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Class A state tourney will be a great show

The wake left behind by the regular season and divisional tournaments have finally settled, but there are still plenty of scores left to be settled at the state level in girls' basketball action.

The State A girls tournament should be especially tough this season with a very tough field of talent, clashing at the Butte Civic Center in Butte, Thursday-Saturday.

The No. 1 seeds making an appearance will be the Havre High Blue Ponies (central), the Dillon Beavers (southwest), Frenchtown Broncs (northwest) and Laurel Locomotives (east). And the No. 2 seeds will be the Billings Central Rams (east), Polson Pirates (northwest), Butte Central Maroons (southwest) and Belgrade Panthers (central).

This year's field is slightly different than last, but the reigning champion Maroons will look to return the title to Butte Central. The Locomotives were the second place finishers last season, while the Rams were the No. 3 team and the Beavers were the fourth. Polson and Havre were absent from the state tourney last season, but will look to make up for lost time with a solid showing this time around.

And four solid matchups will get the action underway on Thursday, as anybody has a shot at winning the title this season.

The Ponies and Rams will tip off at 12:30 p.m., while the Beavers and Pirates will tip off at 2 p.m. The Broncs and Maroons will face off at 6:30 p.m. and the Locomotives and Panthers will close the curtain on day one with their 8 p.m. matchup.

Some of the key players to watch this weekend include Dylan Fowler (Belgrade), Peyton Filius (Havre), Brandy Lambourne (Havre), Chanal Standing Rock (Havre), Kacie McKeon (Butte Central), Charlee Hahnkamp (Dillon), Justine Taylor (Belgrade), Katie Cummins (Billings Central), Haylee Gallegos (Laurel), Jayde LeFevre (Laurel), Sarah Lester (Frenchtown) and Riley Kenney (Polson).

Each game this weekend should be a good matchup. It is going to take solid basketball to get through to the next round by all eight teams, and everybody knows that at the state tournament, anything can happen.

"Each team that is at the state tournament deserves to be there," Havre High head coach Dustin Kraske said. "So my thoughts are that every team is pretty good, including ourselves."

The 2012 Class A state tournament begins with four games on Thursday, starting with Havre's game against Billings Central at 12:30 p.m. The tournament will conclude Saturday night and all the action will take place at the Butte Civinc Center.


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