Roy-Winifred vs. Ekalaka

Isabelle Heggem, pictured driving against Ekalaka's Whitney Kittelmann during the State C girls semifinals last March is one of Roy-Winifred's best returning players.

Class C girls basketball

2019-20 Co-champions: Belt and Roy-Winifred

2020-21 storylines

• Belt and Roy-Winifred were probably the truest co-champions in any classification last season. The Huskies and Outlaws both had 24-2 records heading into the State C title game, which was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Each co-champion went 2-2 against each other, with a 47-45 Belt victory in the District 8C title game and a 47-46 Roy-Winifred divisional title win.

• Belt graduated all-state players Kyelie Marquis, Shelby Paulson, Kolby Pimperton and Brooke Schraner, but it returns important players such as Lindsey Paulson, Shelby’s now-junior sister and an all-state selection, into this pandemic-delayed season.

Roy-Winifred, the 2018-19 State C runner-up to Box Elder, had two senior all-state players last season — Dyauni Boyce (now at Montana State Billings) and Olivia Geer — and returns an all-state honoree, Madeline Heggem, who was a sophomore last year. Key players Laynee Elness and Isabelle Heggem were eighth graders a season ago.

• Melstone, the team Belt beat in the state semifinals, has the ingredients to be a state championship contender. One of the state’s best players, Draya Wacker, is heading into her junior season with the Broncs, as is fellow all-state selection Kayla Kombol. Teammate Koye Rindal earned an all-state spot as a freshman last season.

• Scobey, which lost 38-29 in the first round at state and finished 23-2, graduated MSUB-bound Kortney Nelson but returns all-state senior Gracee Lekvold.

• The other team that beat Scobey was Westby-Grenora, which graduated Jenna Rust but returns fellow all-state player Elizabeth Field.

• Seeley-Swan, which lost to Melstone and Scobey at state, had one all-state player last season, then-senior Terra Bertsch, but key contributors Klaire Kovatch (now a senior) and Sariah Maughan (now a junior) are back.

One big number

7: Belt outscored Roy-Winifred by seven total points in their four matchups last season. The co-title was Belt’s seventh first-place finish at state in program history, as well (1991, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017 were the first six championships).

Email Victor Flores at and follow him on Twitter at @VictorFlores_BG

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