CMR head coach Brian Crosby draws up a play during a timeout. (TOM WYLIE/MTN Sports)

GREAT FALLS — Great Falls CMR girls basketball coach Brian Crosby is one of the more fashion-conscious mentors in Class AA.

So Thursday night will be difficult for him.

“My fashion sense doesn’t play to ugly, so I’ll have to figure something out,” he said. “I’ll have to make a trip to the store (Wednesday) to see what I can find.”

The Rustlers’ game against the Helena Capital Bruins will be Ugly Sweater Night at the CMR Fieldhouse. Crosby and his staff will be wearing the tackiest attire they can find in thrift stores or the closets of relatives and encourage those in attendance to do so, too.

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“We hope people show up and make it a really festive environment,” Crosby said. “It’s going to be a white Christmas, so I hope it’s something everyone can enjoy.”

It’s also a chance to help make Christmas better for less fortunate families. Fans are asked to bring non-perishable food items, diapers and other offerings to benefit the Cameron Family Center, a shelter operated by the Great Falls Rescue Mission.

“We just think it’s really important during this time of year to think about the community we’re involved in,” added Crosby. “We’re very lucky. Our kids for the most part are from pretty good backgrounds, and I think it’s really good for them to see how people struggle out there. Any way we can help out, we will. The girls are kind of excited about it.”

There will be donation centers for drop-offs and raffles for several gift baskets. And there might be a pretty good basketball game too. CMR (1-2) and Capital (2-0) are both considered state contenders this season, and both teams are looking to enter the holiday break on a strong note.

“We don’t pick our non-conference schedule, but I would take our non-conference schedule,” Crosby said. “We play Helena High, Helena Capital, Kalispell Glacier, Kalispell Flathead — four really good teams before Christmas. It’s only going to make us better.”

Thursday’s varsity tip is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

A mock rendering of CMR coach Brian Crosby in an ugly sweater. (Awful Photoshop Courtesy: TOM WYLIE/MTN Sports)

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