One constant in the world of sports is boys basketball on the Hi-Line. It’s almost a right of passage and so too is the annual Havre Daily News All-Hi-Line Boys Basketball Team.
The 2012 version of the All Hi-Line Team is packed full of talented and experienced players who had great seasons on the hardwood. Included in the list are four repeat performers and only the third player to be named to the team more than twice.
Overall, there 11 upper classmen on the team of 12, including eight seniors. Seven different area teams are represented on the list, including Class A Havre High, as well as one Class B player and eight from the area Class C ranks.
Jordy Donoven, North Star
In the six years of the All Hi-Line Team, Donoven is just the third player to be honored more than twice. Making the list for a third straight season, Donoven put up big numbers in 2011-12. He averaged over 18 points and seven rebounds per game and shot better than 39 percent from the 3-point-line. Donoven is a three-time Class C All-State performer and a four-time All 9C standout. He started for four straight years for the Knights and helped them to within one win of a Northern C berth for two straight years.
Trevor Lackner, Big Sandy
Lackner, just a junior is back on the list for the second straight year. Already a two-time Class C All-State selection, Lackner helped the Pioneers to a 9C title and a trip to the Class C state tournament this past spring. He averaged 15 points per game and is a deadly 3-point shooter. The son of Big Sandy head coach Roy Lackner, there is no doubt Trevor will enter the 2012-13 season as one of the top basketball prospects in Montana.
Logan Connor, Havre High
Connor missed the bulk of the 2011-12 season with a serious knee injury but that didn’t keep him from making his second straight All Hi-Line Team. The 6-1 Blue Pony senior is as good a shooting guard as there is in Montana, and he showed why at the Central A Divisional last month in Great Falls, where he averaged a whopping 25 points per game.
Lane Harmon, C/J-I
Harmon is the fourth player on this year’s team to repeat as an All Hi-Line performer. Playing on an inexperienced Chester/J-I squad, Harmon had a big season, leading the Hawks in scoring and rebounding on his way to Northern C honors.
Brandon Smith, Havre High
The second Blue Pony to make the list, Smith was a steady performer for HHS in his senior season. The 6-3 wing man is an excellent outside shooter, but an can also post up and get rebounds. He was one of Havre’s most versatile players on his way to Central A Second-Team All-Conference honors this year. Smith was also an all-state football player for the Ponies.
Skylar Speak Thunder, Harlem
Speak Thunder really came on strong as a junior, but he exploded during his senior campaign. He led Harlem in scoring at nearly 22 points per game, earning all District 2B and Northern B accolades. As a point guard, Speak Thunder’s athletic ability allowed him to get to the basket while still being a great passer and 3-point shooter.
Justin Stevens, Big Sandy
Perhaps no one was as dominant in the postseason and 6-3 senior Justin Stevens. Making his first All Hi-Line Team, Stevens averaged 23 points and 13 rebounds from the start of the 9C tournament through the Class C state tourney in Billings. Throughout the entire season, Stevens was a force on Big Sandy’s starting five and he earned all Northern C honors in the process.
Brandon Riphenburg, Chinook
Riphenburg (6-0) had a breakout senior season for the Sugarbeeters, who advanced to the Northern C for the fourth straight year. He averaged 12 points and seven rebounds for the Beeters and was part of a great Chinook team which transitioned after losing a huge senior class last year.
Randall Gardipee, Box Elder
Gardipee is the only under classmen to make the list this year. Just a sophomore, the 5-11 Gardipee made huge strides. He was second on the Bears in scoring during the regular season, then helped them to another big run in the 9C tournament by averaging nearly 20 points per game in the HHS gymnasium this past February. Gardipee will be regarded as one of the top returning players in the area next winter.
Ryan Brandt, Havre High
Brandt is the third Blue Pony to make the list. He capped a brilliant senior season of athletics with a strong season as the Ponies’ point guard. Brandt averaged in double figures for much of the season on his way to Central A Second Team honors, but he also was one of the top defensive players in the conference as well. Brandt was also an all-state football player for the Ponies.
Grant Tilleman, Chinook
Tilleman had a strong junior season for the Beeters and is the second Chinook player to make the list. At 6-4, Tilleman is a strong post player with excellent rebounding skills. He averaged 12 points and nine rebounds per game this season and earned Northern C honors in helping the Beeters reach the divisional tournament for the third time in his career.
Jesse Ramos, Box Elder
The second Box Elder player to make the list, Ramos has been a staple of the Bears’ basketball program. A four-year starter, Ramos averaged 15 points per game and was one of the top 3-point shooters in the 9C this season. He’s also earned 9C All-Conference honors three times in his stellar career.
Editor’s Note: The All Hi-Line Boys Team is voted on by available area coaches and the Havre Daily News sports staff. This list does not reflect the opinion of any single individual. The all Hi-Line Girls Team can be found in next Monday’s Havre Daily News.