GREAT FALLS – Allie Olsen seems to be stuck in volleyball season.
The Great Falls CMR senior and University of Utah volleyball signee has used her quick jumping and impeccable timing to great effect for the Rustler girls basketball team, leading the state in blocks by a wide margin and pulling down scores of rebounds.
She’s the anchor in the paint for a CMR squad, which is one of the most improved teams in Class AA.
Over the weekend against teams from Billings she put up some absurd numbers for a high school player.
The 6-foot-3 post had 11 points, 17 rebounds and nine blocks against Billings Senior on Friday, and 12 points, 19 rebounds and five blocks against Billings Skyview on Saturday. CMR coach Brian Crosby has only seen one other athlete have that type of defensive impact, and he was a former first-round pick in the NBA Draft.
“I think the closest thing might have been Josh Huestis,” Crosby said. “There’s been like two or three games where she’s one block away from a triple-double. She’s had six or seven double-doubles. She’s a dominant force to be that size and that athletic.”
On the season, Olsen is averaging 6.1 blocks per game, more than two blocks more than her closest competitor.
“It’s kind of just coming naturally right now,” Olsen said. “I think volleyball helps with it. Just tracking the ball, and it helps with my court vision and jumps.”
Her dominance of the paint also helps her teammates on the perimeter. Rustler guards Emily Funseth, Lauren Lindseth and Kiely Gunderson are all averaging more than two steals per game. Having a backstop like Olsen allows them to take more risks that often pay off with transition opportunities the other way.
“It’s really nice because if anyone gets by us, we always have Allie down low to get a block,” Gunderson said. “So, we don’t worry about it as much.”
The Rustlers (9-7 overall, 7-3 Eastern AA) only won two regular-season games in the 2018-19 season, but currently have a firm grasp on the No. 2 spot in the Eastern AA standings with two regular-season games remaining. CMR will be on the road this weekend for games against Billings West (13-3, 10-0) and Bozeman (7-9, 5-5).