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January 2 January 8 January 9 January 16 January 22-23 January 30 February 6 February 9 February 13 February 26-27 March 5-6

Custer County East Helena Glasgow Cut Bank Hardin Park Fergus Hardin East vs. West Lockwood East Helena Custer County Sidney Glasgow Cut Bank? Fergus Billings Central Divisionals State

12:00 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 4:00 p.m. 8:00 p.m. 11:00 a.m. 1:00 p.m. 10:00 a.m. 2:00 p.m. TBD 12:00 p.m. 4:00 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m. 8:00 p.m.? 9:00 a.m. 3:00 p.m. TBD TBD

Miles City Glasgow Livingston Havre Lewistown East Helena Sidney Havre Havre Sidney TBD

Pony wrestlers excited to finally hit the mats Aarron Thompson Havre Daily News

The mat is laid out and ready once again for the 2021 winter sports season, with programs, including the Havre High wrestling team, ready to compete for another shot at a great season. There is a lot for the Blue Ponies to look forward to this year, but there is a lot of uncertainty from COVID-19 at the same time. Either way, Havre will look to give it it’s all once more. Last season, the Ponies made a lot of progress on the mat, pushing plenty of grapplers to the 2020 Class A State Tournament, where nowgraduated Connor Harris and now-junior Orion Thivierge, who will be returning to the mat for another shot at a state title, were crowned state champions in their respective weight-classes. It was a good season for HHS and it will look to replicate that success and heighten it this season. And Havre head coach Beau LaSalle is very glad to be back on the mat for the 2020-2021 season. “It’s kind of getting to be that part where you hear

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it from every coach and it sounds like a broken record, but it’s just a day-by-day thing,” LaSalle said. “We’re excited to get the opportunity to have a season and compete. Returners to the mat for Havre include seniors Mick Chagnon and Hunter Velk, juniors Riley Pleninger, Kendall Pleninger, Thivierge, Dominick Perkins, Randy Tommerup, Wyatt Hanson and Shawn Rowlatt and sophomores Kale VanCampen and Zale Thomas. Newcomers to the Blue Pony grapplers are Alliyah Stiffarm, Maleigha Fuzesy, Daniel Edmonds, Braydon Knoles, Clara Laird, Jacob Kunz, Andrew LaRoque, Landon Caplette, Tristan Stygles, Carson Harris, Mason Wilting, Brisbin Reiter, Brooklyn Neslon and Jerry Kirkaldie. Plenty of things will be different about this season, too, including the Blue Ponies having a girls team, an all-dual schedule, and no AllClass State Tournament. The schedule will have the Ponies wrestlng duals in Miles City, Glasgow, Livingston, Lewistown, East Helena and Sidney. Havre has three home

duals scheduled, one on Jan. 16, and duals on Feb. 9 and 13. The divisonal tournament is set for Feb. 26 in Sidney, the pushed back state tourney will be held March 5-6 at a site yet to be determined. “I think the toughest thing for us, and it’s no different then what basketball does every year, we are competing mostly against the Eastern A,” LaSalle said. “There’s some long road trips along the way. It’s just a little bit different for us as far as week in and week out type of thing. Most of the time we’re on the road a lot and all over the state. It’ll make the weekends a little bit shorter but packed into one day. The nice thing out of it is that we get to compete at home a bit more. We got some good dates scheduled for home, so it’ll be nice to be in our own gyms and sleep in our own beds. We don’t get to do that usually.” Havre is set to open the season Jan. 2 in Miles City with duals against Miles City and East Helena. Again, there are no tournaments allowed this season, so the Blue Ponies won't get to host their season-opening Havre Invitational.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Mick Chagnon, right, and the Havre Blue Pony wrestling team is ready for their longawaited new season. The season as delayed due to COVID-19, but is expected to start Jan. 2.


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January 2 February 6 February 19 March 5-6

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Hardin, Billings Central CMR, Great Falls High, Hardin CMR, Great Falls High State

12:00 p.m. TBD

Havre Virtual

TBD TBD

Great Falls TBD

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Havre swimmers will dive into an unusual 2021 season

Aarron Thompson Havre Daily News

With the fall sports season seeing completions throughout the different sports, there was a lot of hope for the 2020-2021 winter sports season to go forth. After the Montana High School Association worked to provide set guidelines for the different sports, shaking the normal up a bit, one of the sports that is feeling it the most this season is the Havre High swim team. The Blue Ponies will be back in the water, as there is no question there, but there will be plenty of different looks to the season. After pushing through a tough year in the 2019-2020 season, HHS will be excited to compete at the very least, even though COVID-19 has certainly changed some things up. And Havre head coach Bill Kilgore has a lot of faith in both his veterans and newcomers to the team. “I can tell you that we have strong leadership from our senior girls for sure and some newcomers with a little bit of experience,” Kilgore said. As for the roster this year, there will be swimmers returning to the pool like Megan Miller, Blakelee Lines, Brigham Blackwell and Hiram Cammon. This season, the Ponies will have a lot of meets done in their home pool, but not alongside opposing teams. Jan. 2 sees Hardin and Billings Central competing against Havre in Havre and Noon, Feb. 6 has CMR, Great Falls and Hardin going up against one another in a virtual meet, Feb. 19 is the usual yearly Great Falls and CMR meet with the Ponies headed to Great Falls and the Class A State Swim Meet will be March 5-6 at a to-be-determined time and location. The schedule seems very short

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Havre's Blakelee Lines touches the wall during the 2019 Havre Invitational last December. There was no Havre Invite due to COVID-19, as the start of winter sports was delayed until January. But the talented Blue Pony swim teams are still excited to hit the water. on paper, but Kilgore explained the purpose of virtual meets and how they impact the year. “The toughest meet is a good

question,” Kilgore said. “I'm not sure what this season is going to look like because the majority of our meets look like they'll be vir-

tual. We'll swim in our pool the other team swim in theirs we compare times. Both pools have officials to validate times

and and will and

rules.” The majority of the schedule is full of opponents that have really pushed Havre’s limits in recent years. CMR and Great Falls are tough AA schools with strong swim programs. Both schools competed with Havre at the beginning of the 2019-2020 season, with the schools from the Electric City taking the top two places. It will be another season with the Ponies taking on some rough waves, whether in-person or virtually. As for Class A opponents, Billings Central and Hardin are two of the most prominent programs in the Eastern A. The Rams develop very tough and fast swimmers, while the Bulldogs are known for having a swim team that will stick with their opponents to the very end, proving their endurance and effort as a program. With those two teams joining the fray once more, Havre is going to be battling against some powerful competition once again for the 2020-2021 season. The teams that the Ponies face this season will be a challenge, but Kilgore knows that COVID-19 will always be lurking around the corner as the season progresses. “The COVID-19 protocols are ever changing, but the most difficult challenge will be to overcome any quarantine we may face,” Kilgore said. “Going 10-14 days out of the pool in the middle of the season is not an ideal situation to be sure, but we will do our best to adapt and overcome any of the challenges faced.” With the season starting in the beginning of January, the Havre High swim team will be ready to go up against Eastern A opponents in Billings Central and Hardin at the Havre Community Pool Jan. 2 at 12 p.m. for the first meet in a very different looking season.

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Bears have the firepower to return to the top of the 9C George Ferguson

Havre Daily News sports editor gferguson@havredailynews.com

The Box Elder Bears were a girls basketball dynasty in the District 9C, culminating with back-to-back Class C state championships. Things however, do come to an end, and now, Box Elder is trying to find its way back to the top of the district. And after a young Bears’ team battled last season, head coach Jerome Gopher does return plenty of talent and experience this season. Box Elder will be led by Breanna Bacon, Annalise Johnson, Brielle SunChild, Tayleigh SunChild, Kendra Gopher and Makaela Kelly, all returnees, while Kyla Momberg and Angela Gopher return back to Box Elder for their junior seasons. Nefferti Standing Rock, Abria Smallboy, Meiyah Sutherland and Mariah Arkinson are expected to step up for the Bears as well. “Our strength this year will be our depth and athleticism,” Gopher said. “We have multiple girls that can play multiple positions. They’re just excited to get out there and play.” Box Elder should be very exciting to watch this season, and will battle the likes of Fort Benton, North Star,

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Annalise Johnson is part of a talented Box Elder girls team that is poised to return to the top of the District 9C. Turner and Hays-Lodge Pole in the upper tier of 9C teams. “Last year, we fell one game short of getting to divisional’s,” Gopher said. “Our girls are hungry and want to make up for that fourth-place finish. The 9C is gonna be an interesting one this year. We have some pretty good teams in our district, teams like Fort Benton, North Star, Hays-Lodge Pole and Turner. Fort Benton has won 9C three years in a row and will defi-

nitely be the team to beat. I do believe our girls will go out and compete every night with all of those teams. “Our goal is to just go out and compete every night,” Gopher added. “Of course we want to win our district. We just have to take it one game at a time. We have a group of eight juniors that will be taking on that leadership role. A few of them have played a lot of games outside of 9C and are looking forward to playing Lady Bear basketball.”

Area wrestling will be different George Ferguson

Havre Daily News sports editor gferguson@havredailynews.com

The coronavirus will still be front and center when Class B-C wrestling gets underway. And that has caused some changes for the upcoming season, the biggest of which, will be no All-Class State Tournament in Billings in February, as well as the postseason moved all the way to March. Another big change will be, girls wrestling which will be its own sport this season. So, no doubt, with everything going on, wrestling will look and feel different. What won’t be different this season is, how big and exciting wrestling is on the Hi-Line. Chinook, led by longtime head coach Perry Miller, will be chasing a Class C trophy

once again. The Beeters finished an outstanding third in the C standings last season, and return some strong competitors. Another team to watch out for this season will be the co-op from Fort Benton/Big Sandy. The team scored 36 points and the state tournament last season, and strong wrestlers like Hayden Axtman are back. Harlem will battle this season as well, with a new head coach, as the lege3ndary Lyle Faulkinberry has retired for a second time, while CJI hopes to be a part of the action as well. Also different this season will be, tournaments are not allowed. So big events like the Havre Invitational and CMR Clasic are off the table, meaning duals and mixers will make up the regular season.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Due to the coronavirus, it will be an unusual wrestling season for the Chinook Sugarbeeters and all area high school wrest l i n g t e a m s , i n cl u d i n g state not being held until March.

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HLP girls look to keep T-Birds have the talent to soar rising after last year's special season George Ferguson

Havre Daily News sports editor

gferguson@havredailynews.com

It’s a new year for HaysLodge Pole boys basketball, and the Thunderbirds have anew head coach, as well. Longtime head coach Derek Shambo has moved on, so former HLP girls standout Shakayla Whitecow will take over the program. And Whitecow inherits yet another talented Hays team. The T-Birds have been strong in the 9C for many years, and this season should

George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor gferguson@havredailynews.com Last postseason was a dream come true for the Hays-Lodge Pole Thunderbirds. After more than a decade of struggle, the HLP girls turned everything around. Yes, HLP, under longtime head coach Cory Morgan, not only posted a winning record in the 9C, but the T-Birds advanced to the Northern C for the first time since 1992, and came within another game of making it all the way to the Class C state tournament. Now the question is, can the T-Birds keep it going? With a lot of firepower returning, HLP just might. Back from last year’s squad are seniors Kassi Perez, Sierra Chandler, Justice Werk, Ella Messerly, juniors Jaedyn Chandler, Lakota Prettypaint, Judemia Gray, sophomores Nashone Shambo, Shaunte Hawley, Aubrey Chandler and Janine Hastheeagle, while freshmen Alliya Prettypaint and Destini The Boy are expected to have an impact on what is a deep and talented HLP team. “I think experience and team chemistry (are our strengths),” Morgan noted. Indeed. The T-Birds are good. But so is the 9C, and that makes what they did last year so impressive. But, Morgan also knows, the 9C will once again be tough. “With everything that is going on, it's going to come down to whose team is performing well during tournaments,” Morgan said. Everything going on is in reference to the ongoing

be no different, though Whitecow knows how tough the league always is. “We're not underestimating anybody and we think it'll be a fun year for all of us,” she said. “Our goal is to compete and show everyone what we're capable of. We're excited.” HLP should be tainted, too. The T-Birds have a deep team, with plenty of returners, including Estevan Granados, Isaiah Denny, Daniel Henry, Brandon Castillo, William Hughes, Avery Boe Jr., Devontae Sul-

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Beeters are loaded yet again

livan, Henry Ironchild, Jacoby Ball, Jess King, Kaleb Walker, Michael Roper, Tylon Mount, William Has The Eagle, Josiah Runsabove, Julius Ball and RJ Blackcrow. With all of that firepower, HLP is ready to battle it out this winter. “Adjusting well under a new coaching staff, they're working hard and willing to learn,” Whitecow said. “These kids are great, we're just here to help them fulfil their potential as student athletes.”

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Young Chinook girls look to battle for top 9C spots George Ferguson

Havre Daily News sports editor gferguson@havredailynews.com

It’s no secret that, over the last five years, the District 9C has been dominated by the Fort Benton and Box Elder girls. There has been little room for anyone else to have success. Yet, there was a time when the Chinook Sugarbeeters were the team to beat in the 9C, and under second-year head coach Mike Jones, he’s trying to get the Beeters back to that level. Last season was certainly a struggle for the Beeters,

but, they return key seniors Jade Cecerle, Jayden Miller and Lilly Surber, while Jones also said freshman Halle Neibauer and Britton Elliot will step up to the varsity plate this season. With that, though, Jones said, Chinook will be a young team this winter. “We are going to be young this year, but we will be able to fill some key roles,” Jones said. “I like our ability so far to attack the basket or find open shooters.” As for the upcoming season, Chinook is hoping to upend, or be in the top tier

of the 9C, and while the season will be a crazy one, the Beeters have plenty of goals. “The 9C is going to be tough again. We always have good players and teams. Then we filter into arguably one of the best divisions in the state. I think the 9C is tough and will be very competitive,” he said. “We want to get better every day, so that when tournament time comes we can make a run through the district tournament. Our girls always have a goal of winning home games, then the regular season, and place at districts.”

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Reese Elliot and the Chinook Sugarbeeters have been a top District 9C team for years now, and that won't change this season.

George Ferguson

Havre Daily News sports editor gferguson@havredailynews.com

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Hays-Lodge Pole's Nashone Shambo is one of many top returners for the Thunderbirds, who made it to the Northern C for the first time in two decades last season. And HLP should be one of the top teams in the 9C again this winter. pandemic, which delayed the start of basketball season to January. So, with that in mind, Morgan said he hopes his T-Birds can finish in the top three at the 9C again,

but, safety is of the utmost important. “Our goals this season is to get out of districts, be consistent, safe and healthy,” Morgan said.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Hays-Lodge Pole's Estevan Granados passes the ball during a District 9C game last February. The Thunderbirds have a new head coach this season in former HLP standout Shakayla Whitecow.

When it comes to consistency in the District 9C, the Chinook Sugarbeeters have been the standard. For years now, the Beeters, under veteran head coach Mike Seymour, have become a winner, season after season. And while Chinook has lost some very good players in recently years to graduation, there’s no reason to think the winning won’t continue. Chinook comes into the new season led by a talented senior class, with All-Staters Ethan Bell and Reese Elliot, as well as Benton Elliot, Ethan MacLeod and Damon Hannum. Add to that juniors Toby Niederegger, Oskar Pula and Braeden Eoof, and Chinook is not just talented and deep this season, but ex-

perienced, too. “The team is working very hard and I like the energy they are bringing to practice,” Seymour said. “I feel like our biggest strength is that our players have a tremendous amount of experience as they played key roles on last year's team as we only graduated one senior. I've coached these five seniors since they were fifthgraders and our familiarity with each other will help us be successful on the court.” Indeed. Chinook should be one of the teams to beat in the 9C, and the Northern C this season. But, as Seymour knows better than anyone, nothing in the 9C is a given. It’s as tough a league as there is, and it will be again this winter. And yet, Chinook is a huge reason why the conference is always as good as it is. “The 9C is always a com-

petitive conference.” Seymour said. “I think that Fort Benton is the favorite to win the conference as they are the defending champions and have a solid nucleus of players returning. I think that Big Sandy could be a very competitive team as they went on an impressive run at the Divisional Tournament last year. Both of these schools made it deep into the football playoffs this year and I feel like that gives their kids confidence in each other going into the basketball season. “My biggest expectation is that we work hard everyday in practice and improve game to game while playing our best basketball at the end of the season,” he added. “We always have high expectations of winning and expectations of being competitive in each game we play.”

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Jade Cecerle is one of three returning seniors for the Chinook Sugarbeeters girls basketball team. The Beeters, overall, are young again this season, but they still will fight to get to the top of the District 9C.


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Rocky Boy basketball is as strong as ever Gopher, both of whom are playing college basketball now. Still, senior Kirsten LaMere is back to lead a younger, but talented Rocky Boy team. Cody Henderson, Ella Moore, Tanille Standing Rock, Jour’Day Coffee and J’Leanna Raining Bird will make up the core of the Morning Stars squad, while a talented group of freshmen will also be called upon. As always, the 2B will be a gauntlet again, with Fairfield, Shelby and Cut Bank all posing strong teams, while the Northern C will also feature star-studded teams from Harlem, Malta, Wolf Point and Glasgow. Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Left: Rocky Boy's Sean Gibson is one of a host of talented retur ners for the Stars. The Rocky Boy boys have been a dominant force in the District 1B, and are a fixture at the Class B state tournament over t h e ye a r s a s we l l . B e l ow : Kirsten LaMere will be a key leader of what will be a Rocky Boy girls team mixed with veterans and freshmen this season. The Morning Stars also have to battle in the difficult District 1B, but, every year, they are always up to the challenge.

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

It took some time, but, more than a decade since moving up to Class B, the Rocky Boy boys and girls basketball teams have become staples of consistency, especially in the always-tough District 1B. The Rocky Boy boys, of head coach Adam Demontiney, have been to the Class B state tournament for four straight years, and have played on Saturday night in two of the last three. The Stars very well could have been playing on Saturday night at last season’s state tourney, if the final day hadn’t been called off due to COVID-19. And Rocky Boy doesn’t want to see its impressive run end. No, with plenty of talent returning for

the Stars this season, including standouts like Ben Crebs, Joe Joe Demontiney, Sean Gibson, Kellen Colliflower, Nacona Limberhand, and many more, the Stars will certainly be a force to be reckoned with this season. In the 1B, Rocky Boy will battle star-studded teams from Shelby and Fairfield for the top spot, while the Northern C Divisional will also feature talented squads from Wolf Point, Harlem, and Malta to name a few. Still, while making it to state won’t be easy, the Stars have a team that’s built for just that, a great postseason run. The Rocky Boy girls are also in a good spot coming into the new season. Head coach Rick Hall does inherit a team that lost some outstanding talent last season, including Sasha Coffee and Jaynah

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Big Sandy boys poised for another big run George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor gferguson@havredailynews.com Like so many District 9C teams, last season was beyond fun for the Big Sandy boys. After a long drought, the Pioneers made it back to the Northern C, but, it didn’t end there. Big Sandy made the most of its trip to Great Falls with a run to the championship game, and one win away from going to state for the first time in 10 seasons. Yes, last march was special, but, Big Sandy and head coach Thomas Dilworth don't want it to end there. No, with a new season finally set to begin, the Pioneers are hoping to remain a team to beat in the 9C. “Our strengths this year are definitely our quickness and speed but also our basketball IQ,” Dilworth said. “We have a lot of smart basketball players this year that really study the game and they have put a lot of time in this offseason. They're a young but highly intelligent group of young men.” Indeed. The Pioneers will be young after graduation took its toll, But, they are led by Kade Strutz and younger brother Kody Strutz is also back, while sophomore Brayden Cline, and freshman Lane Demontiney are two more players Dilworth thinks will be key to the Pioneers’ run this season. “Our main team goal this year is to get back to the divisional tournaments. We're a young team so this is a pretty lofty goal for this team but getting there last year was a huge accomplishment for those seniors that worked for three years to get there,” Dilworth said. “It sparked a fire in our freshman and sophomores, being

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Pioneers aim to keep improving George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor gferguson@havredailynews.com

It’s been a tough go for the Big Sandy girls basketball team in recent years. And after graduating a big group of seniors last spring, things will be tough again this winter.

Still, the Pioneers will do what they always do, and that’s put up a tough fight. They’ll be led by the likes of Amiya Griffith, Madison Terry and Amy Gasvoda among others, but, the Pioneers will also be a young team too. And being young will be difficult in a league that fea-

tures star squads from Fort Benton, North Star, Turner, Hays-Lodge Pole, and more. Yes, the 9C is no picnic, and it’s even tougher for a young team like the Pioneers will be this winter. And yet, as Big Sandy does each and every season, they will fight hard yet again this winter season.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Kody Strutz and the Big Sandy boys are looking to build upon last year's incredible postseason run. one win short of going to the state tournament has been a big motivator this offseason. We expect to take some tough losses through the regular season but those tough losses are the best teachers and motivators. After last year our kids have finally bought in and trust the process, but our biggest challenge this year will be coming together as a team. We've got a lot of young great individual talent that needs to be humbled a bit and focused on the right things but once we get there I think this team can compete with anyone.” The Pioneers are ready to battle, but, as always, the 9C will be a gauntlet. “I'm really looking forward to the competition in the 9C this year, I think it's gonna be very competitive

across the board from the top down,” Dilworth said. “Obviously, Chinook and Fort Benton are kinda "the gold standard" of the 9c right now and have to be the preseason favorites, but Box Elder is gonna be an exciting team to watch play who I think maybe has the best shot at knocking off a Fort Benton or Chinook. I like our chances to make a run towards the end of the season but we're gonna have some tough games early on that will either break us or build us depending on how the kids handle getting pounded on. I wouldn't look past CJI this year either, their new coach has that team turned around and headed in the right direction and they have some exceptional young talent. It’s going to be an exciting season.”

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson The Big Sandy girls basketball team has had a tough time in the District 9C as of late. But the Pioneers never give up and always fight hard.


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Fort Benton girls look for four, and more George Ferguson

Havre Daily News sports editor

It’s hard to describe the run the run the Fort Benton girls basketball team has been on of late. Three straight District 9C championships, and tons of success at the Northern C are at the top of the list. And while the Longhorns will be really good again this season, they have one goal they need to achieve — finally making it to the state tournament. And they certainly have the team to do it. Class C All-Stater Aspen Giese is back for her senior year, and overall, the Longhorns return a ton of experience, including Maci Molinario and Abby Clark, two more starters. Add to that Emmerson Giese, Ashlee Wang, Samantha Vielleux and Cloe Kalanic, and the Longhorns not only have experience, but, they have depth, too. “Girls that have been playing together for a long time and depth with our bench,” longtime head coach Cassie Pimperton said of the strengths of her team. “Hard workers.” Depth will carry the Longhorns a long way this season, but, it’s always tough in the 9C. “It will be competitive yet again, with teams returning alot of players from last year that have another year of experience under their belts,” Pimperton said of what is always one of the toughest districts in all of Class C girls basketball. And while the district and the Northern C are always a gauntlet, Fort Benton is one of the biggest reasons why

Havre Daily News sports editor gferguson@havredailynews.com

it is so difficult, year in and year out. “Our goals are to be playing our best basketball and be at full strength at tourney time,” Pimperton said. “And not be settling with divisionals but be hungry for more.”

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Maci Molinario and the Fo r t B e n t o n g i r l s a r e g o i n g fo r t h e i r fo u r t h straight District 9C championship this winter.

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Longhorns aim to stampede the 9C George Ferguson

gferguson@havredailynews.com

2020-2021

If there is a giant force in the District 9C right now, it is no doubt the Fort Benton Longhorns. It had been building for a while, and last year, it culminated with the Longhorns rolling to the 9C and Northern C championships. And while the Horns of longtime head coach Tyler Pasha, did lose a star player in Garrett Diekhans, among others, Fort Benton returns more than enough firepower to be considered not just a 9C favorite again this year, but, perhaps one of the top teams in all of Class C hoops. The Longhorns return senior Hayden Diekhans, a two-time All-State selection who is headed to Montana Tech, as well as senior Jace Thompson, an All-Conference performer a year ago. Senior Billy Ullery and junior Devin Bird are key pieces to the puzzle as well, while Pasha also has young guys waiting in the wings. “I think the strengths of this team is the balance and depth that we will have. We have 9-10 kids ready to see action that are juniors and seniors. Senior leadership will prove to be the difference,” Pasha noted. Yes, depth is big, and the Longhorns have it. Of course, they have talent, too. But, Pasha knows not to underestimate the 9C as a whole, and he says the league, will be strong once again. “I think the 9C has been one of the toughest districts in our division for a long time and this year should be no different,” he said. “Chinook brings back a great set

of core players as well as Box Elder and Hays. Turner North Star Big Sandy and CJI have a lot of potential making every week a tough few days.” Every night will be tough in the 9C, especially in what will be a compact and challenging season due to the coronavirus. But, at the end of the day, Fort Benton is still the team to beat. “Our first goal for the sea-

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Hawks are on the rise

son is to win our first game,” Pasha said. “That’s where it starts. Need to make sure we are competing at a high level every single game because you never know with this pandemic when the last game could be. Really hoping we can make it the entire season, and as long as everyone has the same goal which is to keep these kids playing I think it will be a great year.”

December 2020

Young CJI boys ready to build George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor gferguson@havredailynews.com

The Chester-Joplin-Inverness boys have always been a program that loves its basketball. And, this season will be no different. However, the Hawks also enter 2021 with a young team, according to head coach Joe Horel.

“Graduation took three of our starters from last year,” Horel said. “This year’s team will consist of one senior, five juniors, two sophomores, five freshman and an eighth grader…this will be a building year for the Hawks.” Lane Fischer will be the veteran presence for the Hawks this season, while Kyle Harmon and Bryce

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Ghekiere will be big contributors, as well. And while Horel knows the 9C is an uphill battle, he’s looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead. “The District 9C will have a lot of talent this year and we will have a head wind with every team we play,” he said. “Teamwork and execution will be a must for us to compete.”

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Tatum Hull and the Chester-Joplin-Inverness girls basketball team went on a great run in the 9C tournament last season. Now, the Hawks are looking to go even further this winter.

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

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Jace Thompson and the Fort Benton Longhorns are looking to repeat as District 9C and Northern C champions.

The Chester-JoplinInevrness girls basketball program has always been strong. But keeping up in the tough District 9C is never easy. However, under head coach Joel Steinmentz, the Hawks have a deep and talented roster, and are ready to battle it out in the tough 9C this winter. CJI will be led by seniors Molly Nelson and

Emma Wickum, as well as All-Stater Tatum Hull. Junior Averie Mattson is a returning starter as well, while Rhiannon Cole, returners Aaliyah Standiford and Haddie Woods and a big group of freshmen and eighth graders give CJI a lot of depth and firepower to work with this season. “Work ethic and attention to detail comprise the main strength of these outstanding athletes so that we may have an opportunity to play against these other

wonderful teams in 9C,” Steinmentz said. “We are grateful for the opportunity.” The 9C, however, is tough, but, the Hawks should be a team on the rise this season. “Challenging competition throughout the 9C will have all teams doing their best to achieve a desired goal, to win.” Steinmetz said. “(Our goals) are for these wonderful girls` to have fun, enjoy learning, and compete to achieve a new paradigm shift in their talent.”

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson After reaching the District 9C consolation game a year ago, the Chester-JopinInverness Hawks were hit hard by graduation, and will have a young, but talented team this winter.


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Tornadoes will be dangerous Turner boys stepping up George Ferguson

Havre Daily News sports editor gferguson@havredailynews.com

The Turner Tornadoes have had some exciting moments at the District 9C tournament in recent years. But when it comes to the next level, the Tornadoes just can’t seem to quite get over the hump. And yet, with a new season arriving, Turner does have a wealth of talent, and

will look to make strides in the 9C. Veteran senior Shane Kimmel has been one of the top scorers in the 9C the last couple of years, and he is back for one more season. Austin Welsh, Jack Harmon and Trever Kimmel will also be key starters for the Tornadoes, while Shay Humphreys will be counted on as well. Yes, Turner once again has some firepower, as second-year head coach Dylan

Welsh, a former Turner star himself, tries to take the Tornadoes out of the 9C and to Great Falls for the first time in a long time. Of course, with powerhouses like Fort Benton and Chinook, and only three spots up for grabs at the 9C tourney, things won’t be easy. But, as always, the Tornadoes will battle and never quit, and, with the talent they return, they’ll certainly be exciting to watch.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Brooke Reed, right, and the Turner girls have made it to three straight Northern C tournament, and last year, played for the District 9C championship.

George Ferguson

Havre Daily News sports editor gferguson@havredailynews.com

The last four years have been extremely special for Turner girls basketball. The Tornadoes have truly been on a magic carpet ride, that has taken them to heights not seen in Turner in two decades. In fact, Turner has been to the Northern C three years in a row, and last season, played for a 9C championship. And, the Tornadoes are hoping the fun doesn’t end. Graduation has seen some key players leave the program recently, but, Turner should still be a top team again in 2021. “Shyan Krass is one of our key scorers inside along with a deadly 3-point shot and her defense and rebounds will be tough for the opponents,” Turner head coach Julie Welsh said. “Brandy Calvert,

also a senior, has always been a tough defender inside and has a level head to help with our press break. Brooke Reed, the third senior is tough inside and out. She too gets many rebounds and can shoot from anywhere on the court. My returning junior Laci Maloney, will be taking on a tough job of being a point guard. She is very well rounded and can play several positions on the court. She shoots well from 3-point range or inside and does well when given a tough opponent to guard. Dakota Krass is the lone sophomore that has really developed into a multi-spot player also. She too will be key to help with press breaks, but she is fast and hard nosed on the defensive end as well. We look to see her as a double digit scorer this season. The next girl off the bench is Emma Timmons. She got several minutes last season as an

eighth grader and is a very gritty player with solid fundamentals. We will definitely benefit from her scoring and outstanding hustle.” So, Turner should be very tough again this season, and while the 9C will always be strong, the Tornadoes have high expectations once again. “Hopeful that we are allowed to have a complete season,” Welsh said. “Young athletes work hard all year to get better for their specific sport and I hope that we all get to enjoy playing the game we love. I think we again will have some pretty good competition in the 9C like we always do. I think Turner will be in the top three for our district. After coming out last season in second place in the 9C tournament, we are looking to get another chance at a championship trophy and a fourth trip to the divisional tournament in Great Falls.”

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Shane Kimmel and the Turner boys have a wealth of experience coming back in the upcoming District 9C season.

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North Star boys will Knights will be dangerous always be a 9C contender George Ferguson

Havre Daily News sports editor

gferguson@havredailynews.com

George Ferguson

The North Star girls came up short last season in their bid to make a return trip to the Northern C. The Knights were really good, and they got really close. Now, they’re hoping, with a veteran team full of returning talent, that they’ll take the next step. “We will be returning our same team from last year,” head coach Jennifer Wendland said. “We gained a junior and will have enough to have both Varsity and JV. We have a talented hard working group of girls.” Talented and deep. North Star brings back seniors Shayla Borlaug and Kenidee

Havre Daily News sports editor gferguson@havredailynews.com

Always a stalwart in the District 9C, the North Star boys will have anew look this season, as in a new head coach. Former Knight Karston Donoven steps into the head role after Cody Donoven decided to step down as North Star’s coach, and Donoven should do big things with the Knights this season. “We have a great group of boys this year that are like family,” Donoven said. “One of our strengths with this group is that they know the game well and have a high basketball IQ which allows them to make smart decisions and pick up on things quickly. The other thing that I love about this team is that they have a blue-collar mentality and are always willing to be scrappy and work hard throughout the course of each game.” The Knights do return a core group, led by veteran senior Payne Ditmar. Jaden Sargent and Rhett Wolery, along with Garrett and Gavin Spicher are also key returnees for the Knights, while Donoven noted that, the Knights have a big group of sophomores and underclassmen who will provide new roles and depth for the Knights, who are looking to keep pace in the 9C with top teams like Fort Benton, Chinook and Big Sandy. “The 9C is going to be a highly competitive district with some great teams in it,” Donoven said. “We will have to come ready to play every night due to the fact that every team is talented and there definitely won't be any easy games.” No, there won’t be easy games, and a season played out during the coronavirus

Wolery, junior All-Stater Jade Wendland, sophomores Laynie Sattoriva, Rainee Watson and Kaitlyn Domire, all who were key contributors last season. “We are a quick team with some depth this year,” Coach Wendland said. We should have a nice balance of inside and outside game. We will also be able to change things up on defense throughout the game.” North Star will be good, there’s no doubt. But, the Knights also battle in the very tough 9C. However, they’re also a big reason why the league is as tough as it is. “It's going to be a tight conference and as we know

from last year anything can happen at tournaments,” Coach Wendland said, “Being a top-place team coming into the tournament doesn’t really matter if you don’t show up to play at the tournament. So in reality the teams that show up to play will win. After our disappointing districts last year, we are determined to come in and prove ourselves. With the 9C being so tough, once we get out of there and onto divisionals…anything is possible. We just need to compete each and every game. Just play hard and stay focused. We do those little things one game at a time and big things will happen for our girls.”

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Jaden Sargent and the North Star Knights made a strong run last season. Now, under new head coach, and former Knight Karston Donoven, the Knights know they have the talent to go even deeper this coming season.

will be a challenge as well. But, the Knights are ready to take on those challenges, and Donoven is excited to lead them. “Every team in the district, or state for that matter comes into the season with

the same goal,” Donoven said. “But our main focus this year is the commitment to that goal and to work hard every day to become the best possible version of ourselves and our team that we can be.”

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Kenidee Wolery and the North Star girls were disappointed with how their season ended a year ago. Now, however, the Knights return their whole team, and have a ton of experience and depth, which should make them one of the team's to beat in the District 9C once again.


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Wildcats poised to get over Box Elder boys return a veteran team Harlem girls are building a dynasty the hump and return to state George Ferguson

Havre Daily News sports editor

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

Like the girls, the Harlem boys basketball program has been a team on the rise over the last few years. But also like the girls team, the boys suffered a star loss to graduation in four-year standout Brad Cichosz. That said, Harlem, under head Geno LeValdo, will still be a force to be reckoned with in the District 2B this season. And that’s because the Wildcats return plenty of firepower, including R.J. Ramone and Tyler Cichosz. Trent Main and Daniel Law-

rence also return for the Wildcats, while LeValdo sees other players stepping up as well. “We Lost Brad Cichosz the state scoring leader in Montana breaking that record last year,” LeValdo said. “Some of the players who will be filling in an making a impact will be Cassuis Johnson, Jehton Longfox, Teagan LeValdo and Amari Stanley just to name a few. Some of our strengths of this years team is that we grew and matured more.. We were very young in the 2018-19 when I started three freshman out of the six I had, so were definitely seasoned and

experienced a lot more.” Indeed. Harlem should be an experienced bunch this season, ready to battle for a 2B title, and coveted trip to the state tournament. Our goals is to win the 2B District Conference again and make a good showing in Divisionals and place and then our main goal is to make it and place at state. LeValdo said. “Harlem hasn't been to the Class B State tournament in awhile and these boys have been working since the third grade for this opportunity and we barley missed it by a game last year. So we have literally one goal and that's make state this year.”

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Taya Trottier and the Harlem girls expect to a force again this season. The Wildcats have a new-old head coach as well, as Laramie Schwenke returns to the bench.

George Ferguson

Havre Daily News sports editor gferguson@havredailynews.com

The Harlem girls basketball program has been on an unprecedented run. Over the last three years, Harlem has achieved a lot of firsts, including a first divisional title and first trip to state in school history. And while Harlem will now be playing without star guard L’Tia Lawrence for the first time in four years, the fun should continue for new-old head coach Laramie Schwenke and this year’s Wildcat squad. That’s because the defending District 2B champions return a wealth of talent, led by junior and Montana State University-Northern commit Taya Trottier. Alaynee Hawley (Sr.), Gabi Bell (Sr.),

Vanise Little (Jr.) and Chloe Messerly (Jr.) also return to Harlem’s talented core. “ We have a hard-working group of kids,” Schwenke said. “Our strengths include pushing the ball in transition, the ability to knock down the three point shot, and apply pressure on defense.” Harlem does have plenty to be excited about, but, the Wildcats also play in the 2B, with the likes of Malta, Glasgow and Wolf Point, so, Schwenke knows, everything about this season will be a challenge. But, she also knows, her Wildcats have come a long way, and they’ll be up to those cxhallenges. “I think the 2B will be competitive, as usual,” she said. “All the teams are well coached, and I think everyone in the league returns some good experience from

last year. Two of the three Northern B teams at the state tournament last year came from the 2B, so I think it will be a lot of fun and the Number one seed will be up for grabs going into post season play. “It’s no secret, we graduated leadership and experience, but at the same time we return some too,” she added. “My goals are to see improvement and growth week to week for us collectively as a group. Play for a chance to get to divisionals, then a chance to get back to the state tournament. I think the past few years, there’s been high standards set for LadyCat Basketball Program and it is my expectation for us to continue building upon the foundation and success that’s been laid out for us.”

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson RJ Ramone and the Harlem Wildcats missed out on the Class B state tournament by one game last season, so, that's their goal in 2021.

gferguson@havredailynews.com

Jeremy MacDonald has seen and done it all as a head boys basketball coach at Box Elder. In fact, he’s even retired once already. Now, though, MacDonald has returned to the sidelines, where, in his second season back at the helm, he’s hoping to bring the Bears back to District 9C prominence. And, after a tough 2019-2020 season, in which the Bears finished in the second half of the 9C standings, MacDonald sees a Bears’ team ready to rise. “The strength of this year's team will be experience, depth and as we get in shape, hopefully quickness,” MacDonald, who has led Box Elder to a pair of state titles, said. And the Bears have a veteran squad indeed. Led by returning seniors Kadyn Duran, Malique Rosette and Jayden Jillot, as well as juniors Tayce St. Pierre and Tyus LaMere, as well as sophomores Gabe Saddler, Jayden Gopher and King Ragged Robe, Box Elder is one of the most experienced teams back this winter. Still, MacDonald knows full well how tough the 9C will be again.

“I think Fort Benton and Chinook should be favored with the recent success they've had and the returning talent coming back,” he said. “Big Sandy is going to be physical and had a good run last season. Box Elder, HLP, North Star, CJI, and Turner will be looking to compete with the programs that represented 9C at Four Seasons last year.” This year, however, will be different, and with the season yet to get underway due to the pandemic, health and safety is foremost in MacDonald’s mind as the Bears prepare to take the floor. “Our first goal is to try and ensure player, community and public safety while providing student-athletes an extracurricular activity during a pandemic," he said. “As our competitive nature kicks in we will expect to make an effort to keep getting better as the season progresses with a goal of playing our best basketball when tourney time kicks in.”

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Last year, Malique Rosette and the Box Elder boys were a young a n d i n ex p e r i e n c e d t e a m i n Jeremy MacDonald's return to the helm. But in 2021, the Bears will be much more experienced to go along with wealth of talent and depth they have.


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January 2 January 8 January 9 January 14 January 15 January 22 January 23 January 26 January 29 January 30 February 5 February 6 February 12 February 13 February 19 February 24-27 March 11-13

Lewistown Miles City Hardin Browning Sidney Glendive Sidney Fairfield Glendive Billings Central Miles City Hardin Browning Lewistown Malta Divisionals State

C-Squad H 2:30 p.m. HMS H 3:00 p.m. H 1:00 p.m. A 4:00 p.m. H 2:00 p.m. A 3:00 p.m. A 1:00 p.m. A H 3:00 p.m. H A 3:00 p.m. A 1:00 p.m. H 4:00 p.m. A 1:00 p.m. H 3:30 p.m. TBD TBD

JV 1:00 p.m. HMS 4:30 p.m. 2:30 p.m. 5:30 p.m. 3:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 2:30 p.m. 5:00 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 2:30 p.m. 5:30 p.m. 2:30 p.m. 5:00 p.m.

Varsity 4:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m. 4:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m. 4:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 6:00 p.m. 3:30 p.m. 6:00 p.m. 4:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 4:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Havre High senior Loy Waid is part of yet another ultra-talented Blue Pony girls basketball team that should view for the Class A state title this winter.

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Blue Pony girls aim to keep the juggernaut rolling Aarron Thompson Havre Daily News sports

gferguson@havredailynews.com

After the 2019-2020 season ended abruptly, the Havre High girls basketball team was left with a tough situation, as they were stripped of a shot at placing in the 2020 Class A State Tournament due to COVID-19 cutting it short. The Blue Ponies once again made a strong run to and through the postseason, but this year, they aim to get back to the top once more. With a full head of steam and a lot of new faces to the team, HHS may look a bit different this year in terms of players, but there is till sure to be that strive for excellence and hard work that the Ponies have displayed year after year. Even with COVID-19 lurking around the corner, Havre has plenty to look forward to this season. And HHS head coach Dustin Kraske is glad to be back on the court and gearing up to compete come January. “We’re looking forward to it,” Kraske said. “The kids are working hard and we have a few kids back that have some varsity minutes. We’re incorporating a new cast of kids and they’re doing a wonderful job.” Indeed, the Ponies have some immense talent, and while they did lose great talent in the likes of Kyndall Keller and Kadia Miller to name a few, the cupoboard at HHS is far from bare. Two-time Class A AllStater Sadie Filius, and seniors Loy Waid and Kylie Walker are back for the Ponies, as is plenty of younger talent that is moving up, including Avery Carlson and Britton Paulson, as well as others as Havre continues to boast a strong team. Schedule-wise, the Ponies will have some tough competition to go up against once again. With the Lewistown Golden Eagles being the first opponent of the season Jan. 2 in the Havre High Gymnasium, it will be a great start

for Havre. After the season and home-opener, HHS goes up against the Miles City Cowgirls Jan. 8 at home, followed by the Hardin Bulldogs Jan. 9 at home. Jan. 14 sees the Browning Lady Indians host the Ponies in Browning, the Sidney Eagles head to Havre to compete Jan. 15, the Glendive Lady Devils host Havre Jan. 22, Sidney hosts HHS Jan. 23 and the Fairfield Eagles host Havre Jan. 26. From there, Glendive comes up to Havre Jan. 29, the Billings Central Rams play the Ponies at home Jan. 30, the Cowgirls host HHS Feb. 5, Hardin hosts the Ponies Feb. 6, Browning comes up to Blue Pony country Feb. 12, Lewistown hosts HHS Feb. 13 and the Malta M-Ettes head to Havre Feb. 19 to close the regular season for the Ponies. The Eastern A Divisional Tournament will be Feb. 24-27 at a to-bedetermined location and the Class A State Tournament will be Mar. 11-13 at a to-bedetermined location. The season will be full of tough opponents scattered across the Eastern A and along the Class B schools that make up the Hi-Line, which is something that Kraske is very excited about when it comes to this season. “We got Hardin on our schedule,” Kraske said. “That’ll be kind of fun. We normally play them at the tournament, but we have a home-road with them, so that’ll be a fun trip. We play Billings Central here this year. We’ve been kind of oddballing back and forth with them every other year. They return everybody but MotenSchell, so they’ll be a really good team. I’m sure they’re a Class A favorite. Our conference games will be fun and I look forward to that. We got a game against Malta this year, as well, and they’re up and coming this year, so that’ll be fun. Any game we have will be one to remember because of the uniqueness of this year.” The Bulldogs and Rams

were the co-champions of the 2020 Class A State Tournament this past season, as the Montana High School Association deemed the championships that way since the playoffs were cut short. The two programs will likely be considered Top Five teams in Class A this season, too. Billings Central and Hardin have always had tough programs and when it comes to Havre, it knows that it will be a dogfight come each game against the two powerhouses within the Eastern A. COVID-19 will play a major factor in the season, as well. The virus has led to strict protocols and guidelines that have been set for schools across Montana. The health and safety of studentathletes, officials and coaches is a very important thing in the 2020-2021 year, so it is natural that teams like the Ponies will not only be on their guard but also be mindful of what could happen to the season if COVID-19 manages to get its way. Even with all that pressure and uncertainty, Kraske knows what has to be done and is confident in his team and program to make sure all goes the best that it possibly can this season. “We’re wearing masks all the time until it’s strenuous activity,” Kraske said. “When we’re doing downtime, we’re staying six feet apart and not sharing water bottles. The kids wear a jersey at practice and keep it the whole practice, then we take them and clean them at night. Our managers clean the basketballs usually two or three times a practice. When a kid uses a ball they use that ball all practice long unless it’s been cleaned. In a nutshell, that’s what we’re doing. We’re just trying to do our best to work hard, keep clean and keep those masks on.” The Havre High girls basketball team opens the season and home-series Jan. 2 with a game against the Lewistown Golden Eagles at 4 p.m. in the Havre High Gymnasium.

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January 2 January 8 January 9 January 14 January 15 January 22 January 23 January 26 January 29 January 30 February 5 February 6 February 12 February 13 February 19 February 24-27 March 11-13

Lewistown Miles City Hardin Browning Sidney Glendive Sidney Fairfield Glendive Billings Central Miles City Hardin Browning Lewistown Malta Divisionals State

C-Squad H 4:00 p.m. HMS A 1:00 p.m. A 1:00 p.m. H 4:00 p.m. A 2:00 p.m. H 3:00 p.m. H 12:00 p.m. H A 3:00 p.m. A H 3:00 p.m. H 1:00 p.m. A 4:00 p.m. A 1:00 p.m. A TBD TBD

JV 1:00 p.m. 2:30 p.m. 2:30 p.m. 5:30 p.m. 3:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 5:00 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 2:30 p.m. 5:30 p.m. 2:30 p.m. 5:30 p.m.

Varsity 2:30 p.m. 4:00 p.m. 4:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m. 3:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 6:00 p.m. 3:30 p.m. 6:00 p.m. 4:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 4:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Havre High senior Nolan Lotton is part of a core group of veteran leaders for the Blue Ponies, who have become a team that should be a force to be reckoned with in the Northeast A this winter.

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Talented Pony boys set to get over the Eastern A hump State A Tournament is the goal for a veteran Havre High basketball team this season Aarron Thompson Havre Daily News sports

gferguson@havredailynews.com

The 2019-2020 winter sports season saw the Havre High boys basketball team win not only a lot of big games against some strong opponents, but also once again push its way to a postseason campaign in the divisionals round once again. Unfortunately, the Blue Ponies were cut short just before the state-qualifying game, ending a well-improved season. Now in 2020-2021, HHS has been looking to not only get some good standing in ther Northeastern A, but to push past the divisional woes. That sort of thing is not easy in the Eastern A, but the Ponies are ready to step up and stand out, even if COVID-19 puts a bit of a question mark on the season. At the end of the day, Havre head coach WaLynn Burgess is very excited to have a season and see his team compete. “We’re just really excited to have a season with all the stuff going on,” Burgess said. “It’s really good to have the kids back in the gym and looking forward to something. We’ve had good energy in the gym so far. Right now, it’s year three and they’re really taking to bringing energy every day and finding it inside them to bring it. Those little things matter and it’s really amplifying their game right now.” The Ponies will be seeing plenty of returners back on the court this season. Seniors Josh Warp, Max Olson, Nolan Lotton, Kellen Detrick and Clint Owens and juniors Josh Currie and Caden Jenkins will be back in the fray once again, while newcomers to the varsity team like sophomore Crawford Terry, sophomore Isaac Pedraza and junior Trenton Maloughney will be looking to make

some noise on the court, as well. Schedule-wise, Havre has a lot on its plate once again. The Ponies open against the Lewistown Golden Eagles Jan. 2 at 2:30 p.m. in the Havre High Gymnasium, followed by a road game against the Miles City Cowboys at 4 p.m. Jan. 8, the Hardin Bulldogs at 4 p.m. in Hardin on Jan. 9, the Browning Indians at home at 7 p.m. Jan. 14, the Sidney Eagles in Sidney at 5 p.m. Jan. 15, the Glendive Red Devils at home at 6 p.m. Jan. 22, Sidney at home at 3 p.m. Jan. 23, the Fairfield Eagles at home at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 26, the Red Devils in Glendive at 6 p.m. Jan. 29, the Billings Central Rams in Billings at 3:30 p.m. Jan. 30, the Cowboys at home at 6 p.m. Feb. 5, the Bulldogs at home at 4 p.m. Feb. 6, the Indians in Browning at 7 p.m. Feb. 12, the Golden Eagles in Lewistown at 4 p.m. Feb. 13 and the Malta Mustangs in Malta at 7 p.m. Feb. 19. The Eastern A Divisional Tournament will be Feb. 24-27 at a to-be-determined location and the Class A State Tournament will be Mar. 11-13 at a to-be-determined location. As for the tougher games of the season, Burgess has some games that come to mind right away. “All of them are crazy,” Burgess said. “It’s 2020 and we don’t know what to really expect. Tougher games like the home opener against Lewistown, who beat us in the last game of last year, that’s going to be a tough one. We got Browning at home, which we’ll see another shootout and get another round. Another tough one will be Glendive. They return everybody. We have a stretch where we have five games in eight days. There’s a lot of crazy in 2020, but we’re not going to complain because we get to go out there and

play a game of basketball.” COVID-19 will play a very interesting part in the 20202021 season, but with the falls sports season finding its way to the finish line, teams like the Ponies have a lot of optimism going forward. There will be a lot of guidelines to follow and expectations to keep, but with the tradition of excellence HHS carries, the task should not be too daunting for the Ponies. With road games and home games sending teams to and fro, there will be a lot of cation. Even so, Havre will be giving its all against a slew of Eastern A and Northeastern A rivals, as well as the Western A showdowns with Browning and the Class B battles with Malta and Fairfield. The season will be full of intense barn-burners and a fiery game between teams, something that the Ponies are ready to bring on the court day in and day out. Playing games means a lot for Burgess, but he values the health and safety of his players the most, especially with a virus that can rip away the season at any time. “We’re here for the safety of the kids, for sure,” Burgess said. “We’re glad to get out and play, but safety is always going to come first. With what the school and the health board put in place, it’s really easy to follow. We have our standards and know we need to meet those expectations. Mr. Kessler has been awesome to work with and understands really well how to put those things into place. It’ll be different, but it’s the reason we get to play because we’ll be a little safer and I’m all for it.” With the season coming around the mountain, the Ponies will have their season and home-opener against the Lewistown Golden Eagles Jan. 2 at 2:30 p.m. in the Havre High Gymnasium.


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January 2 January 8 January 9 January 14 January 15 January 22 January 23 January 26 January 29 January 30 February 5 February 6 February 12 February 13 February 19 February 24-27 March 11-13

Lewistown Miles City Hardin Browning Sidney Glendive Sidney Fairfield Glendive Billings Central Miles City Hardin Browning Lewistown Malta Divisionals State

C-Squad H 2:30 p.m. HMS H 3:00 p.m. H 1:00 p.m. A 4:00 p.m. H 2:00 p.m. A 3:00 p.m. A 1:00 p.m. A H 3:00 p.m. H A 3:00 p.m. A 1:00 p.m. H 4:00 p.m. A 1:00 p.m. H 3:30 p.m. TBD TBD

JV 1:00 p.m. HMS 4:30 p.m. 2:30 p.m. 5:30 p.m. 3:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 2:30 p.m. 5:00 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 2:30 p.m. 5:30 p.m. 2:30 p.m. 5:00 p.m.

Varsity 4:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m. 4:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m. 4:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 6:00 p.m. 3:30 p.m. 6:00 p.m. 4:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 4:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Havre High senior Loy Waid is part of yet another ultra-talented Blue Pony girls basketball team that should view for the Class A state title this winter.

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Blue Pony girls aim to keep the juggernaut rolling Aarron Thompson Havre Daily News sports

gferguson@havredailynews.com

After the 2019-2020 season ended abruptly, the Havre High girls basketball team was left with a tough situation, as they were stripped of a shot at placing in the 2020 Class A State Tournament due to COVID-19 cutting it short. The Blue Ponies once again made a strong run to and through the postseason, but this year, they aim to get back to the top once more. With a full head of steam and a lot of new faces to the team, HHS may look a bit different this year in terms of players, but there is till sure to be that strive for excellence and hard work that the Ponies have displayed year after year. Even with COVID-19 lurking around the corner, Havre has plenty to look forward to this season. And HHS head coach Dustin Kraske is glad to be back on the court and gearing up to compete come January. “We’re looking forward to it,” Kraske said. “The kids are working hard and we have a few kids back that have some varsity minutes. We’re incorporating a new cast of kids and they’re doing a wonderful job.” Indeed, the Ponies have some immense talent, and while they did lose great talent in the likes of Kyndall Keller and Kadia Miller to name a few, the cupoboard at HHS is far from bare. Two-time Class A AllStater Sadie Filius, and seniors Loy Waid and Kylie Walker are back for the Ponies, as is plenty of younger talent that is moving up, including Avery Carlson and Britton Paulson, as well as others as Havre continues to boast a strong team. Schedule-wise, the Ponies will have some tough competition to go up against once again. With the Lewistown Golden Eagles being the first opponent of the season Jan. 2 in the Havre High Gymnasium, it will be a great start

for Havre. After the season and home-opener, HHS goes up against the Miles City Cowgirls Jan. 8 at home, followed by the Hardin Bulldogs Jan. 9 at home. Jan. 14 sees the Browning Lady Indians host the Ponies in Browning, the Sidney Eagles head to Havre to compete Jan. 15, the Glendive Lady Devils host Havre Jan. 22, Sidney hosts HHS Jan. 23 and the Fairfield Eagles host Havre Jan. 26. From there, Glendive comes up to Havre Jan. 29, the Billings Central Rams play the Ponies at home Jan. 30, the Cowgirls host HHS Feb. 5, Hardin hosts the Ponies Feb. 6, Browning comes up to Blue Pony country Feb. 12, Lewistown hosts HHS Feb. 13 and the Malta M-Ettes head to Havre Feb. 19 to close the regular season for the Ponies. The Eastern A Divisional Tournament will be Feb. 24-27 at a to-bedetermined location and the Class A State Tournament will be Mar. 11-13 at a to-bedetermined location. The season will be full of tough opponents scattered across the Eastern A and along the Class B schools that make up the Hi-Line, which is something that Kraske is very excited about when it comes to this season. “We got Hardin on our schedule,” Kraske said. “That’ll be kind of fun. We normally play them at the tournament, but we have a home-road with them, so that’ll be a fun trip. We play Billings Central here this year. We’ve been kind of oddballing back and forth with them every other year. They return everybody but MotenSchell, so they’ll be a really good team. I’m sure they’re a Class A favorite. Our conference games will be fun and I look forward to that. We got a game against Malta this year, as well, and they’re up and coming this year, so that’ll be fun. Any game we have will be one to remember because of the uniqueness of this year.” The Bulldogs and Rams

were the co-champions of the 2020 Class A State Tournament this past season, as the Montana High School Association deemed the championships that way since the playoffs were cut short. The two programs will likely be considered Top Five teams in Class A this season, too. Billings Central and Hardin have always had tough programs and when it comes to Havre, it knows that it will be a dogfight come each game against the two powerhouses within the Eastern A. COVID-19 will play a major factor in the season, as well. The virus has led to strict protocols and guidelines that have been set for schools across Montana. The health and safety of studentathletes, officials and coaches is a very important thing in the 2020-2021 year, so it is natural that teams like the Ponies will not only be on their guard but also be mindful of what could happen to the season if COVID-19 manages to get its way. Even with all that pressure and uncertainty, Kraske knows what has to be done and is confident in his team and program to make sure all goes the best that it possibly can this season. “We’re wearing masks all the time until it’s strenuous activity,” Kraske said. “When we’re doing downtime, we’re staying six feet apart and not sharing water bottles. The kids wear a jersey at practice and keep it the whole practice, then we take them and clean them at night. Our managers clean the basketballs usually two or three times a practice. When a kid uses a ball they use that ball all practice long unless it’s been cleaned. In a nutshell, that’s what we’re doing. We’re just trying to do our best to work hard, keep clean and keep those masks on.” The Havre High girls basketball team opens the season and home-series Jan. 2 with a game against the Lewistown Golden Eagles at 4 p.m. in the Havre High Gymnasium.

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January 2 January 8 January 9 January 14 January 15 January 22 January 23 January 26 January 29 January 30 February 5 February 6 February 12 February 13 February 19 February 24-27 March 11-13

Lewistown Miles City Hardin Browning Sidney Glendive Sidney Fairfield Glendive Billings Central Miles City Hardin Browning Lewistown Malta Divisionals State

C-Squad H 4:00 p.m. HMS A 1:00 p.m. A 1:00 p.m. H 4:00 p.m. A 2:00 p.m. H 3:00 p.m. H 12:00 p.m. H A 3:00 p.m. A H 3:00 p.m. H 1:00 p.m. A 4:00 p.m. A 1:00 p.m. A TBD TBD

JV 1:00 p.m. 2:30 p.m. 2:30 p.m. 5:30 p.m. 3:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 5:00 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 2:30 p.m. 5:30 p.m. 2:30 p.m. 5:30 p.m.

Varsity 2:30 p.m. 4:00 p.m. 4:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m. 3:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 6:00 p.m. 3:30 p.m. 6:00 p.m. 4:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 4:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Havre High senior Nolan Lotton is part of a core group of veteran leaders for the Blue Ponies, who have become a team that should be a force to be reckoned with in the Northeast A this winter.

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Talented Pony boys set to get over the Eastern A hump State A Tournament is the goal for a veteran Havre High basketball team this season Aarron Thompson Havre Daily News sports

gferguson@havredailynews.com

The 2019-2020 winter sports season saw the Havre High boys basketball team win not only a lot of big games against some strong opponents, but also once again push its way to a postseason campaign in the divisionals round once again. Unfortunately, the Blue Ponies were cut short just before the state-qualifying game, ending a well-improved season. Now in 2020-2021, HHS has been looking to not only get some good standing in ther Northeastern A, but to push past the divisional woes. That sort of thing is not easy in the Eastern A, but the Ponies are ready to step up and stand out, even if COVID-19 puts a bit of a question mark on the season. At the end of the day, Havre head coach WaLynn Burgess is very excited to have a season and see his team compete. “We’re just really excited to have a season with all the stuff going on,” Burgess said. “It’s really good to have the kids back in the gym and looking forward to something. We’ve had good energy in the gym so far. Right now, it’s year three and they’re really taking to bringing energy every day and finding it inside them to bring it. Those little things matter and it’s really amplifying their game right now.” The Ponies will be seeing plenty of returners back on the court this season. Seniors Josh Warp, Max Olson, Nolan Lotton, Kellen Detrick and Clint Owens and juniors Josh Currie and Caden Jenkins will be back in the fray once again, while newcomers to the varsity team like sophomore Crawford Terry, sophomore Isaac Pedraza and junior Trenton Maloughney will be looking to make

some noise on the court, as well. Schedule-wise, Havre has a lot on its plate once again. The Ponies open against the Lewistown Golden Eagles Jan. 2 at 2:30 p.m. in the Havre High Gymnasium, followed by a road game against the Miles City Cowboys at 4 p.m. Jan. 8, the Hardin Bulldogs at 4 p.m. in Hardin on Jan. 9, the Browning Indians at home at 7 p.m. Jan. 14, the Sidney Eagles in Sidney at 5 p.m. Jan. 15, the Glendive Red Devils at home at 6 p.m. Jan. 22, Sidney at home at 3 p.m. Jan. 23, the Fairfield Eagles at home at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 26, the Red Devils in Glendive at 6 p.m. Jan. 29, the Billings Central Rams in Billings at 3:30 p.m. Jan. 30, the Cowboys at home at 6 p.m. Feb. 5, the Bulldogs at home at 4 p.m. Feb. 6, the Indians in Browning at 7 p.m. Feb. 12, the Golden Eagles in Lewistown at 4 p.m. Feb. 13 and the Malta Mustangs in Malta at 7 p.m. Feb. 19. The Eastern A Divisional Tournament will be Feb. 24-27 at a to-be-determined location and the Class A State Tournament will be Mar. 11-13 at a to-be-determined location. As for the tougher games of the season, Burgess has some games that come to mind right away. “All of them are crazy,” Burgess said. “It’s 2020 and we don’t know what to really expect. Tougher games like the home opener against Lewistown, who beat us in the last game of last year, that’s going to be a tough one. We got Browning at home, which we’ll see another shootout and get another round. Another tough one will be Glendive. They return everybody. We have a stretch where we have five games in eight days. There’s a lot of crazy in 2020, but we’re not going to complain because we get to go out there and

play a game of basketball.” COVID-19 will play a very interesting part in the 20202021 season, but with the falls sports season finding its way to the finish line, teams like the Ponies have a lot of optimism going forward. There will be a lot of guidelines to follow and expectations to keep, but with the tradition of excellence HHS carries, the task should not be too daunting for the Ponies. With road games and home games sending teams to and fro, there will be a lot of cation. Even so, Havre will be giving its all against a slew of Eastern A and Northeastern A rivals, as well as the Western A showdowns with Browning and the Class B battles with Malta and Fairfield. The season will be full of intense barn-burners and a fiery game between teams, something that the Ponies are ready to bring on the court day in and day out. Playing games means a lot for Burgess, but he values the health and safety of his players the most, especially with a virus that can rip away the season at any time. “We’re here for the safety of the kids, for sure,” Burgess said. “We’re glad to get out and play, but safety is always going to come first. With what the school and the health board put in place, it’s really easy to follow. We have our standards and know we need to meet those expectations. Mr. Kessler has been awesome to work with and understands really well how to put those things into place. It’ll be different, but it’s the reason we get to play because we’ll be a little safer and I’m all for it.” With the season coming around the mountain, the Ponies will have their season and home-opener against the Lewistown Golden Eagles Jan. 2 at 2:30 p.m. in the Havre High Gymnasium.


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Wildcats poised to get over Box Elder boys return a veteran team Harlem girls are building a dynasty the hump and return to state George Ferguson

Havre Daily News sports editor

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

Like the girls, the Harlem boys basketball program has been a team on the rise over the last few years. But also like the girls team, the boys suffered a star loss to graduation in four-year standout Brad Cichosz. That said, Harlem, under head Geno LeValdo, will still be a force to be reckoned with in the District 2B this season. And that’s because the Wildcats return plenty of firepower, including R.J. Ramone and Tyler Cichosz. Trent Main and Daniel Law-

rence also return for the Wildcats, while LeValdo sees other players stepping up as well. “We Lost Brad Cichosz the state scoring leader in Montana breaking that record last year,” LeValdo said. “Some of the players who will be filling in an making a impact will be Cassuis Johnson, Jehton Longfox, Teagan LeValdo and Amari Stanley just to name a few. Some of our strengths of this years team is that we grew and matured more.. We were very young in the 2018-19 when I started three freshman out of the six I had, so were definitely seasoned and

experienced a lot more.” Indeed. Harlem should be an experienced bunch this season, ready to battle for a 2B title, and coveted trip to the state tournament. Our goals is to win the 2B District Conference again and make a good showing in Divisionals and place and then our main goal is to make it and place at state. LeValdo said. “Harlem hasn't been to the Class B State tournament in awhile and these boys have been working since the third grade for this opportunity and we barley missed it by a game last year. So we have literally one goal and that's make state this year.”

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Taya Trottier and the Harlem girls expect to a force again this season. The Wildcats have a new-old head coach as well, as Laramie Schwenke returns to the bench.

George Ferguson

Havre Daily News sports editor gferguson@havredailynews.com

The Harlem girls basketball program has been on an unprecedented run. Over the last three years, Harlem has achieved a lot of firsts, including a first divisional title and first trip to state in school history. And while Harlem will now be playing without star guard L’Tia Lawrence for the first time in four years, the fun should continue for new-old head coach Laramie Schwenke and this year’s Wildcat squad. That’s because the defending District 2B champions return a wealth of talent, led by junior and Montana State University-Northern commit Taya Trottier. Alaynee Hawley (Sr.), Gabi Bell (Sr.),

Vanise Little (Jr.) and Chloe Messerly (Jr.) also return to Harlem’s talented core. “ We have a hard-working group of kids,” Schwenke said. “Our strengths include pushing the ball in transition, the ability to knock down the three point shot, and apply pressure on defense.” Harlem does have plenty to be excited about, but, the Wildcats also play in the 2B, with the likes of Malta, Glasgow and Wolf Point, so, Schwenke knows, everything about this season will be a challenge. But, she also knows, her Wildcats have come a long way, and they’ll be up to those cxhallenges. “I think the 2B will be competitive, as usual,” she said. “All the teams are well coached, and I think everyone in the league returns some good experience from

last year. Two of the three Northern B teams at the state tournament last year came from the 2B, so I think it will be a lot of fun and the Number one seed will be up for grabs going into post season play. “It’s no secret, we graduated leadership and experience, but at the same time we return some too,” she added. “My goals are to see improvement and growth week to week for us collectively as a group. Play for a chance to get to divisionals, then a chance to get back to the state tournament. I think the past few years, there’s been high standards set for LadyCat Basketball Program and it is my expectation for us to continue building upon the foundation and success that’s been laid out for us.”

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson RJ Ramone and the Harlem Wildcats missed out on the Class B state tournament by one game last season, so, that's their goal in 2021.

gferguson@havredailynews.com

Jeremy MacDonald has seen and done it all as a head boys basketball coach at Box Elder. In fact, he’s even retired once already. Now, though, MacDonald has returned to the sidelines, where, in his second season back at the helm, he’s hoping to bring the Bears back to District 9C prominence. And, after a tough 2019-2020 season, in which the Bears finished in the second half of the 9C standings, MacDonald sees a Bears’ team ready to rise. “The strength of this year's team will be experience, depth and as we get in shape, hopefully quickness,” MacDonald, who has led Box Elder to a pair of state titles, said. And the Bears have a veteran squad indeed. Led by returning seniors Kadyn Duran, Malique Rosette and Jayden Jillot, as well as juniors Tayce St. Pierre and Tyus LaMere, as well as sophomores Gabe Saddler, Jayden Gopher and King Ragged Robe, Box Elder is one of the most experienced teams back this winter. Still, MacDonald knows full well how tough the 9C will be again.

“I think Fort Benton and Chinook should be favored with the recent success they've had and the returning talent coming back,” he said. “Big Sandy is going to be physical and had a good run last season. Box Elder, HLP, North Star, CJI, and Turner will be looking to compete with the programs that represented 9C at Four Seasons last year.” This year, however, will be different, and with the season yet to get underway due to the pandemic, health and safety is foremost in MacDonald’s mind as the Bears prepare to take the floor. “Our first goal is to try and ensure player, community and public safety while providing student-athletes an extracurricular activity during a pandemic," he said. “As our competitive nature kicks in we will expect to make an effort to keep getting better as the season progresses with a goal of playing our best basketball when tourney time kicks in.”

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Last year, Malique Rosette and the Box Elder boys were a young a n d i n ex p e r i e n c e d t e a m i n Jeremy MacDonald's return to the helm. But in 2021, the Bears will be much more experienced to go along with wealth of talent and depth they have.


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Tornadoes will be dangerous Turner boys stepping up George Ferguson

Havre Daily News sports editor gferguson@havredailynews.com

The Turner Tornadoes have had some exciting moments at the District 9C tournament in recent years. But when it comes to the next level, the Tornadoes just can’t seem to quite get over the hump. And yet, with a new season arriving, Turner does have a wealth of talent, and

will look to make strides in the 9C. Veteran senior Shane Kimmel has been one of the top scorers in the 9C the last couple of years, and he is back for one more season. Austin Welsh, Jack Harmon and Trever Kimmel will also be key starters for the Tornadoes, while Shay Humphreys will be counted on as well. Yes, Turner once again has some firepower, as second-year head coach Dylan

Welsh, a former Turner star himself, tries to take the Tornadoes out of the 9C and to Great Falls for the first time in a long time. Of course, with powerhouses like Fort Benton and Chinook, and only three spots up for grabs at the 9C tourney, things won’t be easy. But, as always, the Tornadoes will battle and never quit, and, with the talent they return, they’ll certainly be exciting to watch.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Brooke Reed, right, and the Turner girls have made it to three straight Northern C tournament, and last year, played for the District 9C championship.

George Ferguson

Havre Daily News sports editor gferguson@havredailynews.com

The last four years have been extremely special for Turner girls basketball. The Tornadoes have truly been on a magic carpet ride, that has taken them to heights not seen in Turner in two decades. In fact, Turner has been to the Northern C three years in a row, and last season, played for a 9C championship. And, the Tornadoes are hoping the fun doesn’t end. Graduation has seen some key players leave the program recently, but, Turner should still be a top team again in 2021. “Shyan Krass is one of our key scorers inside along with a deadly 3-point shot and her defense and rebounds will be tough for the opponents,” Turner head coach Julie Welsh said. “Brandy Calvert,

also a senior, has always been a tough defender inside and has a level head to help with our press break. Brooke Reed, the third senior is tough inside and out. She too gets many rebounds and can shoot from anywhere on the court. My returning junior Laci Maloney, will be taking on a tough job of being a point guard. She is very well rounded and can play several positions on the court. She shoots well from 3-point range or inside and does well when given a tough opponent to guard. Dakota Krass is the lone sophomore that has really developed into a multi-spot player also. She too will be key to help with press breaks, but she is fast and hard nosed on the defensive end as well. We look to see her as a double digit scorer this season. The next girl off the bench is Emma Timmons. She got several minutes last season as an

eighth grader and is a very gritty player with solid fundamentals. We will definitely benefit from her scoring and outstanding hustle.” So, Turner should be very tough again this season, and while the 9C will always be strong, the Tornadoes have high expectations once again. “Hopeful that we are allowed to have a complete season,” Welsh said. “Young athletes work hard all year to get better for their specific sport and I hope that we all get to enjoy playing the game we love. I think we again will have some pretty good competition in the 9C like we always do. I think Turner will be in the top three for our district. After coming out last season in second place in the 9C tournament, we are looking to get another chance at a championship trophy and a fourth trip to the divisional tournament in Great Falls.”

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Shane Kimmel and the Turner boys have a wealth of experience coming back in the upcoming District 9C season.

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North Star boys will Knights will be dangerous always be a 9C contender George Ferguson

Havre Daily News sports editor

gferguson@havredailynews.com

George Ferguson

The North Star girls came up short last season in their bid to make a return trip to the Northern C. The Knights were really good, and they got really close. Now, they’re hoping, with a veteran team full of returning talent, that they’ll take the next step. “We will be returning our same team from last year,” head coach Jennifer Wendland said. “We gained a junior and will have enough to have both Varsity and JV. We have a talented hard working group of girls.” Talented and deep. North Star brings back seniors Shayla Borlaug and Kenidee

Havre Daily News sports editor gferguson@havredailynews.com

Always a stalwart in the District 9C, the North Star boys will have anew look this season, as in a new head coach. Former Knight Karston Donoven steps into the head role after Cody Donoven decided to step down as North Star’s coach, and Donoven should do big things with the Knights this season. “We have a great group of boys this year that are like family,” Donoven said. “One of our strengths with this group is that they know the game well and have a high basketball IQ which allows them to make smart decisions and pick up on things quickly. The other thing that I love about this team is that they have a blue-collar mentality and are always willing to be scrappy and work hard throughout the course of each game.” The Knights do return a core group, led by veteran senior Payne Ditmar. Jaden Sargent and Rhett Wolery, along with Garrett and Gavin Spicher are also key returnees for the Knights, while Donoven noted that, the Knights have a big group of sophomores and underclassmen who will provide new roles and depth for the Knights, who are looking to keep pace in the 9C with top teams like Fort Benton, Chinook and Big Sandy. “The 9C is going to be a highly competitive district with some great teams in it,” Donoven said. “We will have to come ready to play every night due to the fact that every team is talented and there definitely won't be any easy games.” No, there won’t be easy games, and a season played out during the coronavirus

Wolery, junior All-Stater Jade Wendland, sophomores Laynie Sattoriva, Rainee Watson and Kaitlyn Domire, all who were key contributors last season. “We are a quick team with some depth this year,” Coach Wendland said. We should have a nice balance of inside and outside game. We will also be able to change things up on defense throughout the game.” North Star will be good, there’s no doubt. But, the Knights also battle in the very tough 9C. However, they’re also a big reason why the league is as tough as it is. “It's going to be a tight conference and as we know

from last year anything can happen at tournaments,” Coach Wendland said, “Being a top-place team coming into the tournament doesn’t really matter if you don’t show up to play at the tournament. So in reality the teams that show up to play will win. After our disappointing districts last year, we are determined to come in and prove ourselves. With the 9C being so tough, once we get out of there and onto divisionals…anything is possible. We just need to compete each and every game. Just play hard and stay focused. We do those little things one game at a time and big things will happen for our girls.”

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Jaden Sargent and the North Star Knights made a strong run last season. Now, under new head coach, and former Knight Karston Donoven, the Knights know they have the talent to go even deeper this coming season.

will be a challenge as well. But, the Knights are ready to take on those challenges, and Donoven is excited to lead them. “Every team in the district, or state for that matter comes into the season with

the same goal,” Donoven said. “But our main focus this year is the commitment to that goal and to work hard every day to become the best possible version of ourselves and our team that we can be.”

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Kenidee Wolery and the North Star girls were disappointed with how their season ended a year ago. Now, however, the Knights return their whole team, and have a ton of experience and depth, which should make them one of the team's to beat in the District 9C once again.


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Fort Benton girls look for four, and more George Ferguson

Havre Daily News sports editor

It’s hard to describe the run the run the Fort Benton girls basketball team has been on of late. Three straight District 9C championships, and tons of success at the Northern C are at the top of the list. And while the Longhorns will be really good again this season, they have one goal they need to achieve — finally making it to the state tournament. And they certainly have the team to do it. Class C All-Stater Aspen Giese is back for her senior year, and overall, the Longhorns return a ton of experience, including Maci Molinario and Abby Clark, two more starters. Add to that Emmerson Giese, Ashlee Wang, Samantha Vielleux and Cloe Kalanic, and the Longhorns not only have experience, but, they have depth, too. “Girls that have been playing together for a long time and depth with our bench,” longtime head coach Cassie Pimperton said of the strengths of her team. “Hard workers.” Depth will carry the Longhorns a long way this season, but, it’s always tough in the 9C. “It will be competitive yet again, with teams returning alot of players from last year that have another year of experience under their belts,” Pimperton said of what is always one of the toughest districts in all of Class C girls basketball. And while the district and the Northern C are always a gauntlet, Fort Benton is one of the biggest reasons why

Havre Daily News sports editor gferguson@havredailynews.com

it is so difficult, year in and year out. “Our goals are to be playing our best basketball and be at full strength at tourney time,” Pimperton said. “And not be settling with divisionals but be hungry for more.”

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Maci Molinario and the Fo r t B e n t o n g i r l s a r e g o i n g fo r t h e i r fo u r t h straight District 9C championship this winter.

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Longhorns aim to stampede the 9C George Ferguson

gferguson@havredailynews.com

2020-2021

If there is a giant force in the District 9C right now, it is no doubt the Fort Benton Longhorns. It had been building for a while, and last year, it culminated with the Longhorns rolling to the 9C and Northern C championships. And while the Horns of longtime head coach Tyler Pasha, did lose a star player in Garrett Diekhans, among others, Fort Benton returns more than enough firepower to be considered not just a 9C favorite again this year, but, perhaps one of the top teams in all of Class C hoops. The Longhorns return senior Hayden Diekhans, a two-time All-State selection who is headed to Montana Tech, as well as senior Jace Thompson, an All-Conference performer a year ago. Senior Billy Ullery and junior Devin Bird are key pieces to the puzzle as well, while Pasha also has young guys waiting in the wings. “I think the strengths of this team is the balance and depth that we will have. We have 9-10 kids ready to see action that are juniors and seniors. Senior leadership will prove to be the difference,” Pasha noted. Yes, depth is big, and the Longhorns have it. Of course, they have talent, too. But, Pasha knows not to underestimate the 9C as a whole, and he says the league, will be strong once again. “I think the 9C has been one of the toughest districts in our division for a long time and this year should be no different,” he said. “Chinook brings back a great set

of core players as well as Box Elder and Hays. Turner North Star Big Sandy and CJI have a lot of potential making every week a tough few days.” Every night will be tough in the 9C, especially in what will be a compact and challenging season due to the coronavirus. But, at the end of the day, Fort Benton is still the team to beat. “Our first goal for the sea-

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Hawks are on the rise

son is to win our first game,” Pasha said. “That’s where it starts. Need to make sure we are competing at a high level every single game because you never know with this pandemic when the last game could be. Really hoping we can make it the entire season, and as long as everyone has the same goal which is to keep these kids playing I think it will be a great year.”

December 2020

Young CJI boys ready to build George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor gferguson@havredailynews.com

The Chester-Joplin-Inverness boys have always been a program that loves its basketball. And, this season will be no different. However, the Hawks also enter 2021 with a young team, according to head coach Joe Horel.

“Graduation took three of our starters from last year,” Horel said. “This year’s team will consist of one senior, five juniors, two sophomores, five freshman and an eighth grader…this will be a building year for the Hawks.” Lane Fischer will be the veteran presence for the Hawks this season, while Kyle Harmon and Bryce

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Ghekiere will be big contributors, as well. And while Horel knows the 9C is an uphill battle, he’s looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead. “The District 9C will have a lot of talent this year and we will have a head wind with every team we play,” he said. “Teamwork and execution will be a must for us to compete.”

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Tatum Hull and the Chester-Joplin-Inverness girls basketball team went on a great run in the 9C tournament last season. Now, the Hawks are looking to go even further this winter.

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

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Jace Thompson and the Fort Benton Longhorns are looking to repeat as District 9C and Northern C champions.

The Chester-JoplinInevrness girls basketball program has always been strong. But keeping up in the tough District 9C is never easy. However, under head coach Joel Steinmentz, the Hawks have a deep and talented roster, and are ready to battle it out in the tough 9C this winter. CJI will be led by seniors Molly Nelson and

Emma Wickum, as well as All-Stater Tatum Hull. Junior Averie Mattson is a returning starter as well, while Rhiannon Cole, returners Aaliyah Standiford and Haddie Woods and a big group of freshmen and eighth graders give CJI a lot of depth and firepower to work with this season. “Work ethic and attention to detail comprise the main strength of these outstanding athletes so that we may have an opportunity to play against these other

wonderful teams in 9C,” Steinmentz said. “We are grateful for the opportunity.” The 9C, however, is tough, but, the Hawks should be a team on the rise this season. “Challenging competition throughout the 9C will have all teams doing their best to achieve a desired goal, to win.” Steinmetz said. “(Our goals) are for these wonderful girls` to have fun, enjoy learning, and compete to achieve a new paradigm shift in their talent.”

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson After reaching the District 9C consolation game a year ago, the Chester-JopinInverness Hawks were hit hard by graduation, and will have a young, but talented team this winter.


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Rocky Boy basketball is as strong as ever Gopher, both of whom are playing college basketball now. Still, senior Kirsten LaMere is back to lead a younger, but talented Rocky Boy team. Cody Henderson, Ella Moore, Tanille Standing Rock, Jour’Day Coffee and J’Leanna Raining Bird will make up the core of the Morning Stars squad, while a talented group of freshmen will also be called upon. As always, the 2B will be a gauntlet again, with Fairfield, Shelby and Cut Bank all posing strong teams, while the Northern C will also feature star-studded teams from Harlem, Malta, Wolf Point and Glasgow. Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Left: Rocky Boy's Sean Gibson is one of a host of talented retur ners for the Stars. The Rocky Boy boys have been a dominant force in the District 1B, and are a fixture at the Class B state tournament over t h e ye a r s a s we l l . B e l ow : Kirsten LaMere will be a key leader of what will be a Rocky Boy girls team mixed with veterans and freshmen this season. The Morning Stars also have to battle in the difficult District 1B, but, every year, they are always up to the challenge.

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

It took some time, but, more than a decade since moving up to Class B, the Rocky Boy boys and girls basketball teams have become staples of consistency, especially in the always-tough District 1B. The Rocky Boy boys, of head coach Adam Demontiney, have been to the Class B state tournament for four straight years, and have played on Saturday night in two of the last three. The Stars very well could have been playing on Saturday night at last season’s state tourney, if the final day hadn’t been called off due to COVID-19. And Rocky Boy doesn’t want to see its impressive run end. No, with plenty of talent returning for

the Stars this season, including standouts like Ben Crebs, Joe Joe Demontiney, Sean Gibson, Kellen Colliflower, Nacona Limberhand, and many more, the Stars will certainly be a force to be reckoned with this season. In the 1B, Rocky Boy will battle star-studded teams from Shelby and Fairfield for the top spot, while the Northern C Divisional will also feature talented squads from Wolf Point, Harlem, and Malta to name a few. Still, while making it to state won’t be easy, the Stars have a team that’s built for just that, a great postseason run. The Rocky Boy girls are also in a good spot coming into the new season. Head coach Rick Hall does inherit a team that lost some outstanding talent last season, including Sasha Coffee and Jaynah

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Big Sandy boys poised for another big run George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor gferguson@havredailynews.com Like so many District 9C teams, last season was beyond fun for the Big Sandy boys. After a long drought, the Pioneers made it back to the Northern C, but, it didn’t end there. Big Sandy made the most of its trip to Great Falls with a run to the championship game, and one win away from going to state for the first time in 10 seasons. Yes, last march was special, but, Big Sandy and head coach Thomas Dilworth don't want it to end there. No, with a new season finally set to begin, the Pioneers are hoping to remain a team to beat in the 9C. “Our strengths this year are definitely our quickness and speed but also our basketball IQ,” Dilworth said. “We have a lot of smart basketball players this year that really study the game and they have put a lot of time in this offseason. They're a young but highly intelligent group of young men.” Indeed. The Pioneers will be young after graduation took its toll, But, they are led by Kade Strutz and younger brother Kody Strutz is also back, while sophomore Brayden Cline, and freshman Lane Demontiney are two more players Dilworth thinks will be key to the Pioneers’ run this season. “Our main team goal this year is to get back to the divisional tournaments. We're a young team so this is a pretty lofty goal for this team but getting there last year was a huge accomplishment for those seniors that worked for three years to get there,” Dilworth said. “It sparked a fire in our freshman and sophomores, being

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Pioneers aim to keep improving George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor gferguson@havredailynews.com

It’s been a tough go for the Big Sandy girls basketball team in recent years. And after graduating a big group of seniors last spring, things will be tough again this winter.

Still, the Pioneers will do what they always do, and that’s put up a tough fight. They’ll be led by the likes of Amiya Griffith, Madison Terry and Amy Gasvoda among others, but, the Pioneers will also be a young team too. And being young will be difficult in a league that fea-

tures star squads from Fort Benton, North Star, Turner, Hays-Lodge Pole, and more. Yes, the 9C is no picnic, and it’s even tougher for a young team like the Pioneers will be this winter. And yet, as Big Sandy does each and every season, they will fight hard yet again this winter season.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Kody Strutz and the Big Sandy boys are looking to build upon last year's incredible postseason run. one win short of going to the state tournament has been a big motivator this offseason. We expect to take some tough losses through the regular season but those tough losses are the best teachers and motivators. After last year our kids have finally bought in and trust the process, but our biggest challenge this year will be coming together as a team. We've got a lot of young great individual talent that needs to be humbled a bit and focused on the right things but once we get there I think this team can compete with anyone.” The Pioneers are ready to battle, but, as always, the 9C will be a gauntlet. “I'm really looking forward to the competition in the 9C this year, I think it's gonna be very competitive

across the board from the top down,” Dilworth said. “Obviously, Chinook and Fort Benton are kinda "the gold standard" of the 9c right now and have to be the preseason favorites, but Box Elder is gonna be an exciting team to watch play who I think maybe has the best shot at knocking off a Fort Benton or Chinook. I like our chances to make a run towards the end of the season but we're gonna have some tough games early on that will either break us or build us depending on how the kids handle getting pounded on. I wouldn't look past CJI this year either, their new coach has that team turned around and headed in the right direction and they have some exceptional young talent. It’s going to be an exciting season.”

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson The Big Sandy girls basketball team has had a tough time in the District 9C as of late. But the Pioneers never give up and always fight hard.


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HLP girls look to keep T-Birds have the talent to soar rising after last year's special season George Ferguson

Havre Daily News sports editor

gferguson@havredailynews.com

It’s a new year for HaysLodge Pole boys basketball, and the Thunderbirds have anew head coach, as well. Longtime head coach Derek Shambo has moved on, so former HLP girls standout Shakayla Whitecow will take over the program. And Whitecow inherits yet another talented Hays team. The T-Birds have been strong in the 9C for many years, and this season should

George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor gferguson@havredailynews.com Last postseason was a dream come true for the Hays-Lodge Pole Thunderbirds. After more than a decade of struggle, the HLP girls turned everything around. Yes, HLP, under longtime head coach Cory Morgan, not only posted a winning record in the 9C, but the T-Birds advanced to the Northern C for the first time since 1992, and came within another game of making it all the way to the Class C state tournament. Now the question is, can the T-Birds keep it going? With a lot of firepower returning, HLP just might. Back from last year’s squad are seniors Kassi Perez, Sierra Chandler, Justice Werk, Ella Messerly, juniors Jaedyn Chandler, Lakota Prettypaint, Judemia Gray, sophomores Nashone Shambo, Shaunte Hawley, Aubrey Chandler and Janine Hastheeagle, while freshmen Alliya Prettypaint and Destini The Boy are expected to have an impact on what is a deep and talented HLP team. “I think experience and team chemistry (are our strengths),” Morgan noted. Indeed. The T-Birds are good. But so is the 9C, and that makes what they did last year so impressive. But, Morgan also knows, the 9C will once again be tough. “With everything that is going on, it's going to come down to whose team is performing well during tournaments,” Morgan said. Everything going on is in reference to the ongoing

be no different, though Whitecow knows how tough the league always is. “We're not underestimating anybody and we think it'll be a fun year for all of us,” she said. “Our goal is to compete and show everyone what we're capable of. We're excited.” HLP should be tainted, too. The T-Birds have a deep team, with plenty of returners, including Estevan Granados, Isaiah Denny, Daniel Henry, Brandon Castillo, William Hughes, Avery Boe Jr., Devontae Sul-

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Beeters are loaded yet again

livan, Henry Ironchild, Jacoby Ball, Jess King, Kaleb Walker, Michael Roper, Tylon Mount, William Has The Eagle, Josiah Runsabove, Julius Ball and RJ Blackcrow. With all of that firepower, HLP is ready to battle it out this winter. “Adjusting well under a new coaching staff, they're working hard and willing to learn,” Whitecow said. “These kids are great, we're just here to help them fulfil their potential as student athletes.”

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Young Chinook girls look to battle for top 9C spots George Ferguson

Havre Daily News sports editor gferguson@havredailynews.com

It’s no secret that, over the last five years, the District 9C has been dominated by the Fort Benton and Box Elder girls. There has been little room for anyone else to have success. Yet, there was a time when the Chinook Sugarbeeters were the team to beat in the 9C, and under second-year head coach Mike Jones, he’s trying to get the Beeters back to that level. Last season was certainly a struggle for the Beeters,

but, they return key seniors Jade Cecerle, Jayden Miller and Lilly Surber, while Jones also said freshman Halle Neibauer and Britton Elliot will step up to the varsity plate this season. With that, though, Jones said, Chinook will be a young team this winter. “We are going to be young this year, but we will be able to fill some key roles,” Jones said. “I like our ability so far to attack the basket or find open shooters.” As for the upcoming season, Chinook is hoping to upend, or be in the top tier

of the 9C, and while the season will be a crazy one, the Beeters have plenty of goals. “The 9C is going to be tough again. We always have good players and teams. Then we filter into arguably one of the best divisions in the state. I think the 9C is tough and will be very competitive,” he said. “We want to get better every day, so that when tournament time comes we can make a run through the district tournament. Our girls always have a goal of winning home games, then the regular season, and place at districts.”

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Reese Elliot and the Chinook Sugarbeeters have been a top District 9C team for years now, and that won't change this season.

George Ferguson

Havre Daily News sports editor gferguson@havredailynews.com

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Hays-Lodge Pole's Nashone Shambo is one of many top returners for the Thunderbirds, who made it to the Northern C for the first time in two decades last season. And HLP should be one of the top teams in the 9C again this winter. pandemic, which delayed the start of basketball season to January. So, with that in mind, Morgan said he hopes his T-Birds can finish in the top three at the 9C again,

but, safety is of the utmost important. “Our goals this season is to get out of districts, be consistent, safe and healthy,” Morgan said.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Hays-Lodge Pole's Estevan Granados passes the ball during a District 9C game last February. The Thunderbirds have a new head coach this season in former HLP standout Shakayla Whitecow.

When it comes to consistency in the District 9C, the Chinook Sugarbeeters have been the standard. For years now, the Beeters, under veteran head coach Mike Seymour, have become a winner, season after season. And while Chinook has lost some very good players in recently years to graduation, there’s no reason to think the winning won’t continue. Chinook comes into the new season led by a talented senior class, with All-Staters Ethan Bell and Reese Elliot, as well as Benton Elliot, Ethan MacLeod and Damon Hannum. Add to that juniors Toby Niederegger, Oskar Pula and Braeden Eoof, and Chinook is not just talented and deep this season, but ex-

perienced, too. “The team is working very hard and I like the energy they are bringing to practice,” Seymour said. “I feel like our biggest strength is that our players have a tremendous amount of experience as they played key roles on last year's team as we only graduated one senior. I've coached these five seniors since they were fifthgraders and our familiarity with each other will help us be successful on the court.” Indeed. Chinook should be one of the teams to beat in the 9C, and the Northern C this season. But, as Seymour knows better than anyone, nothing in the 9C is a given. It’s as tough a league as there is, and it will be again this winter. And yet, Chinook is a huge reason why the conference is always as good as it is. “The 9C is always a com-

petitive conference.” Seymour said. “I think that Fort Benton is the favorite to win the conference as they are the defending champions and have a solid nucleus of players returning. I think that Big Sandy could be a very competitive team as they went on an impressive run at the Divisional Tournament last year. Both of these schools made it deep into the football playoffs this year and I feel like that gives their kids confidence in each other going into the basketball season. “My biggest expectation is that we work hard everyday in practice and improve game to game while playing our best basketball at the end of the season,” he added. “We always have high expectations of winning and expectations of being competitive in each game we play.”

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Jade Cecerle is one of three returning seniors for the Chinook Sugarbeeters girls basketball team. The Beeters, overall, are young again this season, but they still will fight to get to the top of the District 9C.


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January 2 February 6 February 19 March 5-6

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Hardin, Billings Central CMR, Great Falls High, Hardin CMR, Great Falls High State

12:00 p.m. TBD

Havre Virtual

TBD TBD

Great Falls TBD

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Havre swimmers will dive into an unusual 2021 season

Aarron Thompson Havre Daily News

With the fall sports season seeing completions throughout the different sports, there was a lot of hope for the 2020-2021 winter sports season to go forth. After the Montana High School Association worked to provide set guidelines for the different sports, shaking the normal up a bit, one of the sports that is feeling it the most this season is the Havre High swim team. The Blue Ponies will be back in the water, as there is no question there, but there will be plenty of different looks to the season. After pushing through a tough year in the 2019-2020 season, HHS will be excited to compete at the very least, even though COVID-19 has certainly changed some things up. And Havre head coach Bill Kilgore has a lot of faith in both his veterans and newcomers to the team. “I can tell you that we have strong leadership from our senior girls for sure and some newcomers with a little bit of experience,” Kilgore said. As for the roster this year, there will be swimmers returning to the pool like Megan Miller, Blakelee Lines, Brigham Blackwell and Hiram Cammon. This season, the Ponies will have a lot of meets done in their home pool, but not alongside opposing teams. Jan. 2 sees Hardin and Billings Central competing against Havre in Havre and Noon, Feb. 6 has CMR, Great Falls and Hardin going up against one another in a virtual meet, Feb. 19 is the usual yearly Great Falls and CMR meet with the Ponies headed to Great Falls and the Class A State Swim Meet will be March 5-6 at a to-be-determined time and location. The schedule seems very short

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Havre's Blakelee Lines touches the wall during the 2019 Havre Invitational last December. There was no Havre Invite due to COVID-19, as the start of winter sports was delayed until January. But the talented Blue Pony swim teams are still excited to hit the water. on paper, but Kilgore explained the purpose of virtual meets and how they impact the year. “The toughest meet is a good

question,” Kilgore said. “I'm not sure what this season is going to look like because the majority of our meets look like they'll be vir-

tual. We'll swim in our pool the other team swim in theirs we compare times. Both pools have officials to validate times

and and will and

rules.” The majority of the schedule is full of opponents that have really pushed Havre’s limits in recent years. CMR and Great Falls are tough AA schools with strong swim programs. Both schools competed with Havre at the beginning of the 2019-2020 season, with the schools from the Electric City taking the top two places. It will be another season with the Ponies taking on some rough waves, whether in-person or virtually. As for Class A opponents, Billings Central and Hardin are two of the most prominent programs in the Eastern A. The Rams develop very tough and fast swimmers, while the Bulldogs are known for having a swim team that will stick with their opponents to the very end, proving their endurance and effort as a program. With those two teams joining the fray once more, Havre is going to be battling against some powerful competition once again for the 2020-2021 season. The teams that the Ponies face this season will be a challenge, but Kilgore knows that COVID-19 will always be lurking around the corner as the season progresses. “The COVID-19 protocols are ever changing, but the most difficult challenge will be to overcome any quarantine we may face,” Kilgore said. “Going 10-14 days out of the pool in the middle of the season is not an ideal situation to be sure, but we will do our best to adapt and overcome any of the challenges faced.” With the season starting in the beginning of January, the Havre High swim team will be ready to go up against Eastern A opponents in Billings Central and Hardin at the Havre Community Pool Jan. 2 at 12 p.m. for the first meet in a very different looking season.

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Bears have the firepower to return to the top of the 9C George Ferguson

Havre Daily News sports editor gferguson@havredailynews.com

The Box Elder Bears were a girls basketball dynasty in the District 9C, culminating with back-to-back Class C state championships. Things however, do come to an end, and now, Box Elder is trying to find its way back to the top of the district. And after a young Bears’ team battled last season, head coach Jerome Gopher does return plenty of talent and experience this season. Box Elder will be led by Breanna Bacon, Annalise Johnson, Brielle SunChild, Tayleigh SunChild, Kendra Gopher and Makaela Kelly, all returnees, while Kyla Momberg and Angela Gopher return back to Box Elder for their junior seasons. Nefferti Standing Rock, Abria Smallboy, Meiyah Sutherland and Mariah Arkinson are expected to step up for the Bears as well. “Our strength this year will be our depth and athleticism,” Gopher said. “We have multiple girls that can play multiple positions. They’re just excited to get out there and play.” Box Elder should be very exciting to watch this season, and will battle the likes of Fort Benton, North Star,

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Annalise Johnson is part of a talented Box Elder girls team that is poised to return to the top of the District 9C. Turner and Hays-Lodge Pole in the upper tier of 9C teams. “Last year, we fell one game short of getting to divisional’s,” Gopher said. “Our girls are hungry and want to make up for that fourth-place finish. The 9C is gonna be an interesting one this year. We have some pretty good teams in our district, teams like Fort Benton, North Star, Hays-Lodge Pole and Turner. Fort Benton has won 9C three years in a row and will defi-

nitely be the team to beat. I do believe our girls will go out and compete every night with all of those teams. “Our goal is to just go out and compete every night,” Gopher added. “Of course we want to win our district. We just have to take it one game at a time. We have a group of eight juniors that will be taking on that leadership role. A few of them have played a lot of games outside of 9C and are looking forward to playing Lady Bear basketball.”

Area wrestling will be different George Ferguson

Havre Daily News sports editor gferguson@havredailynews.com

The coronavirus will still be front and center when Class B-C wrestling gets underway. And that has caused some changes for the upcoming season, the biggest of which, will be no All-Class State Tournament in Billings in February, as well as the postseason moved all the way to March. Another big change will be, girls wrestling which will be its own sport this season. So, no doubt, with everything going on, wrestling will look and feel different. What won’t be different this season is, how big and exciting wrestling is on the Hi-Line. Chinook, led by longtime head coach Perry Miller, will be chasing a Class C trophy

once again. The Beeters finished an outstanding third in the C standings last season, and return some strong competitors. Another team to watch out for this season will be the co-op from Fort Benton/Big Sandy. The team scored 36 points and the state tournament last season, and strong wrestlers like Hayden Axtman are back. Harlem will battle this season as well, with a new head coach, as the lege3ndary Lyle Faulkinberry has retired for a second time, while CJI hopes to be a part of the action as well. Also different this season will be, tournaments are not allowed. So big events like the Havre Invitational and CMR Clasic are off the table, meaning duals and mixers will make up the regular season.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Due to the coronavirus, it will be an unusual wrestling season for the Chinook Sugarbeeters and all area high school wrest l i n g t e a m s , i n cl u d i n g state not being held until March.

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January 2 January 8 January 9 January 16 January 22-23 January 30 February 6 February 9 February 13 February 26-27 March 5-6

Custer County East Helena Glasgow Cut Bank Hardin Park Fergus Hardin East vs. West Lockwood East Helena Custer County Sidney Glasgow Cut Bank? Fergus Billings Central Divisionals State

12:00 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 4:00 p.m. 8:00 p.m. 11:00 a.m. 1:00 p.m. 10:00 a.m. 2:00 p.m. TBD 12:00 p.m. 4:00 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m. 8:00 p.m.? 9:00 a.m. 3:00 p.m. TBD TBD

Miles City Glasgow Livingston Havre Lewistown East Helena Sidney Havre Havre Sidney TBD

Pony wrestlers excited to finally hit the mats Aarron Thompson Havre Daily News

The mat is laid out and ready once again for the 2021 winter sports season, with programs, including the Havre High wrestling team, ready to compete for another shot at a great season. There is a lot for the Blue Ponies to look forward to this year, but there is a lot of uncertainty from COVID-19 at the same time. Either way, Havre will look to give it it’s all once more. Last season, the Ponies made a lot of progress on the mat, pushing plenty of grapplers to the 2020 Class A State Tournament, where nowgraduated Connor Harris and now-junior Orion Thivierge, who will be returning to the mat for another shot at a state title, were crowned state champions in their respective weight-classes. It was a good season for HHS and it will look to replicate that success and heighten it this season. And Havre head coach Beau LaSalle is very glad to be back on the mat for the 2020-2021 season. “It’s kind of getting to be that part where you hear

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it from every coach and it sounds like a broken record, but it’s just a day-by-day thing,” LaSalle said. “We’re excited to get the opportunity to have a season and compete. Returners to the mat for Havre include seniors Mick Chagnon and Hunter Velk, juniors Riley Pleninger, Kendall Pleninger, Thivierge, Dominick Perkins, Randy Tommerup, Wyatt Hanson and Shawn Rowlatt and sophomores Kale VanCampen and Zale Thomas. Newcomers to the Blue Pony grapplers are Alliyah Stiffarm, Maleigha Fuzesy, Daniel Edmonds, Braydon Knoles, Clara Laird, Jacob Kunz, Andrew LaRoque, Landon Caplette, Tristan Stygles, Carson Harris, Mason Wilting, Brisbin Reiter, Brooklyn Neslon and Jerry Kirkaldie. Plenty of things will be different about this season, too, including the Blue Ponies having a girls team, an all-dual schedule, and no AllClass State Tournament. The schedule will have the Ponies wrestlng duals in Miles City, Glasgow, Livingston, Lewistown, East Helena and Sidney. Havre has three home

duals scheduled, one on Jan. 16, and duals on Feb. 9 and 13. The divisonal tournament is set for Feb. 26 in Sidney, the pushed back state tourney will be held March 5-6 at a site yet to be determined. “I think the toughest thing for us, and it’s no different then what basketball does every year, we are competing mostly against the Eastern A,” LaSalle said. “There’s some long road trips along the way. It’s just a little bit different for us as far as week in and week out type of thing. Most of the time we’re on the road a lot and all over the state. It’ll make the weekends a little bit shorter but packed into one day. The nice thing out of it is that we get to compete at home a bit more. We got some good dates scheduled for home, so it’ll be nice to be in our own gyms and sleep in our own beds. We don’t get to do that usually.” Havre is set to open the season Jan. 2 in Miles City with duals against Miles City and East Helena. Again, there are no tournaments allowed this season, so the Blue Ponies won't get to host their season-opening Havre Invitational.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Mick Chagnon, right, and the Havre Blue Pony wrestling team is ready for their longawaited new season. The season as delayed due to COVID-19, but is expected to start Jan. 2.


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