(Editor's note: MTN Sports is re-publishing the original stories from the #MTTop25, which launched in 2017 to profile some of the great girls basketball players in Montana history. Every Friday, we will unveil ‘all-decade teams’ that include athletes not profiled in the #MTTop25 countdown. Thus, players like Jill Barta, who graduated from Fairfield in 2014, and Shannon (Cate) Schweyen, who starred at Billings Central and Montana before ultimately coaching the Lady Griz, will not be featured on their respective decade teams. Those players will be featured in the top 25, regardless of era. Our intention is not to revise history, so we're not going to change the order in which the players were featured. However, some articles will include updates to reflect the latest developments in a player's career. This story was originally published on July 21, 2017.)
No. 25 – Kayla Lambert, Brockton; No. 24 – Bobbi Knudsen, Malta; No. 23 – Kati Burrows, Bozeman; No. 22 – Lexie Nelson, Butte; No. 21 – Mandy Close, Bozeman; No. 20 – Sara Tuomi, Billings Senior; No. 19 – Peyton Ferris, Twin Bridges; No. 18 – Skyla Sisco, Malta; No. 17 – Cheri Bratt, Kalispell Flathead; No. 16 – Mandi Carver, Dillon.
The #MTTop25, a list looking back at some of the best female basketball players ever to grace the high school hardwood in Montana, began profiling athletes with No. 25 and will later unveil the No. 1 girls basketball player in Montana history.
Obviously, more than 25 great athletes have started their basketball careers in Montana, so we’re featuring honorable mention ‘all-decade’ teams every Friday. Players featured in the #MTTop25 will not be featured here – thus, Jill Barta was not included on the 2010-present all-decade team and Loree Payne is not on the 1990-99 all-decade team.
1990-99 All-Decade Team
Carla Beattie, Philipsburg
Beattie, who played at Philipsburg from 1987-90, is one of the most prolific scorers in Montana high school basketball history, accumulating 2,508 points, which rank behind only #MTTop25 selections Kayla Lambert and Katie Edwards. Beattie went on to have a nice career with the Montana Lady Griz and ranks in the career top 10 in both 3-pointers made and free throw percentage.
Sherri Brooks, Livingston
Brooks averaged nearly 22 points per game during her high school career at Livingston and was named the state’s Gatorade player of the year in 1991. She was a two-time all-Big Sky Conference selection at Montana, where she played 118 career games, scored 1,143 points (22nd-most all-time at UM) and swiped 278 steals (second-most all-time at UM), including a single-game record 10 steals against Utah in 1995.
Linda Cummings, Malta
Cummings won two Class B state championships at Malta, winning Gatorade player of the year in 1996, and then added her name to the Malta-to-Montana list. While with the Lady Griz, Cummings was a three-time all-conference selection and scored 1,165 career points and grabbed 580 career rebounds. Her 1,165 points rank 18th on UM’s all-time scoring list.
Blythe Hommes, Manhattan Christian
Hommes was a multi-sport star at Manhattan Christian, setting a Class C record in the high hurdles on the track and scoring 1,319 career points on the basketball court, second all-time at Manhattan Christian. She had options to run track in college, but instead played basketball at Montana State, where she was a Big Sky Conference MVP and scored 1,265 career points (13th-most at MSU) and grabbed 742 rebounds (sixth-most at MSU).
Rachelle (Gardner) Sayers, Absarokee
Sayers, a native of Absarokee, had a nice career at Weber State, where she was an all-Big Sky Conference selection for the 1994-95 season. She totaled 1,009 career points (17th-most at Weber State) and made 149 3-pointers (sixth-most at Weber State). Following her playing career, Sayers entered the coaching ranks, spending 14 years as an assistant coach at Weber State before taking over the head job at Carroll College in 2011.