Montana Tech senior Hailey Crawford recently completed her basketball career for the Lady Orediggers. Crawford – a Helena High alum with a State hoops championship and the school’s only State softball trophy on her resume’ – was known for her tenacious defense, while averaging 2.9 points per game and 2.4 rebounds per game in 99 games at MTU. She amassed 81 steals over the course of her career as she frustrated many of the Frontier Conference's top offensive players.
As a true freshman, she appeared in 29 games for Tech, starting five contests. The 5-foot-6 guard averaged 2.7 ppg while posting three 10-point games during the 2017-18 season. Crawford started in 26 of 28 games played in 2018-19, averaging 4.1 points (career game-high of 11 points twice) and 3.4 rebounds, while shooting 28.8 percent from three-point land. She ranked No.2 on the team with 36 steals.
Her junior year, Hailey appeared in 31 games, posting averages 2.3 points and 2.3 boards while shooting 34.2 percent from the field. She netted a season game-high of 11 points, and finished third on the Lady ‘Diggers with 30 steals.
"Well, at last it has come to end," Crawford wrote on Facebook. "Thank you to my coaches for countless hours in the gym, and my friends and supporters who sat through all the games and helped me along the way.
"Most importantly, thanks to my family, for the hours and hours spent in the gym and on the road and always pushing me to be my best. And thanks to my mom and dad for giving me every opportunity to succeed and being my biggest support system."
At Helena High from 2013-17, Crawford garnered nine letters; four in softball and basketball, and one in soccer. She didn’t go out for the soccer team until her senior year, playing part-time goalie. Among her best games was a 4-save effort versus Flathead. Crawford combined with starting keeper Reagan Hoffman to achieve five shutouts for the 5-time conference champion Lady Bengals.
On the hardcourt, her sophomore season she was the team’s third-leading scorer, at 6.6 ppg, the assist-leader with 2.2 dishes per game, and ranked second in three-pointers (12) and steals (35). As a junior, Crawford scored 7.2 ppg, was second on the Lady Bengals with 23 three-pointers, and rated third in rebounds (4.3 rpg), assists (1.4 apg) and steals (46).
In 2017, she helped HHS to the first of its three successive AA crowns, while averaging 6.3 points, and ranking second on the squad at 2.0 assists per game and 27 treys from beyond the arc. Crawford finished her prep career for the red-and-white with 451 points, 133 assists, 64 three-pointers and 118 steals.
A four-year letterman on the softball diamond, as a junior shortstop Crawford batted .325, while leading Helena with 21 runs and a .447 on base percentage, and was selected a 2016 honorable mention all-conference.
Her senior year, she hit .311, paced the squad with 24 runs scored (tie) and 10 stolen bases, and earned a berth on the all-state team at shortstop. Crawford and the Lady Bengals placed third at State Tournament for the highest post-season finish in program history.
She posted a career average of .275, while compiling 72 lifetime hits, 10 doubles, three triples, 53 runs and 13 steals.
This year, Crawford played 11 games during her final season for the Tech hoopsters, grabbing 13 rebounds with a pair of steals. The daughter of Ryan and Amy Crawford of Montana City, she graduates MTU with a degree in Business management.
Curt Synness can be reached at 406-594-2878 or firstname.lastname@example.org. He’s also on Twitter @curtsynness_IR