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 victor.flores@406mtsports.com and follow him on Twitter at @VictorFlores_BG

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