The Helena Bengals were the best girls basketball team in the state yet again this season as Bengals won their second consecutive state title. Although it was teamwork that made the dream work for the Bengals, their celebration was extended Monday morning when Jamie Pickens was named Montana's Gatorade Player of the Year.
The 6-foot-2 inch junior led the Bengals to a 21-3 season and their second straight AA State Championship. The first-team All-state forward and Lady Griz commit averaged 15 points, 12 rebounds, three steals, two assists, and two blocks per game. Pickens and teammate, Kamden Hilborn shared tournament MVP honors earlier this month after defeating Missoula Sentinel in the title game for their second straight state championship. Despite the accomplishment, Pickens says that the team's run still means more to her.
"It was a really big honor. I know there's a lot of really good players out there so to be able to compete with them and receive this honor was a big deal obviously. I think winning the state title was probably the best part of the whole year. The Gatorade was like the cherry on top but I got to do the other thing with my team and coaches and fans and supporters instead of just me," said Pickens.