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After undefeated regular season, Bozeman's Kellen Harrison, fellow seniors determined to finish legacy

KELLEN HARRISON
Posted at 2:55 PM, Feb 28, 2024

BOZEMAN — The Bozeman boys basketball team sits atop Class AA after completing an undefeated regular season last week. The Hawks are led by standout senior point guard Kellen Harrison.

For Bozeman coach Troy Hostetler, Harrison is a once-in-a-decade type of player for a program.

"Well, you know, every 10 years you hope you get a player like him," Hostetler explained. "Coaches always say if your best player is your hardest worker, you have a chance to be pretty good. That’s what he is."

Harrison committed to Carroll College for basketball on Monday. As one of the top talents in the state for basketball and football, his decision was much anticipated by the community.

He leads Class AA in scoring at 19.1 points per game, as well as made 3-pointers per game (2.9). His ability to score has propelled the 18-0 finish to the regular season, and the effort comes from his dedication to the game and working at his craft every day — a mentality the entire team shares.

"It’s meant everything to me," Harrison said of the success in his final season at Bozeman. "I feel like me and my teammates made a decision, and we dedicated ourselves to the weight room and to work, and we worked at it really hard. It showed, and I think we got six more games left if we’re lucky, and I think we’re all ready to go."

It’s not just about the scoring for Harrison — he’s third in the class in steals per game (2.8), too, and at his core he's a playmaker.

"He also makes us better," Bozeman senior Rocky Lencioni said. "You know, he’s also dishing the ball at the right times, and he’s in there getting rebounds when he has to. A lot of our defensive identity comes from Kellen."

In December, Harrison took home Montana Gatorade and MaxPreps player of the year for football. He was a standout quarterback and defensive back for the Hawks who won home the Class AA title, capping off a perfect 12-0 season with the championship.

But when talking about the legacy he’s in the midst of leaving at Bozeman High?

Well, it’s not only his.

"I don’t think it’s my legacy, it’s more of our class’ legacy because I have a ton of guys that have been with me for football and for basketball, and I don’t think they get enough credit because I think it was a legacy all made together," Harrison said.

And the legacy for the class of 2024 isn’t done yet.

The playoffs start Thursday for the Hawks at the Western AA divisional tournament, marking the beginning of the final chapter for this group of seniors.

"Hopefully we can get it done for ourselves, you know," Lencoini said. "It would be awesome to have one in football and basketball for our class. But also, leaving Bozeman High obviously in capable and good hands, but also just setting the standard."

There’s nothing left to do but compete. And put to fruition the work that’s been put in all season and all four years for this senior class.

"I don’t think there’s any more pressure on us than there is anybody else," Hostetler explained. "We’re in the postseason, you can’t lose. That’s not just us, who have been fortunate enough not to lose, who had been fortunate enough not to lose during the season, but that’s anybody."