By Ryan Divish/Havre Daily News Sports Editoremail@example.com
For people still needing a high school hoop fix, there is still hope. The 19th annual Hi-Line Invitational Tournament will tip-off today at 2 p.m., signaling three straight days of quality high school basketball.
Long-time Montana hoops aficionado Babes Bishop has once again assembled a top crop of high school talent from each classification. However, this year there is an added twist as Bishop has added a girls tournament to go with the already successful boys tourney.
The girls tournament will have a local feel as Havre High seniors Amy McLain and Justine Erhard will compete for the Class A all-star squad, which will be coached by HHS head coach Jason Wirt. Joining McLain and Erhard is rival Alira Carpenter from Lewistown. Carpenter averaged more than 20 points per game, helping lead the Eagles to yet another Class A state championship.
Also on the Class A girls team is perhaps the best player in Class A and possibly in the tournament in Billings Central's Jenny Heringer. The 5-11 Heringer led BC to a third-place finish at state and has signed to play collegiately at Montana State. Also on the Class A is one of Wirt's former Ronan players in all-state guard Jamie Lake as well as scintillating freshman Ali Hurley of Anaconda.
The Class AA girls team will also feature a loaded squad with a definite Great Falls flavor. Three players - Kelsie Hopkins, Shantell Marquis and Kassie Holmlund - from CMR. Both Hopkins and Marquis are all-state players, while Holmlund is an all-conference guard. Great Falls High will send all-state guard Sam Schermele, who recently signed with UM-Western, along with Kirilynn Winkler.
The AA girls will also have solid size up front as Bozeman's two 6-1 post players, Brittney Lohman and Jeni Guertin will be on the squad. Billings Senior's all-state forward Jetton Meadors will also play for AA.
The Class B squad is loaded with all-state players led by Malta's sterling sophomore Kelly Pankratz, who averaged more than 18 points a game this season for the M-Ettes. Joining Pankratz are teammates Roshon Nordlund, who recently signed with Miles Community College and promising freshman Laramie Schwenke.
Also on the Class B squad are all-staters Alysa Brown of Fairfield, Amy DeGroot of Missoula Loyola, Cali Buck of Choteau, Tiffany Waters of Glasgow, Amy Madinger of Seely Swan and Josie Evans of state champion Townsend.
The Class C girls team features 6-2 senior Shalice Tommerup and teammate Kyla Selvig of state runner-up Scobey. Also on the squad is high-scoring all-state forward Rachel Kleinert of Sunburst and 5-11 forward Whitney Baum of Highwood.
On the boys side, the Class AA squad looks to be the early favorite led by the talented Missoula Hellgate duo of Jack McGillis and Charlie Cox. McGillis, a 6-6 forward, and Cox, a 6-0 point guard, helped lead Hellgate to the Class AA state championship. This past weekend, they were part of the Class AA west team that won the prestigious Sheraton All-Star Classic in Billings.
The AA features good size with 6-7 Kellen Hasquet of Missoula Sentinel, 6-5 Bobby Howard of Great Falls High and 6-5 James Bullock of Billings Skyview. Rounding out the team is sharp-shooting guard Mark Desin of Billings Senior.
The Class A squad will feature Havre High seniors Ty Hedalen and Marc Mariani. The two all-staters will be part of a talented team that features 6-5 Andrew Sellers of Browning and 6-9 all-state center Derik Selvig of Sidney. All-state point guard Aaron Sutton of Libby and John Vincent of Billings Central along with Rochi Estes and Zack Parks of Anaconda are on the team.
The Class C team, coached by MSU-Northern women's assistant coach Robin Bogar, features 6-2 all-state forward Bodie Tobin of state champion Gardiner and guards Shade Stiles and Kalvin Reichelt of runner-up Whitewater. Also on the team is all-state forward Wes Spotted Bear of Plenty Coups and all-state guard Ryan Neumann of Geyser along fellow all-staters Ryan Irigoin of Lambert, Pat Menge of Saco, Kale Eike of Melstone, and Tyge DeVries of Roberts.
Class B, which is coached by former KG standout and current Whitehall boys coach Randy Robinson, will be led by one of the state's top scorers in Gus McDonald of St. Ignautius, who averaged more than 24 points per game. Joining McDonald is Glasgow's 6-9 forward Nate Barstad and guard John Galt of Malta.
The Class B also has a fair amount of all-state players, including 6-7 Bob Neiman of Plains, Jesse Barns of Choteau, Layne Glaus of Whitehall, Chris Stephens of Forsyth and David Foster of Big Timber.
The tournament runs through Saturday evening and will feature a 3-point contest on Friday night and a slam-dunk contest on Saturday.
Hi-Line Invitational Tournament
Malta High School Gym
2 p.m. - B vs. A (boys)
3:30 p.m. - C vs. B (girls)
5 p.m. - C vs AA (boys)
6:30 p.m. - A vs. AA (girls)
8 p.m. - B vs. AA (boys)
2 p.m. - C vs. AA (girls)
3:30 p.m. - C vs. A (boys)
5 p.m. - B vs. A (girls)
6:30 p.m. - C vs. B (boys)
8 p.m. - 3-point shoot-out
9 p.m. - A vs. AA (boys)
9:30 a.m. - C vs. A (girls)
11 a.m. - B vs. AA (girls)
3 p.m. - consolation (girls)
4:30 p.m. - consolation (boys)
6 p.m. - Slam dunk contest
6:30 p.m. - championship (girls)
8 p.m. - championship (boys)
Class AA - Bob Howard, Great Falls High; James Bullock, Billings Skyview; Jack McGillis, Missoula Hellgate; Charlie Cox, Missoula Hellgate; Kellen Hasquet, Missoula Sentinel; Mark Desin, Billings Senior. Coach: Tom Storm, Ulm.
Class A - Ty Hedalen, Havre; Marc Mariani, Havre; Aaron Sutton, Libby; Derik Selvig, Glendive; Jayce Sullivan, Sidney; John Vincent, Billings Central; Rochi Estes, Anaconda; Andrew Sellers, Browning; Anthony Minson, Columbia Falls; Zack Parks, Anaconda. Coach: Rollie Sullivan, Sidney
Class B - John Galt, Malta; Nate Barstad, Glasgow; David Foster, Big Timber; Layne Glaus, Whitehall; Chris Stephen, Forsyth; Jesse Barnes, Choteau; Gus McDonald, St. Ignautius; Bob Neiman, Plains. Coach: Randy Robinson, Whitehall.
Class C - Kalvin Reichelt, Whitewater; Shade Stiles, Whitewater; Bodie Tobin, Gardiner; Tyge DeVries, Roberts, Wes Spotted Bear, Plenty Coups; Kyle Eike, Melstone; Ryan Irigoin, Lambert; Ryan Neumann, Geyser; Pat Menge, Saco. Coach: Robin Bogar, MSU-Northern
Class AA - Kelsie Hopkins, CMR; Sam Schermele, Great Falls High; Kirilynn Winkler, Great Falls High; Jetton Meadows, Billings Senior; Shantell Marquis, CMR; Kassie Holmlund, CMR; Brittney Lohman, Bozeman; Jeni Guertin, Bozeman. Coach: Gene Cook, Great Falls
Class A - Kayla McPherson, Glendive; Ali Hurley, Anaconda; Amy McLain, Havre; Jamie Lake, Ronan; Jenna Skunk Cap, Browning; Devera Tolbet, Hardin; Alira Carpenter, Lewistown; Shannon Bosley, Livingston; Tana Stuart, Hardin; Jenny Heringer, Billings Central. Coach: Jason Wirt, Havre.
Class B - Tiffany Waters, Glasgow; Cali Buck, Choteau; Amy DeGroot, Missoula Loyola; Josie Evans, Townsend; Jessica Overstreet, Three Forks; Alysa Brown, Fairfield; Kelly Pankratz, Malta; Laramie Schwenke, Malta; Roshon Nordlund, Malta; Amy Madinger, Seeley-Swan. Coach: Linda Hudyma, Glasgow.
Class C - Kezia Ford, Augusta; Shalice Tommerup, Scobey; Amanda Messerly, Dodson; Rachel Kleinert, Sunburst; Kelcie DePuydt, Saco; Jacque Irigoin, Lambert; Jayme Olson, Opheim; Whitney Baum, Highwood; Kyla Selvig, Scobey; Roni Reddig, Luster; Coach: Shaun Moore, Whitewater.