Chrishon Dixon, Kyndall Keller earn State A MVP honors; MontanaSports.com releases all-tournament teams

Kyndall Keller looks for an opening. (TOM WYLIE/MTN Sports)

GREAT FALLS — After leading Billings Central and Havre to their respective Class A basketball titles over the weekend, guards Chrishon Dixon and Kyndall Keller were named most valuable players of the tournament, according to the team at MontanaSports.com.

Dixon, a Billings Central senior, and Keller, a Havre junior, were each unanimous selections in the voting, which was based off athletes’ performances during the three-day Class A boys and girls state basketball tournaments at Pacific Steel & Recycling Four Seasons Arena.

Dixon averaged 11.0 points, 5.3 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 1.3 steals for the Rams, which won their first boys basketball championship since 1996. Dixon scored 21 points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished five assists in the Rams’ 62-44 victory over Hardin in Saturday’s state championship, avenging Central’s runner-up finish to the Bulldogs a year ago.

Chrishon Dixon cries as he hugs Billings Central coach Jim Stergar. (TOM WYLIE/MTN Sports)

Billings Central had finished in second place in each of the previous three seasons.

Dixon is joined by teammate Sam Gray on the MontanaSports.com all-tournament first-team. Gray scored 44 points and grabbed 22 rebounds in Billings Central’s three games, highlighted by his 21-point, 10-rebound performance in Friday’s 65-43 victory over Hamilton in the semifinals.

Hardin’s dynamic duo of Famous Lefthand and Trae Hugs were also first-team selections, each showcasing impressive games during the tournament. Lefthand scored 30 points and corralled 14 rebounds in Hardin’s 69-59 win over Browning on Thursday, then Hugs scored 32 points and had two rebounds, two steals and two assists on Friday as the Bulldogs moved past Butte Central 79-73.

Hugs and Lefthand combined for 17 points, three rebounds and three steals in Saturday’s loss to Billings Central.

Hamilton’s Hunter Omlid was the final first-team selection after leading Hamilton to the consolation game, where the Broncs fell to Butte Central. The Maroons’ Cade Holter led the second-team selections.

Keller averaged 16.7 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 0.7 steals in leading Havre to its second consecutive State A girls championship. The Blue Ponies defeated Hardin in the championship game for the second year in a row, winning 42-36 on Saturday evening. Keller had 17 points, three rebounds, an assist and steal in the victory.

Havre’s Sadie Filius joined Keller as a first-team selection after notching 13 points, seven rebounds and three assists in the Blue Ponies’ win over Hardin. The Bulldogs’ Marie Five was the second-leading vote-getter and finished the championship game with 13 points and 13 rebounds.

Laurel’s Mya Hansen and Columbia Falls’ Ryley Kehr rounded out the first-team selections.

The full State A boys and girls basketball all-tournament teams, as selected by MontanaSports.com, are below.

State A boys

First team

Chrishon Dixon, sr., Billings Central — MVP
Famous Lefthand, jr., Hardin
Sam Gray, sr., Billings Central
Trae Hugs, jr., Hardin
Hunter Omlid, sr., Hamilton

Second team

Cade Holter, sr., Butte Central
Braden Harrington, jr., Butte Central
Tyree Whitcomb, sr., Browning
Brendon Johnson, jr., Livingston
Niki Krause, jr., Billings Central

Honorable mention (listed in alphabetical order by last name)

Tanner Goligoski, sr., Hamilton
Cam Rothie, sr., Hamilton
Seth Sasich, sr., Billings Central
Dylan Sestrich, sr., Butte Central
Riley Spoonhunter, jr., Browning

State A girls

First team

Kyndall Keller, jr., Havre — MVP
Marie Five, jr., Hardin
Sadie Filius, fr., Havre
Mya Hansen, fr., Laurel
Ryley Kehr, sr., Columbia Falls

Second team

Julianna Takes Horse, jr., Hardin
Aspen Cotter, sr., Laurel
Trista Cowan, sr., Columbia Falls
Solei Elletson, fr., Billings Central
Kadia Miller, jr., Havre

Honorable mention (listed in alphabetical order by last name)

Maeson Cotter, so., Laurel
Isabelle Erickson, so., Billings Central
Taylor Jordan, sr., Browning
Tricia Joyce, sr., Butte Central
Jayden Winslow, sr., Libby

Richie Melby

Richie Melby

A Hi-line native, Richie Melby enjoys telling the stories of Montana athletes, coaches and teams. Richie got his start in TV at KTVQ in Billings and worked as the Sports Director at KRTV. After a couple of years in Tucson, Ariz., Richie returned to his home state as the Sports Director at KTVH.
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