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Plentywood boy is national champ SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - Matt McCoy, a third grader at Plentywood School, made 28 of 30 free throws last weekend to win the championship in the Boys 8-9 age division of the 2002 Elks Hoop Shoot National Free Throw Contest on the campus of Western New England College.

McCoy was one of two Montanans to return from the competition as national champions. Alexandra Hurley of Anaconda was a perfect 25 of 25 in winning the Girls 12-13 age division.

McCoy, 9, hit 23 of 25 free throws in regular competition, which ended in a tie. In a shoot-off to break the tie, McCoy was a perfect 5 for 5.

More than three million boys and girls began the 2002 Hoop Shoot competition at local levels, with just 72 advancing to the national finals. McCoy made 106 of 115 (92 percent) of his attempts in advancing to Springfield - 13 for 15 at the local level, 23 for 25 at the district competition in Plentywood, 22 for 25 at the divisional competition in Glendive, 24 for 25 at the state finals in Billings and 24 for 25 again at the regional finals in Rapid City, S.D.

He also made 92 percent of his attempts at nationals.

McCoy, Hurley and the other four national champions will have their names engraved on the Elks Hoop Shoot Champions plaque in the Basketball Hall of Fame, which is located in Springfield, Mass., the site of the national finals.

McCoy is the son of Bill and Deann McCoy of Plentywood.

For finishing with the highest score in the girls competition, Hurley was presented with the Getty Powell Award and will be invited to address the Elks at their national convention in Reno, Nev., in July.

For more information on the Elks Hoop Shoot Contest, log on to www.elks.orgSpeedway Test & Tune Day today Magic City Speedway of Billings will hold its annual Test & Tune Day today, with the gates opening at noon and testing starting at 2 p.m.

Test & Tune Day is a chance for drivers to drive practice laps and for spectators to get an early look at this year's field.

On Saturday, May 4, MCS will hold a car show at the Bumper To Bumper store on King Avenue from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Five track points will be given to drivers whose cars are in the show. A prize will be awarded for Best Looking Car and a special prize will be awarded to the best looking car in the new Pure Stock class.

MCS will open its 2002 season on May 4 with Late Models, Modifieds, Super Stocks, Street Stocks and Mini Sprints in action at 7 p.m. The Pure Stock class will make its debut on May 11.Gauger wins title in Casper SHERIDAN, Wyo. - Laurel native Chase Gauger, a sophomore on the Sheridan College rodeo team, partnered with Jarrod Farella to win the team roping title at the Casper College Rodeo last weekend.

Gauger and Farella won the first round with a time of 5.8 and recorded a time of 7.4 in the short round to win the average.

Gauger is currently the No. 1-ranked heeler in the Northern Intercollegiate Rodeo Association's Rocky Mountain Region and is ranked among the top five heelers in the nation in college rodeo, according to Sheridan coach B.J. Rhodes.

The Sheridan men's and women's teams are at the Northeastern Junior College Rodeo this weekend in Sterling, Colo. The College National Finals Rodeo is June 11-15 in Casper, Wyo.Foster, Hatch sign with Northwest POWELL, Wyo. - Northwest College women's basketball coach Tom Webb has announced the signing of Amy Hatch of Rocky Mountain, Wyo., and Brittni Forster of Laurel to letters of intent to play for the Lady Trappers next year.

Hatch, a 6-foot center, is a two-time Wyoming all-state selection. She averaged 18 points, 16 rebounds, five blocks, four assists and four steals per game as a senior.

Hatch, who has been selected to play in the Montana-Wyoming All-Star series and the Wyoming-South Dakota All-Star series this summer, recorded a double-double in points and rebounds in every game as a senior.

Forster, a 6-foot-1 forward/center, averaged 6.2 points and 2.5 rebounds as a senior at Laurel.

Forster and Hatch join a recruiting class that also includes Amy Sylvan of Big Sandy, Mont., and Erin Hicks of Mountain Home, Idaho. The Lady Trappers finished with a 20-9 record last season.Erickson named Northern coach HAVRE - Montana State-Northern assistant men's basketball coach and interim women's basketball coach Mike Erickson was hired Friday as the school's head women's basketball coach.

Erickson has been the interim women's basketball coach for the Skylights since Feb. 12, after coach Kevin Emerick, was suspended for maintaining a personal relationship with a student. Emerick lost a court battle to keep his job.

The Skylights posted a 3-3 record with Erickson as interim coach. Before then, Erickson was an assistant men's basketball coach at Northern.

"I'm just overwhelmed," Erickson said. "It's just unbelievable to know I have an opportunity to be a college coach and start my career."

Erickson has been recruiting since the season ended and will continue to do so now that he is the head coach.

Erickson, who had less college coaching experience than two other candidates, was hired because of his connections in Montana, officials said.

"He has Montana connections. He has the ability to recruit in Montana," said Chancellor Alex Capdeville. "He's been a successful head coach at the high school level. He's been well received by the players and the committee and he did an extraordinary job during a very difficult time."

Before Erickson's move to Havre, he was the head boys basketball coach at Wolf Point High School for three seasons. In his tenure with the Wolves, Erickson compiled at 54-12 record and led his team to two district championships, a divisional championship and two state tournament appearances.

He graduated from MSU-Billings in 1996 with a bachelor of science degree in physical education.

Northern is still looking for a men's basketball coach to replace Brian Harrell, who resigned.Junior golf forms available May 1 The Yellowstone County Junior Golf program will have entry forms available at all pro shops on May 1.

Only one entry is allowed per envelope and each envelope must have a postmark on it. Entries close when the tournaments are full and a confirming letter will be mailed out as soon as possible. The maximum number of entries is 160.

The format for play is the same as last year. Older players will play nine holes, while younger ones will play five. For information, call 256-1263.UW wrestling signs 5 state champs LARAMIE, Wyo. - Wyoming wrestling coach Steven Suder announced the signing of five student-athletes, all of whom have won state high school championships.

"We feel like this class of freshmen, and the possible addition of a couple junior-college transfers, will not only complement this team well but will help us to actualize our goals as a program," he said Wednesday.

"They have all had impressive high school careers and know what it takes to achieve a high amount of success."

The 2002 signees are:

Sam Wendland, 195, Bozeman. A two-time Montana state champion at 189 pounds, winning back-to-back titles his junior and senior seasons. Went 65-5 during that span.

Danny Clum, 162 pounds, Arvada, Colo., Pomona. Posted a career record of 127-13, including a 145-pound title as a junior.

Barrett Duell, 140, Burlington, Colo. Class 3A titleist at 130 pounds his senior season. He was 23-1 this past season and 128-16 in four years.

Jake Severn, 200, Glendale, Ariz., Deer Valley. An Arizona 215-pound champion as a senior. Compiled a 40-2 record. Brother Drew wrestles for UW and plays for the football team.

Remington Trabing, 155, Laramie. The Wyoming Class 4A 152-pound titleholder after a 43-0 senior season. Won the 103-pound title as a freshman. Won a school record 134 matches, losing only 17 for his career.UW rugby team in Final Four LARAMIE, Wyo. - The University of Wyoming rugby team is preparing for its second Final Four appearance in three years.

The Cowboys reached the semifinals of the men's Division I championship with a 29-19 win over Indiana U. of Pennsylvania Sunday in State College, Pa. UW had beaten Connecticut 51-14 Saturday.

"I think we've established ourselves as one of the collegiate super powers in Division I," coach Rich Cortez said.

The Wyoming team, which doesn't award scholarships, will meet San Diego State May 4 in Virginia Beach, Va.

The Aztecs reached the Final Four with a 24-7 win over Utah.

In the other semifinal, 11-time defending national champion California faces Army.

Two years ago, the Cowboys reached the championship match but fell to California 62-16.

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