Loyola girls

Lani Walker (5) and Addison Jacobson (11), pictured on Jan. 2 against Eureka, have helped Missoula Loyola rise to No. 3 in the 406mtsports.com Class B girls basketball rankings.

BILLINGS — The 406mtsports.com Class B and C girls basketball rankings experienced all sorts of shifts after last week. 

Anaconda dropped from No. 3 to No. 5 in Class B due to a 64-54 loss to Whitehall on Saturday. Whitehall, which lost to Big Timber 50-43 on Jan. 2 and to Missoula Loyola 56-40 on Jan 16, vaulted from unranked to No. 4, while Loyola moved up one spot to No. 3. The Breakers' one loss this season was 58-50 at Anaconda on Jan. 9.

Columbus, which went from unranked to No. 10 in Class B, will play at Big Timber on Tuesday.

Fairfield fell one spot to No. 7 in Class B despite losing both of its games last week: 50-42 at Loyola on Thursday and 34-33 against Class C No. 7 Belt on Saturday.

Belt beat fellow defending State C co-champion Roy-Winifred 43-35 a day before the Fairfield game. Roy-Winifred, which fell from No. 3 to No. 8, defeated Belt 41-26 on Jan. 5.

Plentywood girls

Plentywood junior Liv Wangerin jumps against Saco-Whitewater-Hinsdale senior Kaitlyn McColly on the opening tip of the girls basketball season Saturday, Jan. 2 in Plentywood. 

The big winner in Class C was Saco-Whitewater-Hinsdale, which rose four spots to No. 2. The Mavericks beat then-No. 2 Melstone 56-53 in overtime on Thursday and Class B then-No. 5 Malta 50-46 on Saturday. They’ve also earned wins of 45-32 over Plentywood (7-1), 49-33 over Class B Glasgow (4-3) and 41-36 over Class C now-No. 10 Scobey.

Seeley-Swan, Charlo and Manhattan Christian each moved up four spots in Class C, as well — to No. 4, No. 5 and No. 6, respectively.

Previously unranked Bozeman is now No. 5 in Class AA thanks to a 57-46 win at then-No. 4 Great Falls on Saturday.

The Class A rankings didn’t change. No. 4 Columbia Falls beat No. 5 Hamilton 48-37 on Saturday.

Class A No. 1 Billings Central and No. 2 Hardin will face off Friday.

Class AA

1. Missoula Hellgate (5-0)

2. Helena Capital (3-1)

3. Billings West (5-0)

4. Helena (2-1) (+1)

5. Bozeman (4-1) (Previously unranked)

Class A

1. Billings Central (8-0)

2. Hardin (6-0)

3. Havre (6-1)

4. Columbia Falls (8-0)

5. Hamilton (5-1)

Class B

1. Big Timber (7-0)

2. Colstrip (5-0)

3. Missoula Loyola (8-1) (+1)

4. Whitehall (5-2) (Previously unranked)

5. Anaconda (5-1) (-2)

6. Malta (3-1) (-1)

7. Fairfield (4-2) (-1)

8. Eureka (6-2) (-1)

9. Roundup (7-1)

10. Columbus (6-1) (Previously unranked)

Class C

1. Fort Benton (8-0)

2. Saco-Whitewater-Hinsdale (8-0) (+4)

3. Melstone (8-1) (-1)

4. Seeley-Swan (6-0) (+4)

5. Charlo (5-0) (+4)

6. Manhattan Christian (9-0) (+4)

7. Belt (6-1)

8. Roy-Winifred (8-2) (-5)

9. Turner (5-1) (-5)

10. Scobey (8-1) (Previously unranked)

Basketball is "more than a sport" to Native Americans in Montana. But Native Americans have been disproportionately devastated by COVID-19. Many involved with Native basketball programs hope this season will not face any major COVID-related obstacles.

406mtsports.com's Victor Flores, Frank Gogola, Chris Peterson and Mike Scherting contributed to this week's rankings.

Disagree with the rankings, or have a question? Email Victor at victor.flores@406mtsports.com.

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