KSEN/K96—Bozeman Trophy athletes of the week are sparking their teams to solid starts in the 2021 season. The Hawks of CJI off to their best start in several years with a three/two record and despite a lopsided loss to a very talented team from Chinook last week coach Joe Horrel says there’s a lot of optimism for this team. Our athlete of the week Kealy Haaland is the only senior on the ballclub and coach Horrel says he is definitely a team leader. Not only a team leader, but a scoring threat as he joined the twenty point club in a win over Turner last week with 21 and then hit another twenty in the Hawks’ win over Hays-Lodgepole. The coach says Halland is also a tough defender, a good rebounder and just a tough kid all the way around. He’s a two-year starter and, we assume, pretty happy to be playing basketball after having to sit out the football season with a shoulder injury.

Our female athlete of the week, for the second week in a row, comes from Choteau, despite a couple of other excellent nominations. The Lady Bulldogs are off to a three and two start, they came pretty close to stealing one from top-ranked Fairfield. Senior guard/forward Christine Funk combined for forty-five points in the win over Rocky Boy and then a nail-biting loss to Fairfield. Head-coach Carissa Jenkins said she had a heck of a weekend and especially from the three-point line and, against the Eagles, especially in the fourth quarter. Fourteen of Funk’s 22 points against Fairfield came in the fourth quarter and brought Choteau to within two with just two-minutes left in the game. All while Choteau had lost three starters to foul trouble and/or injury late in the fourth quarter. Funk hit a three-point shot, then repeated on Choteau’s next possession, then she made a lay-up, her foul shot and in-bounding the ball, bounced it off a Fairfield girl’s back, grabbed the rebound and put it up for two more points. So, with two minutes left, Choteau was only two points down. Following that, two more starters fouled out and Fairfield put the game away at the line. Coach Jenkins calls Christine “the most competitive player I’ve ever coached and has the work ethic and smarts to match”.

We also received excellent nominations this week for Brae Ennebo and Lauren Phillips both from Conrad. Ennebo had 27 and 21 respectively in wins over Rocky Boy and Heart Butte, while Phillips had 22 points and five steals against Rocky Boy and 14 rebounds in the Heart Butte win. Their nominator says these girls are working their you-know-whats off.

Congratulations to our KSEN/K96—Bozeman Trophy athletes of the week, senior Christine Funk of Choteau and senior Kealy Haaland of Chester, Joplin, Inverness. The athlete of the week is sponsored locally by McDonald’s in Cut Bank. McDonald’s honors our athletes with two free value meals each.