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Four Helena area cagers earned Class AA All-State honors
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High School Basketball

Four Helena area cagers earned Class AA All-State honors

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Just like everything else this spring, the Class AA All-Conference and All-State teams took a little longer to compile.

But earlier this week, coaches met, electronically and determined the top players in Class AA basketball this past season and when the boys and girls teams were announced, four players from Helena made the cut.

Three of the four are from Capital, as Paige and Dani Bartsch, who led the Bruins to a co-state championship in girls AA basketball, earned All-State honors. They both made All-State in Class AA for volleyball during the fall.

The Bartsch twins were joined on the team by McKayla Kloker, of crosstown rival Helena High. The other All-State selections from the Western AA, which were also First-Team All-Conference selections were Aubrie Rademacher of Glacier, Lexi Deden and Challis Westwater of Missoula Sentinel, as well as Addy Heaphy and Bailee Sayler of Missoula Hellgate.

The All-State selections from the Eastern AA were Maddie and Willa Albrecht of Billings West, which shared the state title with Capital, and also Addi Ekstrom (Bozeman), Allie Olsen (CMR), Brooke Berry (Billings Skyview), Lauren Lindseth (CMR) and Jorgie Hawthorne (Great Falls High). 

Capital guards Mara McGinley and Mashayla O'Malley also received All-Conference Honorable Mention in the Western AA, along with Caroline Bullock and Emily Feller, a pair of Helena High seniors.

On the boys side of things, Capital's Parker Johnston was the only Bruin or Bengal to earn All-State honors. He was also named First-Team All-Western AA along with Rollie Worster, Abe Johnson and Cam LaRance of Missoula Hellgate, as well as Alex Germer of Sentinel, who each joined him on the All-State team.

Capital finished second in the Western AA during the regular season and also at divisionals. The Bruins won a game at the state tournament and were alive for third place before the tournament was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

And because of that effort, which included 17 wins, the Bruins also placed seniors Bridger Grovom and Trevor Swanson on the Western AA's Second Team, along with standout sophomore Brayden Koch, who connected on 12 3-pointers in two games at the state tournament. 

Helena High had Hayden Ferguson and Logan Brown each received All-Conference Honorable Mention. 

Here are all the Western AA selections in full: 

Western AA Girls: 

All State: Dani Bartsch, Capital; Paige Bartsch, Capital; Bailee Sayler, Missoula Hellgate, Addy Heaphy, Missoula Hellgate; Lexi Deden, Missoula Sentinel; Challis Westwater, Missoula Sentinel. 

First Team: Dani Bartsch, Capital; Paige Bartsch, Capital; Bailee Sayler, Missoula Hellgate, Addy Heaphy, Missoula Hellgate; Lexi Deden, Missoula Sentinel; Challis Westwater, Missoula Sentinel. 

Second Team: Ellie Keller, Glacier; Haley Herron; Butte; Jenna Johnson, Flathead; McKenna Carpenter, Butte; Alex Covill, Missoula Hellgate. 

Western AA Boys

All State: Rollie Worster, Missoula Hellgate; Cam LaRance, Missoula Hellgate; Abe Johnson, Missoula Hellgate; Parker Johnston, Helena Capital; Alex Germer, Missoula Sentinel. 

First Team: Rollie Worster, Missoula Hellgate; Cam LaRance, Missoula Hellgate; Abe Johnson, Missoula Hellgate; Parker Johnston, Helena Capital; Alex Germer, Missoula Sentinel. 

Second Team: Bridger Grovom, Helena Capital; Brayden Koch, Helena Capital; Trevor Swanson, Helena Capital; Tony Frohlich-Fair, Missoula Sentinel; Weston Price, Glacier; 

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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