OPINA'S OPINION: Northern C Wrap-Up and Awards - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

OPINA'S OPINION - Northern C Wrap-Up and Awards

OPINA'S OPINION: Northern C Wrap-Up and Awards

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  Honestly, I wish the Northern C Divisional would never end.

I can't even begin to explain how much fun it was to see people from the different teams and towns we cover gathered in one spot. And for once, it was nice to not have to travel in order to shoot game highlights!

Anyway, enough sentiment. It's time to get to the good stuff. The reason you clicked on the link to read this blog. Let's wrap up the Northern C And give away some awards, recognition and hardware! (Note, no actual physical hardware will be given out).

Most Valuable Player:

Boys – Luke Davison (Highwood)

How does a 3-seeded team advance to the Divisional title game and punch their ticket to state? On top of that, they gave undefeated Belt a fight in that title game.

If the Mountaineers didn't have Davison, Box Elder would probably be going to State. The guy was the definition of BUCKETS at the divisional. He (basically) had half of his team's points in each of Highwood's three games.

24 of 49 vs Box Elder

26 of 51 vs Denton/Stanford/Geyser

23 of 46 vs Belt

On average, that IS half the team's points. I can't wait to see how Davison tears up State.

Honorable Mentions: Lane Seymour (Chinook), Koltin Haugrose (Belt), Kash Perry (DGS), Jerrod Four Colors (Box Elder), Lane Prosser (GFCC), Tyler Tharp (Sunburst)

Girls – Katelyn Neibauer (Chinook)

This was the hardest to pick. There's so many good players that stood out.

Of the top 3 placing teams, Belt's Kerstyn Pimperton had the highest PPG (15.7). Cascade's Elsie Carpenter played a huge role in helping get the Badgers get to state. Chinook's Brooke Nicholson had a fantastic tournament too with 12.2 PPG.

Between Pimperton, Carpenter, Nicholson and Neibauer, the MVP award can easily go to any of them.

I went with Neibauer because she's the Beeters' do-it-all Senior. Score, rebound, pass, defense, hustle, whatever Chinook needed, Neibauer was there. She lead the team in scoring with 13.7 PPG in the tournament.

Yes, Chinook only got 3rd place and didn't make it to state, but they only loss that challenge game by 4 points. Keep in mind it was also their 6th game in 4 days since they had to win a game just to have the chance to play Belt on day one of the tournament.

The Beeters had to fight their way out of the consolation bracket and earn that 3rd place trophy. Neibauer is their MVP. She'll be hooping at Rocky Mountain this Fall.

Honorable Mentions: Kerstyn Pimperton (Belt), Elsie Carpenter (Cascade), Brooke Nicholson (Chinook), Emily Bergum (Roy/Winifred).

Best Coach:

Girls – Jeff Graham (Belt)

Tradition Never Graduates.

It amazes me that Belt is consistently competitive throughout the years. The Lady Huskies are in prime position to get that 4-peat. They are well prepared for every opponent they play (Which reminds me of one of my favorite John Wooden Quotes: “Failure to Prepare is Preparing to Fail”). Coach Graham does a great job of maintaining this program and keeping his team prepared.

A special honorable mention shout out goes to Mollie Rose (Chinook). Only in her early 20's, she was the youngest coach at this tournament. She had a heck of a rookie campaign as the basketball head coach (she's also been the volleyball coach for two years).

It's not easy to takeover for a legend like Charlie Robinson. Mollie did a fantastic job the whole season and in tournament time (on top of balancing her school work at MSU-Northern). She lead the Beeters to a 3rd place trophy after they lost in the consolation finals last year.

Click here to see the story we did on Coach Rose earlier this season.

Honorable Mentions: Mollie Rose (Chinook), Marietta Boyce/Mauri Elness (Roy/Winifred), Robin McKnight/Roger Halter (Cascade)

Boys – Kyle Paulson

To quote my sports colleague Blake Arthur's twitter account: “Belt's high intensity practices paying off here. Paulson has these boys trained to fight battles nobody else could win.”

He was referring to one of the practices he visited where Belt was running these insane drills with no water break. Blake made a comment about how it looked like a college practice, where coach Paulson replied, “I hope it's better than that.”

All that hard work paid off when the Huskies needed it the most. Highwood came out of that title game swinging. Belt took the blow and counter-punched in the way that coach Paulson has prepared them for.

The Huskies have yet to lose a game. Paulson is the obvious choice. Can't wait to see what they do at State.

Honorable Mentions: Scott Sparks (DGS), Aaron Skogen (Highwood), Jeremy MacDonald (Box Elder).

Best Freshman:

Boys – Treyton Pickering (Sunburst)

It's hard enough for Freshman to get PT. Pickering averaged 8.5 points a game at the tournament. Granted, the Refiners only played two games, but I liked what I saw from the kid in those two games. It's going to be fun to watch him play in his prep career.

Girls – Dani Urick (Belt)

I've been hearing about Dani Urick ever since she was in 8th grade. She has not disappointed in her freshman campaign, averaging 10.3 PPG at the divisional tournament (scored 14, 9 and 8 in Belt's three games).

Best Student Section: Highwood

Tournaments of any magnitude are nothing without quality student sections.

I was glad to see so many students on hand going crazy.

Particularly I loved how LOUD and ROWDY Highwood got. They were so loud that I could hear their “Sliced Bread! Sliced Bread!” Chants from the media table (Referring to a temporary joke where Blake Arthur changed his twitter name to “Sliced Bread.” He changed it back to Blake but the name has stuck. Even people in Malta are calling him Sliced Bread. Not to mention “Slice” is his new nickname in the KFBB Sports office).

Special Shout Outs to GFCC and Belt. Though from what I've heard on the Husky front, they didn't let their students out for some of the Lady Huskies' early games because they took place during school hours. I was told they “wanted to make a statement that academics means more than athletics.” C'mon now. Don't be a buzz kill. Let the kids support their classmates and peers!

Click here to see which student sections we put on TV.

Honorable Mentions; GFCC, Belt, Cascade, Power, Box Elder

Best Sign: President Obama

For the record: I am completely neutral when it comes to politics.

That said, I can appreciate a funny political joke when it rolls around. Simms Junior Erik Pschernig brought his A game with this hilarious sign of President Obama missing a tooth and sporting a unibrow (which actually reminded me of a Blake Arthur tweet from earlier this week).

There was actually a TON of creative signs.

Click here to see some of the signs that made air.

Another statement for the record: Erik's dad is a master on the BBQ grill.

Best Storyline: Cascade getting their teammate a win on her Birthday.

Sophomore Nicole Satterwhite got a “Sweet” birthday present for her Sweet 16th. The Lady Badgers took down Roy/Winifred, who is the only class C team to beat Belt this year.

It was a big win for sure. And they celebrated with cupcakes!

I had one. It was amazing.

Click Here to see the story we did on the Sweet 16 win.

Best Mascot: The Simms Tigers

There were three 6th/7th graders that shared two Tiger mascot costumes. And they know how to dance. Their moves are so nice, we put it on air.

Click here to see it.

Best Band: Power Pirates

Because they played the Pirates of the Caribbean theme. And they knocked it out of the park.

Unsung Hero Award: Tim Tharp (Sunburst)

I can't even imagine what it takes to put together a tournament like this. But Mr. Tharp did a fantastic job. The only way I could thank him was by hooking him up with some Café Rio Chips & Salsa.

But organizing a tournament takes a team effort. So another Shout-Out goes to Luke Mckinley (Centerville), Molly Pasma (Simms/Augusta), Brian Campbell (North Star) and all the others who helped out.

The other Unsung Hero Award: Hunter Neibauer (Chinook)

My phone was dying. I'm sitting next to a random 7th grader at the media table. First of all how did he even get a seat at the media table? Anyway, I thought I would take a shot in the dark and ask him if he had an iPhone 5S charger.

The dude straight up pulled one out of his pocket. HIS POCKET!!! I mean, who carries a phone charger in their pocket???

The dude saved my phone and my twitter game. The only way I could repay him was a shout-out on twitter.

I didn't know at the time he was the little brother of Katelyn and Taylor Neibauer, to which he replies “probably because they knew I can beat them 1-on-1.”

The kid's got spunk. I like it.

The Double-Take Award: Chase “Birdman” Rossmiller (Power)

I'm used to seeing the Birdman in a Power uniform.

I had to do a double-take when I saw him rocking a Belt Lady Husky Jersey.

Apparently, he was also rocking a Centerville jersey too.

The Birdman has many nests it seems.

Best Photobomber: “Antonio.”

……Just click here to see the picture

Best Pre-game Pose: The Belt Lady Huskies

Click here and here.

Best Live Hits: The Cascade Lady Badgers

So Nice, that we put them LIVE Twice!

Click here for 5PM still

Click here for the 6PM still

Honorable Mention: Kendall Carpenter (Denton/Stanford/Geyser).

Blake Arthur literally grabbed him off the court as soon as their game vs GFCC was over, just SECONDS before the LIVE hit. He was literally still sweating (so much that Blake actually wiped some of it off his head at the end of the LIVE hit).

Click here to see the LIVE HIT with Carpenter

Most Improved Interview: Mariah Satterwhite (Cascade)

Before the tournament began Mariah joked about how she “can officially check ‘fail an interview' “ off her bucket list. She was referring to the divisional preview we did with Cascade.

For the record, I didn't think that first interview was terrible. But she ended up giving her best TV interview right after they won the challenge game and punched their ticket to state. Pretty good improvement within a matter of 5 days.

It's not easy to do TV Interviews. I guess now would be the time I share my secret formula for a good TV answer:

Answer + Elaboration of Answer = Great Interview Answer.

The more you elaborate on your answer, the better the interview is.

Feel free to practice this formula by having your friends ask you questions.

You Da Real MVP Award: Whoever put together the Hospitality rooms

Seriously, do you have any idea what a reporter makes in a starter market? Free food is like gold to us. It allows us to save $$$ on our food budgets (Assuming I'm not the only reporter that makes a food budget).

I mean, just look at how amazing this Spaghetti looks.

The Other You Da Real MVP: Whoever made those Cascade Cupcakes.

Those Cupcakes were the real deal. They were pretty awesome.

Boys All Divisional Tournament Team:

1st Team:

Luke Davison (Highwood)
Koltin Haugrose (Belt)
Parker McCafferty (Belt)
Kash Perry (DGS)
Jarrod Four Colors (Box Elder)

Honorable Mention Team:

Kendall Carpenter (DGS)
Jordan LaFontaine (Highwood)
Matt Metrione (Belt)
Jake Jones (Box Elder)
Sterling White Cow (Hays/Lodgepole)
Lane Seymoure (Chinook)
Tyler Tharp (Sunburst)
Lane Prosser (Great Falls Central)
Reid Nelson (Great Falls Central)
Clayton Morsette Jr. (Box Elder)

Girls All Divisional Tournament Team:

1st Team:

Kerstyn Pimperton (Belt)
Brooke Nicholson (Chinook)
Kate Neibauer (Chinook)
Elsie Carpenter (Cascade)
Emily Bergum (Roy/Winifred)

Honorable Mention Team:

Bailey Cooper (Belt)
Dani Urick (Belt)
Addy Martin (Belt)
Angie Murnion (Winnett/Grass Range)
Tyra Gopher (Box Elder)
Mariah Satterwhite (Cascade)
Calise Ludvigson (Cascade)
Roxie Parenteau (Simms/Augusta)
Bryn Anderson (Great Falls Central)

Something I missed? Want to comment? Follow me on twitter and shoot me a tweet! @DerekOpinaKFBB

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