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District 9C stars earn Class C All-State recognition


March 19, 2020

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Turner's Sarah Billmayer was one of four players from the District 9C to be named Class C All-State in girls basketball for the 2019-2020 season. It was Billmayer's second year in a row being named all state.

It has been a wild ride of a season in District 9C basketball. From comeback kings to dominant performances and record breakers to underdogs, the Hi-Line has seen so much out of the 9C this year. Recently, the Class C All-State selections were released, with 12 players from the 9C making the list.

On the girls side, there have been many great stories this year. Those stories were made by some excellent players. When it comes to the selections, four players from both Turner and Fort Benton made the list.

The Turner Tornadoes have been on the rise over the years, with players like senior Sarah Billmayer and junior Shyan Krass helping them continue that climb. Now, Billmayer and Krass were both selected for the all-state list.

Billmayer has made quite the name for herself in her career at Turner and now, she will hope to see her younger sister, Emma Billmayer, make some noise for the Tornadoes in the future. Meanwhile, Krass will return to the court next year, aiming to keep the rise going for Turner, using her height and leadership skills to the team's advantage.

Then comes the story of the Fort Benton Longhorns girls, who were a force throughout the season, despite the unfortunate loss at the Northern C Divisionals that sent them home with only one loss on the season. Fort Benton saw a lot of talented players this year, like senior McKenzie Clark and junior Aspen Giese, who were the other two athletes that made the all-state list.

Clark has put forward a great career as a Longhorn and now will aim to apply that hard work in the future, while Giese comes back for her last year with Fort Benton, looking to stay lethal when it comes to shooting 3-pointers.

The 9C boys had a lot of great stories throughout the season, too, which saw a lot of players stand out on the court. When it comes to the all-state selections, eight athletes from five different schools made the list.

One of the biggest teams across the Hi-Line in the 9C boys has been Fort Benton, who went undefeated throughout the regular season, the District 9C tournament and the Northern C Divisionals. The Longhorns suffered their first lost in the Class C state semifinals to Fairview, but still made history in the incredible year.

Two brothers were a big part of that big run for Fort Benton, Garrett and Hayden Diekhans. The dynamic duo led the Longhorns to their successful season this year and have a lot to look forward to. Now, Garrett Diekhans heads to Montana Tech for football, while his younger brother Hayden Diekhans will give it his all in his last season next year for Fort Benton.

Then came the Big Sandy boys, who were the comeback kings in the postseason. After claiming the No. 3 seed at the District 9C tourney, the Pioneers came back against teams like Centerville and Chinook to make it to the Northern C championship. Unfortunately, falling to Belt in the challenge game sent them home, but Big Sandy still made their own history this season.

And part of that team that made history were seniors Clint Darlington and Ryan Roth, who both were selected for the Class C All-State list. Roth was a force to be reckoned with throughout the regular season and dropped over 20 points in multiple games. In Darlington's case, he took over the mantle of point-scoring in the postseason, using his height as an extra advantage to help lead the Pioneers to success this season.

Then comes the other four athletes among the 9C who were selected for the all-state list, junior Ethan Bell of the Chinook Sugarbeeters, junior Reese Elliot of the Beeters, senior Spencer Richter of the Chester-Joplin-Inverness Hawks and senior Caden Rettig of the North Star Knights. All three of these players have done big things on the court this year.

Bell made a legacy as an excellent shooter and skilled leader for Chinook over the years. His competitive spirit and sportsmanship have made a lot of impact for the Beeters. Alongside Bell has been Elliot, who has been a great challenge for any team this season, especially with his height as a big advantage. The two together have made some serious noise in the 9C.

Meanwhile, Richter and Rettig have put forth their own level of prowess this year. Richter helped lift the CJI Hawks all the way to the District 9C tourney's consolation game this season. Richter's leadership was essential to take the Hawks as far as they went this season and, now, he looks to his future. At the same time, Rettig was a big part of the North Star Knights' push throughout the season and now will look to use his leadership skills for the future ahead of him.

The 12 9C athletes have been a huge part of a tough 9C conference this season and will be remembered for their work that helped carry their teams to the success that was seen across the Hi-Line and Montana this year. Many will face their futures, while some will return to finish the great legacies they helped start.

Girls Class C All-State

Emily Adkins, Jr., Bridger; Kylee Altmiller, Sr., Plains; Terra Bertsch, Sr., Seeley-Swan; Sarah Billmayer, Sr., Turner; Dyauni Boyce, Sr., Roy-Winifred; Alexis Cannon, Sr., Lincoln; McKenzie Clark, Sr., Fort Benton; Sophia Darr, Fr., Gardiner; Sydney Dethman, Jr., Froid-Lake; Taylor DeVries, Jr., Manhattan Christian Jaycee Erickson, So., Saco-Whitewater-Hinsdale; Elizabeth Field, So., Westby-Grenora; Olivia Geer, Sr., Roy-Winifield; Aspen Giese, Jr., Fort Benton; Madeline Heggem, So., Roy-Winifred; Amelia Hill, Jr., Philipsburg; Olivia Isakson, Jr., Augusta; Kayla Kombol, So., Melstone; Shyan Krass, Jr., Turner, Eliana Kuperus, Jr., Manhattan Christian; Sydney Labatte, Sr., Froid-Lake; Hannah LaBree, Sr., Ekalaka; Heather LaBree, Sr., Ekalaka; Gracee Lekvold, Jr., Scobey; Kyelie Marquis, Sr., Belt; Kaitlyn McColly, Jr., Saco-Whitewater-Hinsdale; Ceara Miske, Sr., Wibaux; Kortney Nelson, Sr., Scobey; Danna Ochoa, Sr., West Yellowstone Landri Paladichuk, Jr., Ennis; Lindsey Paulson, So., Belt; Shelby Paulson, Sr., Belt; Colby Pimperton, Sr., Belt; Sorren Reese, So., Alberton-Superior; Koye Rindal, Fr., Melstone; Kaigen Roskelley, Sr., Melstone; Jenna Rust, Sr., Westby-Grenora; Layni Schieffer, Sr., Wibaux; Marni Schieffer, Sr., Wibaux Brooke Schraner, Sr., Belt; Leiv Smith, Jr., Charlo; Tia Stahl, Jr., Winnett-Grass Range; Sylvie Stewart, Sr., Plenty Coups; Kiersten Van Kirk, So., Manhattan Christian; Sydney Von Bergen, Jr., Denton-Geyser-Stanford; Draya Wacker, So., Melstone; Liv Wangerin, So., Plentywood; Kia Wasson, Jr., Saco-Whitewater-Hinsdale; Janessa Willekes, Sr., Simms.

Boys Class C All-State

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

North Star's Caden Rettig was one of eight District 9C boys basketball players named to the Class C All-State Team. For more area basketball honors, see next week's Havre Daily News sports section.

Terry Allmer, Sr., Lustre Christian; Josiah Amunrud, Sr., Manhattan Christian; Cody Asbeck, Sr., Fairview; Ethan Bell, Jr., Chinook; Ryan Bogden, Sr., Cascade; Nathan Brown, Sr., Lincoln; Elijah Byrd, Sr., Gardiner; Luke Cima, Jr., Harrison-Willow Creek; Shayden Cooke, Sr., Melstone; Parker Cromwell, Jr., Scobey Clint Darlington, Sr., Big Sandy; Garett Diekhans, Sr., Fort Benton; Hayden Diekhans, Jr., Fort Benton; Parker Donaldson, Sr., Denton-Geyser-Stanford; Reese Elliot, Jr., Chinook; Brendan Falls Down, Sr., Plenty Coups; Aidan Fishell, Jr., Scobey; Bryce Grebe, Fr., Melstone; Caden Handran, Jr., Scobey; Josh Herron, Sr., Fairview Caidin Hill, Jr., Manhattan Christian; Vern Homner, Sr., Harrison-Willow Creek; Kolden Hoversland, So., Lustre Christian; Jake Kallevig, Sr., Bridger; Brandon Knudsen, Sr., Hot Springs; Nate Konen, Sr., Twin Bridges; Charlie Kruer, Jr., Twin Bridges; Sam Leep, Sr., Manhattan Christian; Corbin LoneBear, Sr., Dodson; Aiden McDaniel, Jr., Belt Carson McGinness, Sr., Centerville; Colt Miller, Jr., Froid-Lake; Edward Murnion, Sr., Jordan; Keenan Murnion, Sr., Jordan; Javonne Nesbit, So., Froid-Lake; Bryce Nye, Sr., Twin Bridges; Mick O'Conner, Sr., Ekalaka; Jared Pardee, Jr., Ekalaka; Caden Rettig, Sr., North Star; Spencer Richter, Sr., Chester-Joplin-Inverness Ryan Roth, Sr., Big Sandy; Alex Schriver, Sr., Fairview; Caden Smerker, Jr., Simms; Nelson Smith, Sr., Darby; Luke Stermitz, Sr., Gardiner; Clarence Stewart, Jr., Plenty Coups; Justin Stulc, Jr., Roy-Winifred; Ian Swanson, Jr., Ennis; Jayce Tande, Jr., Scobey; Rylan Weltz, Sr., Noxon


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