Missoula Hellgate coach Jeff Hays insists he didn’t lose much sleep over the Montana version of The Decision.
Only two boys basketball teams won consecutive state championships in the past six years. Josh Huestis' Great Falls CMR teams did it in 2009 and 2010, and Malta won back-to-back titles in 2012 and 2013.
Summer league basketball has taken on a life of its own for high school athletes and coaches in Montana. Not many days go by without a tournament, shoot-around or open gym for players hoping to make their impact the following basketball season.
Trailing by seven points at halftime, Billings West coach Doug Robison believed his team was still in great position to knock off defending state champion Missoula Hellgate.
The best and brightest of Class AA will descend on Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark this weekend for the combined boys and girls state basketball tournament, which tips off Thursday morning.
For high school hoopsters, basketball is a year-round affair. Their high school seasons end in March, their teams play in tournaments in early summer, and then many attend camps or hit the AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) circuit after that.
At the end of July, I visited the Montana Coaches Association clinic in Great Falls – shook some hands, grabbed some interviews, listened to a couple speakers, etc.