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Parker Johnston is All-Area boys basketball player of the year; Bruins earn 4 first-teamers
High School Basketball

Parker Johnston is All-Area boys basketball player of the year; Bruins earn 4 first-teamers

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In terms of sports, it was a year full of accolades for Parker Johnston and it continues with the Independent Record's All-Area boys basketball team. 

Not only is Johnston a first-teamer, but just as he did in football, the Capital standout is the All-Area Player of the Year.

"Easy call," Capital head coach Guy Almquist said. "Parker was the straw that stirred the drink for one of Capital's best offensive teams ever. Led the team in assists and rebounds...a unique combination along with being our best defensive player."

Johnston finished the season averaging 9.1 points per game, 5.2 rebounds and 4.9 assists, which led all of Class AA. He also notched 32 steals as he helped the Bruins reach the state tournament and the Western AA Divisional title game for the second straight year.

In addition to all that, Johnston was named All-State last week and earned First-Team All-Conference honors in the Western AA. 

"He's a special kid," Almquist said. "Glad to finally see him get recognition in hoops." 

The Bruins lost to Great Falls High in their opening game in Bozeman, at the AA state tourney. But Capital rebounded to defeat Butte High, before the tournament was called off due to COVID-19.

Capital finished with 17 wins in all and because of that, the Bruins earned four of the six spots on the Independent Record's All-Area First Team with Bridger Grovom, Trevor Swanson and Brayden Koch joining Johnston.

Grovom, a First-Team All-Area selection in football, averaged 11.3 points per game this season and connected on 43 3-point field goals. He finished his Capital career with 119 treys, which eclipsed the previous school record held by Ben Ternes. 

Swanson earned his way onto the team after leading the Bruins in scoring (13.3 ppg). He also averaged 3.6 boards and was third on the team in treys with 41. The senior is also an All-State golfer. 

The guy who led Capital in 3-pointers this season was sophomore Brayden Koch, who made First-Team All-Area after averaging 12.7 points. He tied a school record with eight 3-pointers at the state tournament against Great Falls High and for the season, he made 54, which is also a new school record.

Capital's crosstown rival Helena High, had one player make the first team and that was Logan Brown, who led the Bengals in points (11.5) and rebounds (6.3). Brown also registered 37 steals and 17 3-balls.

Jefferson's Avery Stiles rounded out the first team. He led the Panthers with a scoring average of 13.4 and also finished with 6.3 rebounds per game, as well as 47 3-pointers.

Leading the way on the All-Area Second Team was Helena's Hayden Ferguson, who wrapped up a solid senior season by averaging 11.5 points and 5.3 rebounds. 

Bengals' sophomore Kaden Huot also made it after scoring 7.4 points a game and hitting 22 3-pointers.

Capital's Shane Haller gave the Bruins a fifth-member on the 12-man roster, earning Second-Team honors. He averaged 7.9 points and 4.1 rebounds. He also set a school record for field-goal percentage this season, knocking down 69.2 percent of his shot attempts.

Also garnering Second-Team All-Area honors is Tyler Christensen of Townsend, as well as Trent McMaster and Jaxson Yanzick of Jefferson.  

2020 IR All-Area Basketball

BOYS

First Team

Parker Johnston, Capital

Senior, 6-0

Class AA All-State; 9.1 points avg, 5.2 rebounds avg, 4.9 assists avg, 32 steals

Trevor Swanson, Capital

Senior, 6-3

Class AA Second Team All-Conference; 13.3 points avg, 3.6 rebounds avg, 41 3-point FG (36.7% accuracy), 78.8% FT accuracy

Bridger Grovom, Capital

Senior, 5-11

Class AA Second Team All-Conference; 11.3 points avg, 2.7 assists avg, 43 3-point FG, 62 free throws, 43 steals; School record 119 career 3-pt FG (2009 record, Ben Ternes, 92)

Avery Stiles, Jefferson

Senior, 6-1

Class B First Team All-Conference; 13.4 points avg, 6.4 rebounds avg, 47 3-point FG

Logan Brown, Helena

Senior, 5-10

Class AA Honorable Mention All-Conference; 11.5 points avg, 6.3 rebounds avg, 1.3 assists avg, 17 3-point FG, 37 steals

Brayden Koch, Capital

Sophomore, 6-1

Class AA Second Team All-Conference; 12.7 points avg (47.8% accuracy), 34 steals; School record 8 game 3-pt FG (Tie, 2007 record, Ben Ternes, 8); School record 54 season 3-pt FG (2014 record, Kyle Nickol, 50).

Second Team

Hayden Ferguson, Helena

Senior, 6-1

Class AA Honorable Mention All-Conference; 11.5 points avg, 5.3 rebounds avg, 1.6 assists avg, 49 free throws made, 23 steals

Shane Haller, Capital

Senior, 6-6

7.9 points avg, 4.1 rebounds avg; School record 69.2% season FG accuracy (2016 record, Connor Dowdy, 68.2%); School record 62.1% career FG accuracy (1980 record, Scott Davis, 58.3%)

Kaden Huot, Helena

Sophomore, 6-3

7.4 points avg, 3.6 rebounds avg, 22 3-point FG (36.1% accuracy), 21 steals

Tyler Christensen, Townsend

Senior, 6-2

Class B Second Team All-Conference; 9.7 points avg

Trent McMaster, Jefferson

Sophomore, 5-11

9.9 points avg, 2.0 rebounds avg, 64.7% FT accuracy

Jaxson Yanzick, Jefferson

Senior, 5-9

Class B Second Team All-Conference; 7.9 points avg, 35 3-pt FG, 32 steals

Chris is the sports editor and lead preps reporter for the Independent Record and 406mtsports.com. Follow him on Twitter @cmpetey406

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