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First 406mtsports.com boys basketball rankings of season topped by Eastern teams, except Class AA

First 406mtsports.com boys basketball rankings of season topped by Eastern teams, except Class AA

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Huntley Project vs. Lodge Grass

Malachi Little Nest helped No. 1 Lodge Grass beat David Wohlfeil and No. 5 Huntley Project on Friday in Worden.

BILLINGS — The state’s two smallest classifications have defending co-state champions ranked No. 1 in the first 406mtsports.com boys basketball rankings of the 2020-21 season. The two largest classifications are topped by teams that went two-and-out at state last season.

Missoula Sentinel is No. 1 in Class AA thanks to wins over Kalispell Flathead and Glacier last week. The Spartans are led by a stable of returning stars, most notably Montana State signee Alex Germer.

Defending AA co-champions Missoula Hellgate and Billings Skyview are No. 2 and No. 4, respectively.

In Class A, defending co-champion Hardin is one spot behind Eastern A rival Billings Central, which is No. 1 in the season’s first rankings. The Bulldogs graduated most of their best players from last year’s undefeated team, while the Rams returned most of theirs and added talented transfers Nick Pasquarello, Clarence Stewart and Cayden Merchant.

The other defending co-champion, Butte Central, graduated the bulk of its best players and has lost its only game of the season so far, to No. 4 Dillon.

Lodge Grass shared last season’s State B title with Fairfield, and the Indians are No. 1 in the opening Class B rankings thanks to their key returning players and their 2-0 start, including a close win over No. 5 Huntley Project on Friday. They will face Hardin on Wednesday at First Interstate Arena at MetraPark.

Fairfield is No. 6 and 2-1 — the one loss was to No. 2 Shelby.

Like Lodge Grass, defending State C co-champion Scobey is loaded with accomplished returners and is undefeated to start this season, which is why it is No. 1 in the first Class C rankings.

The Spartans shared the title with Fairview, which is ranked No. 9. The Warriors lost their best players to graduation but have played well in their first three games, with only a 46-45 loss at No. 6 Froid-Lake preventing a perfect start.

Class AA

1. Missoula Sentinel (2-0)

2. Missoula Hellgate (2-0)

3. Great Falls (2-0)

4. Bozeman (2-0)

5. Billings Skyview (1-1)

Class A

1. Billings Central (4-0)

2. Hardin (1-0)

3. Frenchtown (3-0)

4. Dillon (3-0)

5. Ronan (3-0)

Class B

1. Lodge Grass (2-0)

2. Shelby (4-0)

3. Deer Lodge (3-0)

4. Manhattan (3-0)

5. Huntley Project (2-1)

6. Fairfield (2-1)

7. Malta (2-0)

8. Harlem (1-1)

9. Bigfork (2-1)

10. Florence-Carlton (2-1)

Class C

1. Scobey (3-0)

2. Manhattan Christian (2-0)

3. Twin Bridges (3-0)

4. Chinook (1-0)

5. Belt (3-0)

6. Froid-Lake (3-0)

7. Fort Benton (3-0)

8. Melstone (4-0)

9. Fairview (2-1)

10. Valley Christian (4-0)

406mtsports.com's Victor Flores, Chris Peterson, Mike Scherting and Jeff Welsch 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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