George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor email@example.com
When it comes to girl's high school basketball, the Hi-Line is as rich in talent as any other region of Montana. From Big Sandy's near-perfect season to Box Elder's Cinderella run to the Northern C Divisional tournament, as well as Havre High's backto- back berth's in the Class A state tournament, there is no shortage of quality basketball in Havre and surrounding areas. And that's why the Havre Daily News' 2nd Annual All Hi-Line girl's team is littered with stellar players, both youthful and experienced, from bigger town's to tiny Class C schools and between, great forwards and hotshooting guards. Of the ten players selected to the team, there were six that made last year's team, seven seniors, three juniors, three Class A players and seven Class C selections. Katie Mariani, Havre High A senior at Havre High, Katie Mariani was a two-year starter for the Blue Ponies and an integral part of HHS's two straight Central A regular season championships and its backto- back Class A state tournament appearances. This year, Mariani averaged 11 points and six rebounds per game on a very-balanced HHS squad that finished fourth at the Class A state tournament in Hamilton earlier this month. For her efforts, Mariani earned her second-straight all-conference selection, and in her senior year, was named to the Class A All-State team. Mariani not only shines on the basketball court, but she is an outstanding volleyball player, one of Class A's top singles players in tennis, and is near the top of her class as a student. The senior guard has been courted by several Frontier Conference schools to play basketball, and or, volleyball, and this spring, she has stood out in several prestigious all-star basketball tournaments around the state. Rokki Parker, Box Elder Box Elder senior Rokki Parker will certainly go down as one of the most prolific players in recent District 9C history. The 6-0 Parker was a four-year starter at Box Elder, and a four-time all-conference and threetime all-state selection. Parker also led the Bears in scoring and rebounding for three straight seasons, but in her senior year, the unselfish Parker helped develop young teammates that ultimately turned the Bears into a winner for the first time in her career. This season, Parker still averaged a double-double, but with a strongsupporting cast, she helped guide the Bears to not only a winning season, but a miraculous run through the 9C tournament in Havre and on to a win at the Northern C tournament in Great Falls. Parker also starred in several allstar games this spring, and she is headed to Minot State University to continue her brilliant basketball career. Natasha Dyrland, North Star Like Parker and Mariani, North Star senior Natasha Dyrland is a repeat to the All Hi-Line Girls Team. Dyrland was a four-year starter, first for Blue Sky and then for the North Star Knights. In her career, Dyrland helped lead her teams to four straight winning seasons and a lot of District 9C success. Dyrland, a 5-11 forward, also earned all-conference honors four times, was a Class C All-State selection multiple times, and three times, led the Knights in scoring and rebounding. Dyrland will go down in history as one of North Star's greatest players, and along with Parker, one of the best players the 9C has seen this decade. A model student, and a tremendous athlete, Dyrland is set to continue her athletic prowess at the collegiate level, as she recently signed a letter of intent to play volleyball at Montana State University-Northern. Laci Keller, Big Sandy Only a junior, Big Sandy center Laci Keller has already enjoyed more success in high school basketball than most players ever dream of. From district and divisional championships, to a near-perfect season, Keller has helped continue Big Sandy's dominance in Class C basketball. Keller made the All Hi-Line Team as a sophomore, and after averaging 20 points and 11 rebounds this season, there was no doubt she would make the list again. Keller has started for Big Sandy for three seasons, and has been one of the most dominant post players in Class C basketball over that stretch. This year, she helped guide the Pioneers to a 27-1 record, a District 9C championship, a Northern C championship and a runner-up finish at the Class C state tournament. The 6-0 Keller is already a two-time all-conference selection and she has earned Class C All-State honors once. Heading into her final year of high school, Keller will be looked at as one of the top high school recruits in Montana. Steph Stremcha, Havre High One could argue that no one in the Central A Conference had a better final two months of the season than Blue Pony senior Steph Stremcha. The 5-10 Stremcha averaged nearly 16 points and nine rebounds over the course of her final eight games of the season, and she finished the year scoring 10 points and grabbing eight rebounds per game. And because of her presence in the post, the Blue Ponies went on a tear the second half of 2008, making it to the Class A semifinals before finishing fourth to Miles City earlier this month in Hamilton. Stremcha was a three-year varsity player and a two-year starter for HHS. This past season, she garnered all-conference honors, and starred in several all-star games this spring. Stremcha also excels in volleyball and is one of the top pitchers, not only on the HHS softball team, but in all of Class A softball. Shertseen Cline, Big Sandy A fine all-around athlete, Big Sandy's Shersteen Cline developed into one of the District 9C's best basketball players this season. And her play helped make the Pioneers into one of the top powers in Class C basketball. Cline, a 5-11 senior, averaged 16 points per game in her final season at Big Sandy, and while her post presence was always there, Cline became a legitimate outside scoring threat in 2007-2008. Cline is a three-sport standout at Big Sandy, and this year, she earned all-conference honors during Big Sandy's run to a runner-up finish at the Class C state tournament. Cline's stellar year on the hardwood came on the heels of a phenomenal all-state season in volleyball. Erin Broncho, Rocky Boy Rocky Boy's Erin Broncho is another repeat to the All Hi-Line Team. The 6-0 senior, who averaged 11 points and nine rebounds per game this season for the Morning Stars, was part of the most successful run in Rocky Boy girls history. Broncho was a four-year starter for the Morning Stars, averaged in double figures every season, and led the team in rebounding for four straight years. She is also a three-time allconference selection, and saw Rocky Boy win a pair of district regular season titles, make a pair of trips to the Northern C divisional tournament, and was part of the Morning Star's only appearance in the Class C state tournament this decade. Hope Hedges, Havre High Blue Pony junior Hope Hedge's might not have the flashiest of numbers compared to other guards in Class A basketball, but the lightningquick guard does plenty to help her team win. A repeat performer on the All Hi- Line Team, Hedges was among the top guards in the Central A in steals and assists this season, all the while averaging nearly eight points per game. Hedges was also big in the clutch for HHS, as evidenced by her gamewinning shot last month in Malta a shot that snapped the M-Ettes 41-game winning streak. Hedges earned first-team all-conference honors in 2008, her second season as a starter at HHS. Although she suffered an injury at the state tournament, Hedges is expected to have a big senior year for the Blue Ponies, and she is also a standout on the tennis court. Frances Eagleman, Rocky Boy A senior at Rocky Boy, sharp-shooter Frances Eagleman led the Morning Stars in scoring this season with a 14 points per game average. She was also one of the top 3-point shooters in District 9C this year, and was a threeyear starter for Rocky Boy. Eagleman has been an integral part of Rocky Boy's four-year run as one of the premier teams in the 9C, and for the past two years, she has also stood out on the volleyball court. Justine Beaudry, North Star Only a junior, North Star's Justine Beaudry was right at home as one of the Knight's main scoring threats this season. The 5-6 Beaudry averaged 12 points and three assists in her first season as a starter for the Knights, and her play and shooting ability on the perimeter was a strong compliment to the Knight's superior inside game. And Beaudry is back for her senior season, a year in which she could be one of the top scoring guards the league. Editors note: The All Hi-Line Team was voted on by available area basketball coaches as well as members of the Havre Daily News sports staff. The Boys version is slated to appear in Monday's Havre Daily News. These selections do not reflect the opinion of any single person and are based solely on votes received.