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Class A boys capsules

December 7, 2012
Northwest Montana A Conference


Class A boys capsules

Northwestern A

Columbia Falls

Coach: Cary Finberg (UM-Western, 1990) is 241-124 in his 17th season at Columbia Falls.

Last state appearance: Last year, runner-up.

Returning starters: 0

Players to watch: G Luke Kazlauskas, 6-0, sr.; G Alex Presnell, 5-9, jr.; F Jared Trinastich, 6-4, jr.; G Austin Martin, 5-10, sr.; F Colin King, 6-3, sr.; G Ty Morgan, 5-9, so.


Coach: Michael Botsford (Montana, 1994) is 8-33 in his third season at Frenchtown.

Last state appearance: 2006, runner-up.

Returning starters: 4.

Players to watch: G Dan Lebsock, 6-0, sr.; G John Chapman, 6-2, jr.; G Matt Price, 5-10, sr.; F Kyle Cyr, 6-4, sr.; F Andrew Honken, 6-3, jr.


Coach: Wally Winslow (Montana, 1990) is 154-147 in his 15th season at Libby.

Last state appearance: 2007, didn’t place.

Returning starters: 1.

Players to watch: G Jared Winslow, 6-1, jr.; P Kraig Nelson, 6-2, sr.; F Barak Lapka, 6-2, sr.; P Tarasik Krisanov, 6-5, jr.; P Cody Black, 6-6, jr.


Coach: Brad Pluff (UM-Western, 1989) is 39-32 in his fourth year at Polson.

Last state appearance: Last season, didn’t place.

Returning starters: 2.

Players to watch: F Will Davey, 6-1, sr.; P Riley Sampson, 6-3, sr.; G Cedric Smith, 5-10, jr.; F Andrew Weltz, 6-3, jr.


Coach: Mark Casazza (Montana, 1995) is 31-29 in his fourth season at Whitefish.

Last state appearance: 2009, did not place.

Returning starters: 2.

Players to watch: G Cooper Olson, 5-6, sr.; G Jace Kalbfleisch, 6-1, sr.; G Logan Harwood, 6-1, sr.; F Art Doorn, 6-4, jr.; G EJ Havens, 5-9, jr.

Southwestern A


Coach: Bill Hill (MSU-Billings, 1972) is in his first year as head coach.

Last state appearance: 2005, didn’t place.

Returning starters: 1.

Players to watch: G Jackson Wagner, 6-1, jr.; G Dennis Stanberry, 5-9, jr.; G Jayce Barclay, 5-10, sr.; G Eli Mathias, 5-9, sr.; P Brandon Fode, 6-3, jr.

Butte Central

Coach: Brodie Kelly (Montana Tech, 1998) is 125-62 in his ninth season at Butte Central.

Last state appearance: 2001, placed third.

Returning starters: 1.

Players to watch: G Brady Tippett, 5-11, sr.; F Emmett McCarthy, 6-5, sr.; P Marcus Ferriter, 6-3, so.; G Kale Guldseth, 5-10, jr.; F Nate Bolstad, 6-4, jr.


Coach: Joe Jessop (Utah State,1998) is in his first year coaching Corvallis.

Last state appearance: Last year, did not place.

Returning starters: 1.

Players to watch: F Chase Walker, 6-5, jr.; G Jansen Jessop, 6-0, sr.; F Alma Powell, 6-2, jr.; G Chaney Waldo, 6-0, jr.; F Blake Sylvester, 6-2, sr.


Coach: Terry Thomas (Montana, 1980) is 137-23 in his eighth season at Dillon.

Last state appearance: Last year, won championship.

Returning starters: 1.

Players to watch: G Ben Folsom, 6-4, sr.; F Troy Scott, 6-3, jr.; P Caleb Gillis, 6-7, sr.; F Boyde Jenne, 6-3, sr.; G Austin Carver, 6-0, sr.


Coach: Toby Stack (MSU-Northern, 2000) is 38-69 in his sixth year at Hamilton.

Last state appearance: 1994, didn’t place.

Returning starters: 1.

Players to watch: G Reese Isherwood, 5-11, sr.; G Jesse Bartels, 6-0, sr.; G Teague Blome, 6-0, jr.; F Josh Bauder, 6-1, jr.


Coach: Keith Chambers (UM-Western, 1989) is 262-106 in his 22nd year at Stevensville, and is 304-250 in 23 seasons overall.

Last state appearance: Last year, didn’t place.

Returning starters: 3.

Players to watch: P Jesse Sims, 6-4, so.; F Zach Gavlak, 6-4, jr.; G Jared Schultz, 6-1, jr.; F Austin Lords, 6-3, sr.

Class A boys capsulesThe  Billings Gazette

Dillon  Beavers

Record last season: 21-2

Coach: Terry Thomas (8th season)

Returning starter: Ben Folsom, 6-4, Sr., guard.

Other key players: Troy Scott, 6-3, Jr., wing; Boyd Jenne,  6-3, Sr., wing; Caleb Gillis, 6-7, Sr., post; Austin Carver, 6-0, Sr.,  guard.

Noteworthy: The Beavers won the State A championship by  beating Columbia Falls 54-39. ... Although Folsom is the only returning  starter, Dillon will have seven returning lettermen to this years  squad. ... The Beavers have won 20 games or more five of the last six  seasons. ... Thomas is 137-23 at Dillon.

Coach Thomas says: "We have good overall team quickness. We  are an athletic team.  We have four returning starters, and will run an  up-tempo style.  Defensively, we will mix zone and man, and will use  full-court pressure at times."

Glendive Red  Devils

Record last season: 7-15

Coach: Wade Murphy (6th season)

Returning starters: Bryden Boenning, 6-10, Jr., post; Blake  Stanhope, 6-0, Sr., guard; Colter Bachmeier, 6-0, Jr., guard; Ryan Hood, 5-9,  Sr., guard; Tanner Schwartz, 6-1, Jr., forward.

Other key players: Tanner Phipps, 6-1, Sr., forward; Taylor  Schwartz, 5-10, Jr., guard; Gavin McPherson, 5-11, Jr., guard; Xander Canen,  6-1, Sr., forward.

Noteworthy: The Red Devils will return all five starters off  of last years squad. Boehning averaged 13 points and 7 rebounds per game last  season. ... Murphy is 39-68 at Glendive and 128-113 overall as a head coach.

Coach Murphy says: "We have some good depth and experience  returning."

Hardin  Bulldogs

Record last season: 5-15

Coach: Jonathan Stands (4th season)

Returning starters: None.

Other key players: Anthony Whiteman, 6-2, Sr., forward,  Machiah Not Afraid, 5-10, Sr., guard; Jared Johnson, 6-4, Sr., center.

Noteworthy: The Bulldogs will be in rebuilding mode this  season with only three returning letter winners from last years team. ... Stands  is 25-36 at Hardin.

Coach Stands says: "We have three returnees from last years  team.  We are young but talented and should be fun to watch."

Havre Blue  Ponies

Record last season: 9-12

Coach: Curt Leeds (1st season)

Returning starters: Thurman Holdsclaw, Sr., forward; Kade  Rismon, Jr., forward.

Other key players: Ramsey Drew, Sr., guard; Brian Smith,  Jr., guard; Dane Warp, Fr., guard.

Noteworthy: Holdslaw was an honorable mention selection for  the all-conference team last season. ... Leeds will take over the basketball  program at his alma mater where he graduated in 2003.

Coach Leeds says: "Our challenge this year is going to be  learning a new system.  We have some good athletes, we just need to get  them on the same page."

Lewistown  Eagles

Record last season: 1-19

Coach: Jimmy Graham (3rd season)

Returning starters: Andy Butcher, 6-5, Sr., post; Dylan  Stenseth, 6-1, Jr., forward; Tre' Bradley, 5-9, So., guard.

Other key players: James Derheim, 5-9, So., guard; Morgan  Ray, 5-11, So., forward.

Noteworthy: Butcher averaged 9 points and 6 rebounds per  game last season. ... Stenseth was solid as well averaging 8 points and 5  rebounds per game last season. ... Graham is 9-34 at Lewistown.

Livingston  Rangers

Record last season: 17-6

Coach: Scott Rosberg (6th season)

Returning starters: Marcus Payne, 6-7, Sr., post.

Other key players: Jesse Darr, 6-4, Sr., forward/post;  Colton Gavne, 6-4, forward/post.

Noteworthy: The Rangers are looking to improve on a 2nd  place finish in the Central A last season where they made it to Saturday at the  state tournament. ... Payne is a returning 1st team all-state selection where he  averaged 13 points and 10 rebounds per game last season.

Coach Rosberg says: "We will be quite different than last  year. Last season, we were a speed team with five guards who played four  different spots. This season, we will have a lot more size. With regards to  varsity game experience, we are young and our learning curve needs to be very  high."

Miles City  Cowboys

Record last season: 6-16

Coach: Houston Finn (2nd season)

Returning starters: Brac Warren, 6-3, Jr., forward; Lane  Woosley, 6-0, Jr., guard.

Other key players: Drew Senger, 6-5, Sr., center; Troy Burk,  5-8, Jr., guard; Kyle Collins, 5-11, Jr., forward; Timmy Regan, 5-9, So., guard;  Brett Keith, 6-3, So., forward; Beau Peaslee, 6-3, So., forward; Austin  Stradley, 5-8, So., guard.

Noteworthy: The Cowboys got stronger as the year progressed  finishing 3rd at the Eastern A Divisional tournament last season. ... Warren  averaged 6 points and 6 rebounds last season.

Coach Finn says: "We made big strides as a program last  season and I believe we can really grow this year.  We are young, but our  players are dedicated and bring their best effort every day."

Polson  Pirates

Record last season: 10-14

Coach: Brad Pluff (4th season)

Returning starters: Riley Sampson, Sr., post; Will Davey,  Sr., guard.

Other key players: Cedrick Smith, Jr., guard; Hayden  Cangdon, Sr., forward.

Noteworthy: Sampson averaged 9 points and 9 rebounds per  game last season. ... Pluff is 39-32 coaching his alma mater.

Coach Pluff says: "We will be inexperienced, but have some  talented young players that will be expected to step in and play."

Sidney  Eagles

Record last season: 14-7

Coach: Dan Strasheim (6th season)

Returning starters: None.

Other key players: Justin Brown, 6-0, Sr., guard; James  Basta, 6-1, Jr., forward.

Noteworthy: The Eagles lost 10 seniors off last years team.  ... Brown averaged 4 points and 3 rebounds per game last season. ... Basta  averaged 3 points and 3 rebounds per game last season. ... Strasheim is 57-39 at  Sidney.

Coach Strasheim says: "We'll have a very inexpereinced team  this season. We hope to improve enough every week to be competitive by the end  of the season."

Read more: http://billingsgazette.com/sports/high-school/basketball/boys/class-a-boys-capsules/article_b9f7d7cd-41f5-569d-827e-3269f30d9a77.html#ixzz2EK2CvE9n


Central boys bring football talent to the hardcourt

Central  boys bring football talent to the hardcourtBy MIKE ZIMMER mzimmer@billingsgazette.comThe Billings Gazette

Eastern A coaches poll

1. Central

(tie) Laurel

3. Miles City

4. Glendive

5. Sidney

6. Hardin

Jim Stergar is back, and bigger than ever.

Well, the former Billings Senior boys basketball coach is the same size he’s  always been. But as he begins his first season as the head coach at Billings  Central, Stergar is blessed with size that he rarely had in nine seasons at  Senior.

Six-foot-eight center Daniel Meyer and fellow senior Dylan Hanser, who stands  6-5, will form a 1-2 punch in the post that Stergar is excited about, to say the  least.

“It’s going to be different,” said Stergar, who was an assistant under Shel  Hanser at Central last year after going 115-87 in nine seasons at Senior. “Having kids that can be potentially dominant post players is a luxury I didn’t  always have at Senior. I’m going to take advantage of it as much as I can.”

The Rams, who went 15-9 last season and finished third at the State A  tournament, enter the basketball season on a high after going undefeated and  winning the school’s first Class A football championship since 2007.

Many of the key players from that dominant football team will be leading the  Rams on the hardcourt. Quarterback Jacob Stanton will quarterback the basketball  team as the point guard after playing shooting guard/small forward for the past  two seasons.

“It’s a new role for him, and he’s looking forward to it,” Stergar said of  the 6-3 Stanton. “He’s a leader by example … he’s just a kid who knows how to  win and he has the respect of his teammates and his peers.”

Stanton will be joined in the backcourt by seniors Blayne Sandau, Riley  Nichols, Garrett Flaming and Connor Cerkovnik. Ian Byorth, a 6-3 senior who  Stergar calls “an ultimate team player and the most fundamentally sound kid we  have,” will be a key contributor both under the basket and from the  perimeter.

Stergar added that Sandau has the potential to be the Rams’ primary threat  from the perimeter.

“Blayne can really shoot it, and he’s got that scorer’s mentality of not  worrying about his misses,” said Stergar. “I really want Blayne to take over the  two-guard role and be the guy that gives us inside-outside balance.”

Meyer and Hanser join Stanton as returning starters, and Stergar likes the  experience they bring as third-year varsity players.

“They should be dominant this year,” he said. “Daniel just keeps getting  better every day as he learns to let the game come to him and not force things.  He’s a beast around the basket.

“Dylan is very athletic and long, and a great jumper. There are some strong  post players in the Eastern A this year, and Daniel and Dylan will be right up  there with any of them.”

The Eastern A coaches picked Central and Laurel as co-favorites in their  preseason poll, and both would love to make the short trip to the State A  tournament at Rimrock Auto Arena.

“The goal is to get to state and be playing our best basketball when we get  there,” said Stergar. “It won’t be easy. The Eastern A is more balanced than it  was last year … Laurel is very good again, and Miles City, Glendive, Sidney and  Hardin all have good young kids that played a lot last year.

“For us to get where we want to go, we have to be the hardest working team on  the floor every night, and be mentally and physically tougher than the other  team. I think we can do that.”

Read more: http://billingsgazette.com/sports/high-school/basketball/boys/central-boys-bring-football-talent-to-the-hardcourt/article_ee7f057b-eca9-509b-b80d-9ed983334bcb.html#ixzz2EK3ZFxp2

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