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Helena girls tipoff

Montana Lady Griz signee Jamie Pickens wins the tipoff for the Helena High girls basketball team against Missoula Sentinel on Saturday.

The Helena High girls basketball team will continue to the hold the top spot in Class AA until further notice.

The Bengals, who have a looming showdown with third-ranked Helena Capital, continue to reign at the top spot and most likely won’t be challenged until they face the Bruins on Jan. 18.

The Lady Bengals, with a 70-32 victory over CMR and a 71-22 victory over Missoula Sentinel, aim to be the first AA team to win three consecutive titles since Missoula Sentinel captured its third straight title in 2013-2014.

“We played the top team in the state, or shall I say play one of the top three teams in the state," Sentinel coach Karen Deden said after losing to Helena. "We've played West, and West and Capital are right in that mix. We play Capital on Tuesday, and that will be a tough game."

Class A will look to be a battle between Havre, Billings Central and Columbia Falls. Browning or Laurel might be two teams that could also quickly be vying to hoist the championship trophy.

Townsend,'s top-ranked team in Class B since the start of the season, was challenged by Three Forks on Saturday night as their star player Kyle Olson nearly led them to victory in the 36-35 loss to the Bulldogs. This close call moved last year's champs back in the rankings.

Class C is where most of the movement occurred in the rankings. It happened after our previously No. 1 ranked team Belt lost to Hobson-Moore-Judith Gap 46-41. This moved their archrival Box Elder to claim the No. 1 spot. The victory also moved Hobson-Moore-Judith Gap to No. 3 and walked Fort Denton up to the No. 2 spot this week.

The Huskies' fall at No. 1 should be one of many intriguing storylines as the girls in all classifications continue to battle for the top spot in fields cluttered with talent.


Class AA

1.) Helena High (7-0)

2.) Billings West (6-0)

3.) Helena Capital (6-0)

4.) Kalispell Glacier (3-2)

5.) Butte (3-2)

Class A

1.) Havre (8-0)

2.) Billings Central (6-1)

3.) Columbia Falls (9-0)

4.) Laurel (5-2)

5.) Browning (7-1)

Class B

1.) Townsend

2.) Wolf Point

3.) Harlem

4.) Columbus

5.) Malta

6.) Forsyth

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7.) St. Labre

8.) Whitehall

9.) Florence

10.)Three Forks

Class C

1.) Box Elder

2.) Fort Benton

3.) Hobson-Moore-Judith Gap

4.) Belt

5.) Savage

6.) Froid-Lake

7.) Winnett-Grass Range

8.) Scobey

9.) Plentywood

10.) Ennis