HELENA -- As District 5B’s Townsend and Jefferson High basketball teams prepare for the season’s first Elkhorn Area rivalry games this weekend, 406mtsports.com presents the girls portion of this week’s 5 Questions segments with players from both teams.

Jefferson senior Ellie Evertz and junior Tavia Rooney of Townsend – who will partake in their fourth and third years of the Elkhorn area hoops series season – answered 5 questions heading into this weekend’s tilt.

The two teams are currently battling for second place in the district standings, behind undefeated leader Three Forks. The Lady Panthers are 6-2 overall, and 3-1 in conference play, while Broadwater is 6-1, 2-1.

The Lady Bulldogs, who were ranked No. 3 in the latest 406mtsports.com poll, were shaded by No. 1 Three Forks 67-64 last Saturday.

Townsend will host the meetings with Jefferson on Saturday, with the boys game scheduled for 4 p.m., followed by the girls contest.

Tavia Rooney, a 6-foot “post/small forward,” leads Townsend in at least three categories, averaging 13.4 points, 9.5 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game.

She’s followed in the scoring column by four teammates above 6 ppg, including Lainee Hill (12.1), Charlotte Watson (8.8) and Catie Watson (6.6).

Rooney has started all three years for the Lady Bulldogs, and last year was selected Class B all-state, after averaging a double-double, at 18.6 points and 12 rebounds, along with 4.6 steals per game.

Rooney – who sports a 3.87 GPA in the classroom – is on pace to graduate with seven letters, four in hoops and three in volleyball.

As a spiker for Townsend, her sophomore year she led the blue-and-white with 162 kills, 181 digs and 64 blocks, and was named first team all-conference. She missed most of her junior season this fall with mononucleosis, and is just recently returning to 100 percent.

Ellie Evertz is a 6-foot post in her fourth year with the varsity. She’s JHS’ No. 2 scorer and rebounder, at 10.7 points and 3.9 boards per game. Aubrey McMaster is the top scorer at 14.3 ppg and assist leader with 2.1 passes per game, while Emily McGinnis is high under the glass with a 5.0 rebounding average. Leah Vossler is tops in steals at 4.3 swipes a game.

She will leave the school with eight letters, four each in volleyball and basketball.

As a junior hoopster, Evertz was selected 2017 second team all-conference, while scoring 8.0 points and 5.0 rebounds a game.

With this fall’s volleyball team as a middle blocker, she helped JHS to a fourth-place showing at the Class B tournament, for the program’s highest finish at state. Jefferson’s spikers finished at 18-9, while Evertz was selected second team all-conference.

1. Who has had the most influence on your career, and how so?

Rooney: My parents, Brian and Janine Rooney, always pushed me to work my hardest. They got me in the gym and to tournaments, and gave me the opportunity to do what I wanted to do.

Evertz: My sister, Rachelle Bennett. She played basketball in Havre, I’ve always looked up to her, she pushed me to be a better athlete. And Janessa Williams (now at MSU-B), I was a freshman when she was a senior. She showed me how to play with confidence.

2. What type of activities do you do in the offseason, any favorite hobbies?

Evertz: I’m in the gym a lot in the summer, but I also enjoy hiking and photography.

Rooney: I like camping with family and friends, fishing, hiking and boating with my family on Canyon Ferry Lake.

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3. What do you enjoy most about the game of basketball, and what do you consider some of your strengths?

Rooney: I love the team aspect of the sport, when your teammates all have the same drive to win. And I like celebrating our teamwork. A mid-range jumper is my best shot, but assisting on offense is a good feeling too. And I also like playing defense, stealing a ball and blocking.

Evertz: I’m a pretty competitive person, I like the adrenaline rush of scoring the game-winner, to pull a win out in the end. I like being well-rounded. Playing defense is rewarding when you make a steal or block a shot, and I enjoy scoring and assisting.

4. What is your GPA, who’s your favorite teacher, and what’s your favorite subject?

Evertz: I have a 3.85. I don’t know if I have a favorite teacher, but I like math and science.

Rooney: A 3.87 GPA, and Mr. Robischon’s Biology II class.

5. What is the highlight of your experiences with the Elkhorn area basketball rivalry, and any close friends over there?

Rooney: The games against Boulder are always really competitive. It’s good to have a win, and to play hard for a win, since we’re so close to each other. And I’ve played in some AAU tourneys with Aubrey McMaster.

Evertz: I think we get pretty amped playing each other. I know a lot of girls in Townsend and we all get along pretty well. Payton Vogl and I went to Arizona together on different club volleyball teams.

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