Missoula Hellgate is in the running for Best Boys Basketball Program of 2015 in a poll conducted by the USA Today and the Knights have already made the regional round.
That makes Montana’s State AA front-runner one of the top seven programs in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Idaho and Wyoming — but they need your help to reach the national finals.
Just vote online here as many times as you want. The second round (regionals) runs through noon on Thursday, Jan. 29.
The State AA softball tournament in Great Falls chopped off a day from its traditional three-day format and wrapped up on Friday in an experimental schedule change for 2014.
The MHSA shortened the length of the eight-team tournament to see if 15 games of softball could squeeze into two days without any trouble, said Mark Beckman, executive director of the Montana High Schools Association. ASA tournaments do it all the time, he pointed out.
But should Montana’s state tournaments?
By this point everybody has heard the news of Montana men’s basketball coach Wayne Tinkle’s recent hire by Oregon State.
Tinkle takes a winning history to a Beavers program hoping to do much more of that in the not-so distant future. But will he also take his son, current Missoula Hellgate junior and big-time prospect Tres, with him?
Great Falls High and Great Falls CMR were part of the East-West Class AA softball exchange that blew through Missoula on Friday. Each stopped off at the respective Garden City schools for one matchup each in a tripleheader.
And boy did things go well for the Bison and Rustlers.
The Great Falls schools swept all three and again look like the favorites for the State AA title coming up in two weeks with the tournament held in, of course, Great Falls of all places.
Missoula Hellgate senior Chris Herrick took his lead, a few stride’s worth already, before the group of runners had even exited the first turn in the 1,600-meter run Thursday at Missoula’s Greg Rice track and field city meet. Four minutes and change later, he finish a full 100 meters ahead of the nearest competitor.
It’s safe to say the University of Colorado-bound distance runner is experiencing no ill effects from the injury that took away the most meaningful section of his final high school cross country season.
This Knight is all healed up and hoping to make up for lost time.
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?