By George Ferguson/Havre Daily News Sportsfirstname.lastname@example.org
The cream of the crop in Montana high school basketball will gather this weekend in Malta for the annual Hi-Line Invitational boy's basketball tournament.
The annual event, affectionately known as the HIT, is put on by longtime basketball devotee Babes Bishop and will get under way tonight at 5:30 p.m. at the Malta High Gymnasium.
The tournament will feature high school players from across the state of Montana and the teams are comprised of all-stars from each level of classification.
Havre native Cory Brothers will headline a Class A team that features Browning's Kellen Hall, Lewistown's Nate Evans and Derek Taylor, Libby's Kyle Stantus and Aaron Sutton, J.D. Knox of Whitefish, Pat Bailey of Billings Central and Austin Dawes of Hardin. The Class A all-stars will be coached by Kent Paulson of Whitefish and Rollie Sullivan of Sidney.
The Hi-Line will also be well represented on the Class B squad. Harlem stars' Chris Cole, Colby Fetter and Jim Kennedy headline a very talented Class B team that will be coached by Mike Woodman and John Sillitti of Manhattan. The B squad will also feature the Class B state tournament MVP in Cut Bank junior Keithan Gregg, as well as Sam Brelje of Glasgow and Mark Slade of Malta. The rest of the class B stars are David Burdett of Manhattan, Eric Lawrence of Forsyth and Chad Meyers and Luke Redman of Troy.
Big Sandy's Jay Jamieson and Hays-Lodge Pole's Nathan Martin will head up a very talented Class C all-star team that will be coached by Robin Bogar of Joilet. The Class C stars will also feature the state of Montana's leading scorer from the 2003 season in Plenty Coup's Garren Goes Ahead. The rest of the C team features Derrick Johnson of Fairview, Cole Thornton of Lambert, Aspen Kuhen of Ekalaka, Kirby Dengal of Grass Range, Nick Burgess of Ryegate, Ty McDonald of Geyser and Luke Klompin of Manhatten Christian.
The Class AA team is a virtual who's who of Montana high school basketball players. Nick Dissly, who is the MVP of the state champion Bozeman Hawks, will be joined by Bozeman teammate Chris Townley. The AA all-stars will also feature the leading scorer in Class AA this past season in Brian Lynch as well as Bison teammate and MSU-Northern recruit Cody Gillespie. CMR standout Jason Goodman and teammate Zach Danelson will be joined by Kalispell star Colter Smith to round out the AA squad. The AA all-stars will be coached by Tom Storm of Ulm and Roger Hatler of Cascade.
The tournament will be a round robin event with each team guaranteed four games. Tonight's session will begin at 5:30 p.m. and games will follow at 7 and 8:30 p.m. Friday night's session will follow the same schedule as Thursday. Saturday night's final session will begin at 6 p.m. with the three-point and slam dunk contests. The consolation game will tip off at 7 p.m. and the championship game will start at 8:30 p.m.