Rocky signs Sentinel's Harper

2014-06-26T17:30:00Z 2014-06-27T00:02:08Z Rocky signs Sentinel's Harper The Billings Gazette
June 26, 2014 5:30 pm

Sam Harper, who was the starting center on Missoula Sentinel's state championship girls basketball team last season, has signed with Rocky Mountain College and will join the women's program at the NAIA Frontier Conference school in the fall.

New Battlin' Bears coach Wes Keller announced the signing of the 6-foot-2 Harper on Thursday.

She averaged 8.7 points and 4.2 rebounds per game for the Spartans, who compiled a 22-1 record en route to a winning a third consecutive State AA title.

Harper, who led the Class AA ranks last season in blocked shots with her average of 1.85 per game, has been a part of all three championships at Sentinel.

She also ranked second in the state for field-goal shooting accuracy (64 percent) last season, and scored 12 points in the Spartans' 48-30 win over Billings West during the championship game in Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark in Billings last March.

"She's long, athletic," Keller said of Harper. "I see her being a rim protector for us defensively down the road. I just think she has a big upside."

Harper was selected to the State AA all-tournament team last March. She was an honorable mention all-conference pick.

Besides winning three consecutive titles, Sentinel has appeared in the last four state championship games.

"Anytime you can sign a student-athlete from a winning program, I feel like you're ahead of the game," Keller said. "In crunch times and different situations, they've been in those situations and know how to push through."

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