Class A Girls Basketball
2018-19 top three: 1) Havre, 2) Hardin, 3) Columbia Falls
See that top three from a year ago? It’s the same top three as the year before that. Could it be same top three for a third consecutive season? Havre has the strongest chance to repeat its standing with the two-time defending champion Blue Ponies returning three all-staters: Montana-bound senior Kyndall Keller, senior Kadia Miller and sophomore Sadie Filius. Columbia Falls lost just three players to graduation, but two were all-staters Ryley Kehr and Trista Cowan. Hardin was the hardest hit by graduation — five seniors were on last year’s roster — but coach Cindy Farmer’s program has been on a roll, so reloading isn’t out of the question.
As for potential interlopers, the transfer of Montana commit Mya Hansen from fourth-place and semifinalist Laurel to Billings Central (a semifinalist, as well) certainly strengthens the Rams. Browning won a game at state last year and should be one of the top teams from the Northwest. Perhaps Glendive, which had a strong season in volleyball with a third-place finish, is ready for a run. The Southwest A had plenty of underclassmen on its honor teams, so maybe one of those teams repeats the season-ending sprint Butte Central had to become a state-level team last season. Even so, breaking up the Havre-Hardin-Columbia Falls triumvirate would be quite an accomplishment.
One big number
3.0: That’s the average margin of victory in 10 games between two of Billings Central, Columbia Falls, Hardin, Havre and Laurel last season. That figure doesn’t include Laurel’s 29-point victory over Columbia Falls in the first round of the state tournament, though it does include the Wildkats’ two-point overtime victory over Laurel two days later in the third-place game.