each and every link of the chain,” coach Kilgore said. “State championships are nice to talk about and the ultimate benchmark goal every year for the Havre Blue Ponies, but you can’t get there without taking the smaller steps of daily improvement and striving for excellence in every aspect of your life.”

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WINTER SPORTS

December 2018

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Chinook, Harlem ready to once again battle for wrestling hardware Chris Peterson Havre Daily News cpeterson@havredailynews.com The Hi-Line has long been known for its prowess on the wrestling mat as teams like Havre, Chinook and Harlem have had a lot of success over the years. While Havre has been the blue-chip wrestling program along the Hi-Line, winning 12 state championships over the last two decades, the Chinook Sugarbeeters have been no slouch in their own right. In the last 10 years, Chinook has won the Class C state wrestling championship six times, including four times in a row from 2009-2012 and back-to-back 2015 and 2016. Since the Beeters won in 2016, they haven’t reached the top of the podium, going without a trophy in 2017 and finishing second last season. Now, the Beeters, who have spent the past couple of seasons reloading, are starting to build more depth, the kind that will be needed to make another run at the Class C podium. Of course, Chinook will be led again by the long-time co-head coaches Perry Miller and Adam Tilleman. The two have been working together for a long time and over the years, they have put together a laundry list of achievements. But in addition to the same coaching staff being in place, the Beeters also have a bunch of experienced wrestlers coming back from last season’s team including Rebecca Stroh, who finished sixth last season, becoming one of the only females in the history of the MHSA to do so. In addiiton to Stroh, Miller and Tilleman will have five other wrestlers going out that all have state tournament experience. Some of them even scored points for Chinook last season as the Beeters took second in Class C. One of those individuals is Garrett Pruttis, a sophomore who will be wrestling at 139 pounds. He is the younger brother of a former state champion at Chinook and after getting a season under his belt, he should take a big step forward this season. Ross Reed, who will wrestle at 152 pounds for Chinook is another wrestler with previous state wrestling experience. He will be another wrestler to watch this season along with junior

J.T. Hauer, who has already wrestled twice at state. Neither Reed or Hauer placed at state last season, however both won a match a season ago, which is a sign of progress. Another name to know for Chinook wrestling is Ethan Liddle. Chinook will certainly be looking to build on its performance from last season, but Harlem, on the other hand, is going to have to reload in its own right after losing standouts

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like Gavin Horn and Curtis Humphreys to graduation. The Wildcats, led by head coach Joe Shupe, do have a couple of wrestlers who made it to state last season and they are Zack Jackson and Ken Todd. Both Chinook and Harlem will head to the Northern B Divisional tournament Feb. 2 and with as many wrestlers as they can qualify, both teams will head to the All-Class state tournament Feb. 8-9 in Billings.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Chinook's J.T. Hauer, right, wrestles at the 2018 Havre Invitational. The Sugarbeeters brought home a trophy from the Class C state tournament last February, and they'll be looking to do so again at the Class C state tournament Feb. 8-9 in Billings. Harlem, Chester-Joplin-Inverness and Big Sandy also compete in wrestling on the Hi-Line.


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2018-2019

WINTER SPORTS

December 2018

Dec. 14th-15th December 15th December 18th December 20th January 4th-5th January 5th January 8th January 11th-12th January 12th January 18th January 18th-19th January 19th January 26th February 2nd February 8th-9th

Tri-State Tournament ~ Idaho Great Falls (JV) ~ Great Falls Lewistown ~ Lewistown 5:00 p.m. Sidney ~ Havre 5:00 p.m. Cut Bank Invite ~ Cut Bank Cut Bank Invite (JV) ~ Cut Bank Glasgow ~ Glasgow 6:00 p.m. Missoula Invite ~ Missoula John Fisher (JV) ~ Missoula Chinook (JV) ~ Chinook 3:30 p.m. Class "A" Duals ~ Belgrade 1:00 p.m. Harlem (JV) ~ Harlem Malta ~ Malta Divisionals ~ Miles City State ~ Billings

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Brand new season, a new-look Havre High wrestling team The Havre High wrestling program has a new head coach for the first time in 23 years with Beau LaSalle. But the Blue Ponies are still aiming to be on top of the Class A ranks

Chris Peterson Havre Daily News cpeterson@havredailynews.com Over the last two decades, the Havre High wrestling program hasn’t changed much. The Blue Ponies have cycled through a lot of wrestlers, but the results have pretty much been the same. Now, the Ponies are trying to maintain their level of success — only instead of trying to do it with new wrestlers — Havre will try to do it with a new head coach, as Beau LaSalle embarks on his first season at the helm for Scott Filius, who stepped down after last season. “I think our focus is going to be the same as it has always been,” LaSalle said. “We want to be competing to be one of the best teams at the end of the season. I think that has always been the goal and that will continue to be the goal for us. We don’t want that to ever change. That is always going to be the expectation for us.” While the Ponies will open the season without Filius as their head coach for the first time in two decades, Havre will also open the 2018-19 season without the title of defending state champion for the first time since 2013, which is when Havre won the first of five straight state championships. That run ended last season, however, as Sidney reclaimed the title from HHS, which finished second just ahead of Lewistown. The Ponies will be battling Sidney for the Eastern A title and possibly the state title in February, but the two teams will also meet in Havre for a dual Dec. 20. Havre will also travel to Lewistown that same week to dual the Eagles (Dec. 18) setting up a week in which the Ponies will dual the two other top-three finishers at state last season. Beyond that, Havre will take on its usual schedule, which will include defending its title at the Mining City Duals. Havre will also take part in the Tri-State Wrestling Tournament in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. LaSalle may be taking on his first headcoaching job but as a longtime assistant, he said he feels ready for the challenge. One thing that will help is a veteran lineup that features three-time state champion Martin Wilkie, who will look to become just the third

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Havre High senior Austin Ratlif, right, takes down a CMR opponent during the Havre Invitational earlier this month. The Blue Ponies' 2018-19 season under first-year head coach Beau LaSalle is already underway. wrestler in Havre High history to become a four-time state champion. Wilkie will wrestle at 145 pounds. The rest of the lineup also features a number of wrestlers with previous success at the state tournament. Lane Paulson, who will wrestle at 138 pounds and Cameron Pleninger, who will start at 120, have both made finals night at the state tournament before, while Marc Ramirez (132), Mick Chagnon (103), Connor Harris (152) and Mason Dionne are others who have placed previously. LaSalle said some of the spots in the line-

up still need to be finalized, but others who should be in the lineup consistently are Austin Ratliff at 205 pounds, and Taylor Gopher, who will wrestle at 170 pounds. Another returner in the higher weights is Brayden Stadell, who is back at 182 pounds. In addition to the returners, the Ponies have some freshmen to be excited about starting with Riley Pleninger (103) and Kendall Pleninger (126). Hunter Velk will wrestle at 113 pounds for HHS, followed by Dominic Perkins at 120. Joining Ramirez at 132 pounds are Randy Tommerup, Devin Nelson and Isaiah

Tracy. At 138 pounds alongside Paulson is Wyatt Hansen and Shaun Head. Orion Thivierge is another name to watch at 152 pounds, and in the heavyweight division, it will be Isaiah Stiffarm and Derek Olson. “I think we have a good group of kids back,” LaSalle said. “I think we have some good numbers. We have a big freshman class and we have some big kids, which will be nice because we needed some more big bodies.” Havre will head to the Eastern A Divisional meet Feb. 2 in Miles City, followed by the AllClass state tournament Feb. 8-9 in Billings.

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