The MHSA/Army National Guard Academic All-Team Award winners were announced Monday for the winter sports seasons.
The awards are given to the top three teams that exhibit outstanding academic achievement during the school year’s second quarter of play for each respective activity in each of the MHSA schools’ classification (AA, A, B and C). Member schools calculate their students’ accumulative grade point average for the award.
This season’s varsity winners with cumulative team GPA:
Missoula Hellgate’s run to the championship game gave the Knights a unique set of circumstances as the State AA boys’ basketball bracket played out. The Knights would only face teams they’d lost to during the regular season.
Hellgate lost four games during the regular season starting with – in chronological order – Billings Skyview, Billings West and Helena Capital (twice).
In order to win a second straight state title, the Knights needed to beat – again, in order – Skyview, West and Capital.
Here’s a quick look at what the girls of Missoula Sentinel’s class of 2014 have done in four years on the basketball court:
Four straight State AA title game appearances
Three straight State AA championships
A four-year combined record of 83-10
So is it safe to call this group the greatest girls’ basketball class in Sentinel history?
When the Columbia Falls boys bumped Laurel off the championship track in Friday’s State A semifinal, Locomotives coach Patrick Hansen Jr. knew exactly who would win Saturday’s title game, even before C. Falls had an opponent line up for the finals.
The cards all pointed to the Wildcats, or at least Laurel’s bizarre pattern of semifinal state losses did. Including this weekend, the Locos have lost in four straight semis, each time the team they’ve lost to winning it all.
Like clockwork, the luck of the Laurel loss held true Saturday night when the Cats won their fifth championship in program history with a 56-47 victory over Dillon.
Polson’s Andrew Curley had a dream performance Friday night at the State A basketball tournament. The Pirates junior came off the bench to hit all seven of his shots in the first half, six of them 3-pointers, and the Pirates held a 30-20 lead at the break over Miles City.
But Curley’s 20 points, the hundreds of fans at Great Falls’ Four Seasons Arena chanting his name, even his mere presence in a Pirates’ uniform, are all the more special considering where he was a year ago.
Homeless. In trouble with the law. At his third school in three years.
Had Wednesday night’s clash of state Nos. 1 and 2 been played as originally scheduled, Olivia Roberts likely would have gotten to enjoy senior night with her fellow Spartans.
Initially slated for last Thursday before a slew of blizzards and school closures, the rematch of last year’s State AA finals that yielded Sentinel its second straight championship was pushed back a week before the Spartans could pull off the coup of Capital.
Roberts, though, watched from the bench and missed her second straight game because of illness.