BILLINGS — The Montana boys and girls all-star rosters for the annual Midland Roundtable Montana-Wyoming All-Star Basketball Series were released on Thursday.
The games are set for Friday, June 12, at Sheridan College in Sheridan, Wyoming, and Saturday, June 13, at Rocky Mountain College in Billings. The girls will tip-off at 5:30 p.m. and the boys at 7:30 p.m. both nights.
Last year the Montana boys won by scores of 103-100 at Alterowitz Gymnasium in Billings and 95-94 at the Bruce Hoffman Golden Dome at Sheridan College. Montana has won 16 in a row and leads the all-time series 61-27. It will be the 45th annual boys series.
The Treasure State boys who will be trying to extend the winning streak include (with player’s name, height, high school and chosen college if applicable): Carter Ash, 6-2, Bozeman, Undecided; Keeley Bake, 5-11, Fairfield, Montana Tech; Abe Johnson, 6-9, Missoula Hellgate, Army; Brendon Johnson, 6-5, Livingston, Undecided; Camdyn LaRance, 6-2, Missoula Hellgate, Undecided; Famous Lefthand, 6-2, Hardin, Rocky; Julius Mims, 6-7, Billings Skyview, Undecided; Cayden Redfield, 6-4, Hardin, Northern State (South Dakota); Cade Tyson, 5-11, Billings West, Rocky and Rollie Worster, 6-3, Missoula Hellgate, Utah State.
“Our team is, as normal, pretty solid from the five position (post) down to the point guard,” said Roundtable representative Richard Begger. “We have pretty good height and quickness and great, great talent with the athletes committed to the team.”
The Treasure State girls also swept Wyoming last year and have won seven in a row. Montana leads the all-time series 33-13. It is scheduled to be the 24th annual girls series.
Montana’s girls squad started last year’s series with an 84-66 triumph at Alterowitz and followed with and 89-46 victory in Sheridan.
The Montana girls who will be aiming to push the winning streak to nine include (with player’s name, height, high school and chosen college if applicable): Maddie Albrecht, 6-foot, Billings West, Lehigh; Willa Albrecht, 6-foot, Billings West, Montana; Dyauni Boyce, 5-11, Roy-Winifred, MSU Billings; Lexi Deden, 6-1, Missoula Sentinel, Montana State; Marie Five, 6-foot, Hardin, MSU Billings; Mya Fourstar, 5-8, Wolf Point, Undecided; Kyndall Keller, 5-8, Havre, Montana; L’Tia Lawrence, 5-9, Harlem, Montana; Olivia Moten-Schell, 6-1, Billings Central, Undecided; and Kortney Nelson, 5-8, Scobey, MSU Billings.
Midland Roundtable representative Mike Noland said the girls team will once again be a formidable force.
“This year we have a fun mix of players,” he said. “There is all kinds of different stories and different types of players. As far as the spectators, this should be a fun year.”
The games in Billings return to the Fortin Center after having been played at Alterowitz on the campus of Montana State Billings last year due to a water pipe breaking at the Fortin Center and the status of the gym floor at Rocky being uncertain. Rocky has since had a new floor installed.
Providence men’s basketball coach Steve Keller will once again lead the Montana boys team. Keller’s son, Wes Keller, will return to coach the Treasure State girls team. Wes Keller is the women’s basketball coach at Rocky.
Wyoming is in the process of finalizing its rosters and will release them at a later date. Sheridan College men’s basketball coach Cody Ball will coach the boys and Sheridan women’s basketball coach Ryan Davis will lead the girls.
Currently, Montana high school sports are suspended due to the outbreak of coronavirus. Begger said there is not a contingency plan as of yet if the current situation does not improve in time for the games to be played on the scheduled dates. He did say that organizers hope to “have a better feel for what is going on in each state” by the end of the month.
“Everybody has their fingers crossed we can still have the games in the middle of June,” Begger said. “We’re still being optimistic that is going to happen.”
Noland said that from the feedback the Roundtable has received, the Montana all-stars are “all excited and looking forward to” the games.
Montana’s high school state basketball tournaments were ended at the conclusion of the semifinals because of the coronavirus crisis. In all classifications for boys and girls, the winners of the semifinals were declared co-state champions.
In addition, the senior all-star classics traditionally held in Billings the following weekend were canceled due to the virus. Noland said “everybody is looking forward to” the all-star games.
“Both the boys and girls will be anxious as heck to get back out and play basketball,” he said.