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Jamie Pickens, Rollie Worster named MVPs of MontanaSports.com State AA all-tournament teams

Posted at 3:28 PM, Mar 11, 2019

BUTTE — One helped her team to a third consecutive Class AA state title. The other came up just short of his first.

Helena High’s Jamie Pickens and Missoula Hellgate’s Rollie Worster were named the MontanaSports.com most valuable players of the Class AA boys and girls basketball state tournaments on Monday. Both are University of Montana commits.

Pickens, who was named Montana’s Gatorade girls basketball player for the second straight year on Friday, led Helena High to its third consecutive Class AA championship, joining Great Falls High (1980-82) and Missoula Sentinel (2012-14) as the only programs to win three straight State AA girls titles.

Pickens scored 18 points and corralled 17 rebounds in the Bengals’ 55-37 win over Billings West in Saturday’s state championship game. She averaged 19.0 points, 12.0 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 1.0 blocks per game throughout the tournament. Pickens had 14 points and 11 rebounds in Friday’s semifinal win over rival Helena Capital, and scored 25 points to go with eighth rebounds in Thursday’s opener against Butte.

Helena High’s Jamie Pickens earns a hug after leading the Bengals to a third State AA title in as many years. (RICHIE MELBY/MTN Sports)

Helena High added senior twins Paige and Payton Aasved to the all-tournament teams, while fellow senior Vanessa Walsh was an honorable mention selection.

Billings West’s TyRaa Manuel finished runner-up in the voting, while Missoula Hellgate’s Bailee Sayler was third. Manuel had 13 points and 10 rebounds in the state championship game, West’s first title appearance since 2014, while Sayler saved her best game of the tournament for last, netting 22 points and seven rebounds in the Knights’ 51-38 win over Helena Capital in the consolation.

It was Hellgate’s first state tournament appearance since 2003.

Manuel’s twin sister TyLee and Hellgate guard Emma Blakely round out the MontanaSports.com all-tournament first team.

Worster was arguably the most dominant player in the tournament, averaging 24.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 1.0 assists per game for the Missoula Hellgate boys, which fell to Bozeman 55-53 in overtime on Brett Clark’s buzzer-beater. Worster scored 26 points in the loss.

The Montana Grizzly commit opened the tournament with a 32-point, eight-rebound performance in a 10-point win over Billings Skyview, then added 15 points in a semifinal victory against Great Falls High. Worster made seven 3s in the state championship game and had 13 overall in the tournament.

Worster’s teammates Abe Johnson and Bridger Deden were also recognized.

Bozeman’s Ryan Lonergan finished runner-up in the voting after averaging 16.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game. The Montana State football commit opened the tournament with a double-double of 18 points and 12 rebounds in a win over Helena High.

Fellow Bozeman Hawks Ryan Simpson, Carter Ash and Brett Clark were named to the all-tournament teams, as well.

Billings West, which finished third in the tournament, saw guards Cade Tyson and Jesse Owens honored. The duo combined for 41 points and seven rebounds in the Bears’ 53-40 win over Great Falls High that clinched third place in the tournament.

The full State AA girls and boys all-tournament teams, as selected by MontanaSports.com, are below.

State AA girls

First team

Jamie Pickens, sr., Helena High — MVP
TyRaa Manuel, sr., Billings West
Bailee Sayler, fr., Missoula Hellgate
TyLee Manuel, sr., Billings West
Emma Blakely, sr., Missoula Hellgate

Second team

Dani Bartsch, so., Helena Capital
Ally Cleverly, sr., Butte
Paige Aasved, sr., Helena High
Payton Aasved, sr., Helena High
Shayla Montague, sr., Billings West

Honorable mention (listed in alphabetical order by last name)

Maddie Albrecht, jr., Billings West
Willa Albrecht, jr., Billings West
Emily Kidder, sr., Helena Capital
Brittney Tierney, sr., Butte
Vanessa Walsh, sr., Helena High

State AA boys

First team

Rollie Worster, jr., Missoula Hellgate — MVP
Ryan Lonergan, sr., Bozeman
Cade Tyson, jr., Billings West
Jesse Owens, sr., Billings West
Carter Ash, jr., Bozeman

Second team

Ryan Simpson, sr., Bozeman
Abe Johnson, jr., Missoula Hellgate
Blake Thelen, sr., Great Falls High
Bridger Deden, sr., Missoula Hellgate
Brett Clark, jr., Bozeman

Honorable mention (listed in alphabetical order by last name)

Tony Frohlich-Fair, so., Missoula Sentinel
Connor Murgel, sr., Helena High
Kobe Nelson, sr., Billings West
Zach Schacht, sr., Billings Skyview
Kyle Torgerson, sr., Great Falls High