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Hellgate hoops star Tinkle gets offer from Utah

Hellgate hoops star Tinkle gets offer from Utah

He may have only finished two years of high school this spring, but Missoula Hellgate basketball forward Tres Tinkle has already caught the eye of recruiters at the college level.

The University of Utah became the first program to offer Tinkle a scholarship and a spot on its roster, both being for the 2015-16 season. The Utes likely won’t be the last to show their interest in the rising Montana star, though.

Mountain West Hoops first reported the offer Saturday morning. The basketball site ranks Tinkle, a 6-foot-6 small forward for the Knights, as its No. 1 player prospect in the region for the class of 2015. Continue reading

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  • 13 Jun 2014

    Sentinel grad, future Cowgirl faces best of Wyoming in all-star series

    Way back in November, Missoula Sentinel senior Olivia Roberts signed to play basketball at the University of Wyoming after graduation.

    Before she ever suits up for the Cowgirls, Roberts is getting a chance to play against some cowgirls this weekend as part of the Treasure State's roster in the Montana-Wyoming All-Star Basketball Series.

    "I think I'm most excited to play with all the best players in Montana," Roberts said this week before leaving for Billings to practice with her all-star squad. "Just to know that we all can step up and all know what it's like to have that same kind of mentality and motivation on the court." There are no Wyoming commits among the 10 girls on the state's all-star prep team. The school was most notably beat out by Stanford in the courting of Kaylee Johnson of Natrona County this past fall. Roberts said her loyalties haven't switched over from her home Montana quite yet. At least for a couple more months, until she makes the move to Laramie for school this fall, she's still a Montana girl.

    "I'm just excited to kick Wyoming's butt," she laughed. "And then when I go to school, it'll be vice versa."

    The former Spartan led Sentinel to three straight State AA basketball titles with a pair of all-state selections in her final two seasons. She averaged 18.3 and 8.3 points per game as a senior.

  • 30 Aug 2014

    Hometown Pride Classic a win for Montana football

    Even a narrow loss couldn't keep the Ronan football team down. "You don't ever want to say you're happy when you lose, but come on," Chiefs head coach Jim Benn said gesturing to his surroundings. "Getting to coach here and letting our kids have this experience, I mean I'm watching my quarterback take pictures with his parents on the field." The special location was Washington-Grizzly Stadium Saturday, which hosted the first Hometown Pride Classic series between high school teams in Montana and Idaho -- an event as pleasing to its organizer as it seemed to be to the players, coaches and fans involved. "This was the best case scenario," said Marc Burr, GM of the Billings Wolves indoor football team and the driving force behind the Hometown Pride Classic. "Who doesn't want to say they're hosting a game like this? And to have two or three of them lined up?" Prior to the Ronan vs. New Plymouth game on Saturday afternoon, Hamilton beat Salmon on Friday evening and then Frenchtown and Timberlake finished out the trio on Saturday night. Burr said the opener featuring Hamilton drew 577 paid attendees and 1,474 people , though the gate isn't really the main factor in calling the experiment a success or not. It's more in the feedback that Burr and other officials receive. Which so far has been overwhelmingly positive and supportive. The future of the Classic is still unknown. It only came together so nicely this year with the Montana Grizzlies traveling to Wyoming in Week 1, leaving their 25,000-capacity stadium vacant. Should it not work out so swimmingly in the future, Burr hopes to move games to Bozeman and Bobcat Stadium for another round here or down to the Moscow, Idaho, at the home of the University of Idaho. Either way, Year 1 of the Classic has Burr and Co. hoping to make the games a yearly event. "I would have to say this is definitely a win for the state of Montana," Burr said.
  • 04 Apr 2014

    Latest Loyola golf stars ready to continue run

    Following Tommy Tirrell's tie-breaking chip-off victory Friday that earned him second place at the Loyola Sacred Heart Invitational golf tournament, he carried his iron off the 18th green to talk to a waiting reporter. They introduced themselves, having never met before. Tirrell didn't garner too many interviews in his sophomore or freshman seasons golfing at Loyola. "You probably talked to Tom last year," Tirrell said, no hint of animosity in his statement of fact, just an observation. Tom Swanson, and with him Maggie Crippen on the girls' side, dominated the action for the Rams and Breakers golf teams over the past few seasons. Each are gone now onto NCAA Division I programs, but the Loyola golf legacy still has some sheen on it. The Loyola teams flashed it at their home invitational this week, the season opener for action without their multi-medalist leaders in camp. Swanson and Crippen were each three-time State B individual champions in their last three seasons of high school golf before graduating last spring. Swanson headed off to Michigan to swing for the Wolverines while Crippen is now on the links with North Dakota State. In their place is a new crew that isn't really very new at all. The top two girls and boys each played important roles in the past few seasons, though as sidekicks to their well-known superhero teammates. "And I think that even we didn't know how far along they had come," Loyola head golf coach Julia Jones said following the conclusion of this week's Loyola Invite. Tirrell and Jared Geer, who battled it out for second place Friday, were both top 10 finishers at state last year. So were Sadie Crippen and Brooke Bezanson on the girls' side, Crippen nearly knocking off her older sister before finishing second in the state meet. They seem to be stepping into the empty shoes with gusto as Loyola looks to continue its half decade of sheer state dominance. The boys are five-time defending champs, tied for the most consecutive wins at any boys' level with the 1993-97  Columbus team, while the Breakers have five straight state-trophy winning seasons with top-three finishes. Right there in the middle in 2011 is the program's only championship. "I think the expectation that they have is that if they work hard enough that it will continue," "And we've got good leadership. Jared Geer is our only senior, so they're young, but they're pretty well seasoned." Other players like Tom Sellman and Bryan Swanson for the boys and Madison Purdy, Julia Downing and Rosie McCormack for the girls will keep pushing those top pairs as the Rams and Breakers continue their march on Class B golf.
  • 23 May 2014

    Makena Morley gets creative to fund trip to track nationals

    Ever wanted an autographed photo of one of Montana's all-time record-breaking prep runners? Now's your chance. Bigfork High School junior and State B champion of champions Makena Morley is raising money through technology and grass roots to help her reach the New Balance Outdoor High School Track & Field Nationals meet in Greensboro, North Carolina in mid June. And any donors of $25 or more through the fundraising website IndieGoGo.com receive a Morley original complete with signature.  As of this posting, Morley is about 75 percent of the way to her goal of $2,300 for travel and lodging costs for her and her father to the national meet. Events run June 13-15. Morley isn't new to the national running scene, but she appears to be getting create in funding her trips there. She won the West Regional of the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships back in December and then finished eighth in the ensuing national race. "As a junior I have been to 4 national championship races (three in cross country and one for indoor track) but I have never won a national title, so this one is very important to me because I would love for this to be the year for me to win," Morley wrote on her IndieGoGo.com fundraising page. "It is an important year for my college recruiting process, because this is the year when all colleges are looking at you and at what you have accomplished!" IndieGoGo is a kind of online kickstarter to raise money for a cause or idea. It's "the world’s most established crowdfunding platform," according to the organization's website. Crowdfunding is the process of pooling money from many different people for a cause. Morley, a three-time winner of the State B cross country title and Gatorade Runner of the Year for Montana, plans to run the 5,000 meters at the New Balance Nationals along with either the one or two mile. For more about her trip to nationals, or to donate, you can visit her page here.