406 MT Sports

Editor's note: These are capsules we have received at 406mtsports.com. If you don't see your team's capsule here, please submit to sports@billingsgazette.com.

CENTRAL A

Belgrade Panthers

Head coach: Mike Deming

2016-17 record: 18-7

Starters returning: Dawson Fowler, All-State and First Team All Conference

Other key players: NA

Coach says: "Dawson Fowler is one of the best players in Montana and this will be his fourth year playing varsity basketball. We lost four senior starters from last year's successful team who played a majority of the minutes in each game. We will be using the early games to determine chemistry and what our identity will be. The current team is unproven and lack varsity experience. They are very coachable, competitive, athletic, and are working extremely hard."

Etc: Belgrade won the Central A regular-season title and lost in the fourth-place game to Polson in the Class A state tournament. ... Deming is 103-75 in eighth seasons with Belgrade.

Lewistown Golden Eagles 

Head coach: Scott Sparks

2016-17 record: 12-9

Starters returning: Jaden Graham, Jr; Tanner Trafton, Jr; Andrew Lalum, Sr.

Other key players: Noah Agostinelli, Sr; Landon Henderson, Sr; Jake Clinton Jr; Wes Jameson, Jr; Cody Henderson,Sr. 

Coach says: "For strengths we have great size and athleticism. We have strong senior guards. We are returning 8 players with a ton of varsity experience. Our weaknesses are that we are not very physical. I think we have two of the best juniors in the state in Jaden Graham and Tanner Trafton. Both had a great summer with Idaho Select, and have worked hard this off-season to get better. We have 8 kids that can really play and depth at all spots."

Etc: Graham was a All-State selection last season as well as being first team All-Conference....Trafton was a All-Conference selection....Lalum is a three year starter.

NORTHWEST A

Browning Indians 

Head coach: Dan Connelly 

2016-17 record: 10-10

Starters returning: Brandon Aims Back, Tyree Whitcomb

Other key players: Ames Gilham,Sr; Nano Stiffarm, Sr; Tyree Whitcomb, Jr. Ethan Running Crane, Jr. 

Coach says: "We have a strong foundation to build around having two returning front court starters (Brandon Aims Back Sr., 11.2 ppg, 8.2 rpg & Tyree Whitcomb Jr. 10.5 ppg, 6.9 rpg). We have talent throughout the program and a core group that is dedicated, determined, and focused. Browning has a strong boys basketball tradition and we are excited about continuing that trend this upcoming season. We look forward to being part of what will be a very competitive conference (Northwest A) and are working hard to become a top team in the State as well." 

Etc: Brandon Aims was a 1st team all-conference selection, Nano Stiffarm is a transfer from Billings Senior....

SOUTHWEST A

Dillon Beavers

Head Coach: Terry Thomas 

2016-17 record: 24-0

Starters returning: Michael Haverfield, Jr; 

Other key players: Andrew Lemieux, Sr; Clay Allison, Sr; Coby King, Sr; Jake Ferris, Sr. 

Coach says: "Good overall team quickness, athleticism, and ability to run the floor on both ends."

Etc: The Beavers were state champions last year going undefeated..... This is Coach Thomas's 13th year as head coach.....Michael Haverfield was 2nd team All-Conference last season. 

EASTERN A

Billings Central Rams

Head coach: Jim Stergar

2016-17 record: 17-8

Starters returning: Chrishon Dixon, Jr, PG, returning all-state

Other key players: Isaac Meyer, Sr; Jae Hugs, Sr; Sam Gray, Jr; Joe Byorth, Jr

Coach says: “We lost six seniors and leadership. We’ll be young and a team in progress looking to peak and be healthy at the right time again this year.”

Etc. This is Stergar's 6th season at Billings Central and 20th overall as a head high school basketball coach in Montana. In that time, Stergar has compiled a 258-170 record as a head coach ... The Rams have played in back-to-back state championship games, finishing second both times, and have been runners-up three out of the last five seasons.

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Glendive Red Devils

Head coach: Wade Murphy

2016-17 record: 4-15

Starters returning: Stephen Steinbron, Honorable Mention All Conference; Robby Keiser

Other key players: Lane Walker, Jonny Egan, Logan Boner, David Skerritt, Logan Boner

Coach says: "We are fairly inexperienced, but have some kids who work hard and are fun to coach."

Etc: F. 

Hardin Buldogs

Head coach: Andrew Round Face

2016-17 record: 16-9

Key Players: David Evans, Sr, PF/C, Famous Lefthand, So, G/SG; Codi Small, Sr, G; Konnolly Shane, Sr, C; Malik Toure, Sr, C; Andrew House, Jr, F.

Coach says: "Our team strength will be our size and quickness. They work so hard and all understand what it's going to take to get back up to the top again." 

Etc: David Evans was 2nd team All-Conference last season....Cayden Redfield is coming back after suffering an unreal accident last season during the divisional tournament that kept him from showing his talent.

Miles City Cowboys

Head coach: Houston Finn

2016-17 record: 6-16

Starters returning: Gabe Gundlach, Sr, Kaden Stradley, Jr, Steven Ray, Jr. 

Other key players: Clay Prell, Jr, Cameron Muri, Jr. 

Coach says: "We will be young but our guys work hard and should improve greatly throughout the season. Our group of juniors saw a good amount of varsity time last year and understand what it takes to compete in the Eastern A." 

Etc: This is coach Finn's 7th year as head coach.

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