Sports News Briefs

Billings team tops ABC team chartsValley Express of Billings is still in the team lead in the Classified division at the American Bowling Congress Tournament begin staged at the MetraPark Expo Center.

Valley Express is leading with a total pinfall of 2,622. Pride of Montana, another Billings team, is second at 2,609.The five-member Classified teams have scoring averages of 900 or less.

The Valley Express squad is comprised of Gary Berns, Karen Berns, Todd Westmeyer, Ron Wingerter and Gerald Freitag.

Another Billings bowler, Mike Sampson, is leading the Regular division singles with a 741 series. The Regular division is for bowlers with averages above 180.

Sampson, a 26-year-old heating and cooling systems salesman bowling in his first ABC, rolled games of 254, 231 and 256. After bowling only 473 in team and 493 in doubles, taking over the singles lead was about the furthest thing from his mind.

“I was nervous and was really just lost,” Sampson said. “I was joking with my teammates after doubles that I’m really not that bad.”

After slowing his approach and throwing more of an outside shot in the first game of singles, Sampson started striking. “It was like night and day,” he said. “I felt that with any breaks I could have easily had an 800 series.”

No bowling is scheduled for today at the Expo Center. Competition at the 99th ABC Tournament will run through June 23.

Top 10 standings are in Scoreboard, Page 4D.Outlaws to hold final tryoutThe Billings Outlaws professional indoor football team will be holding their final open tryout before training camp on Saturday beginning at 6 p.m. at Rocky Mountain College’s Fortin Center.

Any players making the initial roster will be notified on Sunday. Training camp will begin Monday, Feb. 18.

For information, call the Outlaws office at 259-2226.Rockies promote P.J. CareyDENVER – The Colorado Rockies hired P.J. Carey as manager of their Double-A affiliate in the Southern League.

Carey, who will lead the Carolina Mudcats, managed Casper – Colorado’s rookie team – to the Pioneer League playoffs last season.

Carey was the manager of the 1991 Billings Mustangs and was selected as the Pioneer League’s Manager of the Year that summer.

He has worked for the Colorado organization since 1993 and served as the Rockies bullpen coach in 1997.Powell wins gold in barrel racingFARMINGTON, Utah – Molly Powell, competing for the Canadian team, was the gold medal winner in barrel racing at the Olympic Command Performance Rodeo that concluded Monday evening.

Powell, formerly Molly Swanson of Simms, clinched her gold medal by winning the third round in 14.96, the fastest time of the three rodeos. Powell is a Canadian native.

Larry Sandvick of Alzada earned a silver in the bareback competition, while Billings’ Dan Mortensen was a bronze medal winner for saddle bronc.

Mortensen placed second in two rounds and tied for third in the final round.

The event pitted five competitors from the United States against five competitors from Canada in each event. Medals were determined by points earned at the three rodeos.

Utah natives, Lan LaJeunesse and Blue Stone, won gold medals in bareback riding, and bull riding, respectively.

Clay Tryan of Billings and partner Caleb Twisselman, of Santa Margarita, Calif., won the second round of team roping with a time of 5.5 seconds and tied for second in the third round.

Complete results are in Scoreboard, Page 4D.MSU’s Blake earns Big Sky honorOGDEN, Utah – Montana State’s Jessica Blake was named the Big Sky Conference women’s basketball player of the week, after scoring 39 points and grabbing 16 rebounds in two weekend victories.

Blake had 12 points and 11 rebounds in MSU’s 71-56 victory at Eastern Washington on Friday.

The native of Shelley, Idaho, had a career-high 27 points, five rebounds, four assists, three steals and a blocked shot Saturday in the Bobcats’ 76-64 victory at Portland State, which had upset league-leading Montana on Friday.

For the weekend, Blake averaged 19.5 points, eight rebounds and 2.5 assists while shooting 65 percent from the floor and 75 percent from the free throw line.Frontier teams included in Top 10 The Carroll College men and University of Montana-Western women – leaders of the Frontier Conference – are both ranked among the top 10 teams in this week’s NAIA Top 25 poll.

UM-Western, 24-3 and winners of 12 straight games, moved up from No. 4 to No. 3 this week. Carroll, which is 22-5 and riding an 10-game winning streak, climbed from No. 11 to No. 10.

Both UM-Western and Carroll are leading the conference standings with 11-0 records.

The Lewis-Clark State men’s and women’s basketball teams, sitting in second place in the league standings, are both ranked in the latest Top 25 poll. The L-C-State women, 17-9, are ranked No. 22, while the Warrior men, 19-8, are No. 25.

Rocky Mountain College will be in Lewiston, Idaho, on Saturday night to take on the L-C State men and women. The women’s game will begin at 7 p.m. (Mountain time).Carroll player earns Frontier awardBUTTE – Nikki McElligott of Carroll College and Brad Willden of Westminster College are the Frontier Conference basketball players of the week, league commissioner Ron Kenison announced Monday.

McElligott, a 6-foot-2 sophomore forward from Ione, Ore., had 43 points, 34 rebounds and nine assists in three games last week, including two key Frontier Conference victories.

Carroll beat Montana Tech 81-67 and Rocky Mountain 72-60, while losing at NCAA Division II Montana State Billings.Turley to play at Air ForceDustin Turley has accepted an appointment to the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., where he will play football.

Turley is the son of Bret and Michele Turley, formerly of Roundup.

Turley, a 6-foot-4, 275 pound senior, was named first team all- Grossmont South Conference and was a team captain at Granite Hills High School (San Diego), Calif.

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