Missoula Sentinel senior and Carroll College commit Sam Beighle has been named the USA Today Montana boys basketball player of the year. The publication released its American Family Insurance ALL-USA State Boys Basketball Teams on Monday.
Beighle, who was named the state’s Gatorade player of the year in March, led Class AA in scoring at 22.9 points per game. He added 7.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists per contest, leading Sentinel to an appearance at the State AA tournament.
The 6-foot-3 senior will join the Frontier Conference champion Carroll College Fighting Saints and new head coach Kurt Paulson in the fall.
State C most valuable player Phillip Malatare joined Beighle as a USA Today first-team selection. Malatare, a 6-foot-1 senior guard, averaged 22.3 points, 9.3 rebounds, seven assists and 5.8 steals per game in leading the Arlee Warriors to a second consecutive Class C state championship. Malatare and Arlee were featured as the cover story in the New York Times magazine on April 4.
Anaconda’s all-time leading scorer Braxton Hill was also a first-team selection. Hill, who will play football at the University of Montana, averaged 24.8 points and 9.1 rebounds per contest. He also added 5.2 assists per game for the Copperheads.
Missoula Hellgate’s Rollie Worster was the lone sophomore represented on the USA Today first-team squad. Worster, who has given a verbal commitment to the Montana Grizzlies, averaged 19.7 points and 6.2 rebounds this season. He also dished out 2.9 assists per game.
Bozeman’s Mack Anderson was the final first-team selection, after the 6-foot-9 senior became one of the most explosive and entertaining players on the Montana prep courts this season. Anderson led the Hawks to a runner-up finish at the State AA tournament.
Following a junior campaign that saw him average nearly three points and three rebounds per game, Anderson became one of the state’s best as a senior, putting up numbers of 16.6 points, 12.9 rebounds and 3.3 blocks per game.
Great Falls CMR head coach John Cislo was tabbed as the Montana coach of the year after leading the Rustlers to an improbable state title in Billings. Despite no player on CMR’s roster holding state tournament experience, the Rustlers put together an extraordinary display of shooting and defense, routing rival Great Falls High in the semifinals, then topping Bozeman in the title game.
CMR posted a 19-4 record and won its first state championship since 2010, the third under 14-year coach Cislo. His senior forward Garrison Rothwell was a second-team selection according to USA Today.
Joiining Rothwell on the second team were Sunburst’s Treyton Pickering, a Montana State football commit, Choteau junior Sayer Patton, Hardin sophomore Famous Lefthand and Billings Central junior Chrishon Dixon.
To view the USA Today all-USA Montana girls team, please click here.
The complete USA Today all-USA Montana boys basketball teams can be found below.
Coach of the year: John Cislo, Great Falls CMR
First team: Sam Beighle, Missoula Sentinel; Phillip Malatare, Arlee; Braxton Hill, Anaconda; Rollie Worster, Missoula Hellgate; Mack Anderson, Bozeman.
Second team: Treyton Pickering, Sunburst; Garrison Rothwell, Great Falls CMR; Sayer Patton, Choteau; Famous Lefthand, Hardin; Chrishon Dixon, Billings Central.