Helena High two-time state champion and Gatorade player of the year Jamie Pickens has been named the USA Today American Family Insurance all-USA Montana girls basketball most valuable player. The publication released its honor teams on Tuesday.
Pickens, a 6-foot-2 junior, guided the Bengals to a second consecutive title last month, defeating rival Missoula Sentinel in the State AA championship for the second time in as many years. The all-state multi-sport standout, who has committed to the Montana Lady Griz, averaged 15 points, 11.9 rebounds and a pair of blocks per game, pacing Helena High to a 21-3 record.
Pickens was named Montana’s Gatorade player of the year last month.
Joining Pickens on USA Today’s all-state squad is fellow junior Kola Bad Bear of Billings Senior. The 6-foot-2 forward averaged 16.8 points and 7.8 rebounds per game, helping the Broncs to a State AA tournament appearance. Bad Bear has given her verbal commitment to the Montana State Bobcats.
Pickens’ future teammate and current high school rival, Kylie Frohlich, was honored with a first-team selection. Frohlich averaged 10.7 points and 7.8 rebounds for coach Karen Deden, helping the Spartans to a second consecutive title appearance and runner-up trophy.
Kailee Oliverson was the only Class C selection on the first team, after the 6-foot-3 senior averaged 26 points per game throughout the postseason, assisting Twin Bridges in another state tournament run. Oliverson, a University of Nevada commit, was named MVP of the prestigious Hi-Line Invitational Tournament and is one of the most decorated athletes in Twin Bridges’ history.
Havre High was one of two Montana girls’ programs to finish with undefeated records, helping sensational sophomore Kyndall Keller receive numerous recognitions, including a first-team selection from USA Today. Keller, a 5-foot-7 guard, compiled 18.1 points and 4.7 rebounds per game for Havre, capping the Blue Ponies’ season with a State A championship.
Athletes recognized on the USA Today all-Montana second team included Townsend’s Tavia Rooney, Jordyn Schweyen of Missoula Sentinel, Belt’s Dani Urick, Kyle Olson of Three Forks and Kamden Hilborn of Helena High.
Olson’s head coach, Mike Sauvageau, was named the coach of the year after the Wolves finished with an undefeated record and State B championship. It was the first championship for the Three Forks’ girls since 1979, and Sauvageau vaulted his incredible win total to 715 during the championship season.
USA Today released its all-USA boys basketball teams on Monday, where Missoula Sentinel’s Sam Beighle was named MVP. To view the full list of boys honored, please click here.
The complete list of the all-USA Montana girls basketball team can be found below.
USA Today High School Sports
American Family Insurance all-USA Montana Girls Basketball Team
Coach of the year: Mike Sauvageau, Three Forks.
First team: Jamie Pickens, Helena High; Kola Bad Bear, Billings Senior; Kylie Frohlich, Missoula Sentinel; Kailee Oliverson, Twin Bridges; Kyndall Keller, Havre High.
Second team: Tavia Rooney, Townsend; Jordyn Schweyen, Missoula Sentinel; Dani Urick, Belt; Kyle Olson, Three Forks; Kamden Hilborn, Helena High.