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Runner-ups Billings Central, Manhattan Christian top MontanaSports.com boys basketball power rankings

Posted at 6:36 PM, Jan 22, 2019

Missoula Hellgate, Billings Central, Colstrip and Manhattan Christian top the initial MontanaSports.com boys basketball power rankings of the 2018-19 season.

Hellgate, which has yet to lose to a Montana team, is the top-ranked team in the Class AA rankings. Great Falls High, Great Falls CMR, Bozeman and Billings West round out the top five. Hellgate and GFH share Class AA’s best record at 8-1, while defending state champion CMR is 8-2.

Billings Central has finished as the Class A runner-up each of the past three seasons, but the Rams enter the homestretch of this season as the class favorite, one place ahead of defending state champion Hardin. Butte Central, Class A’s lone unbeaten team remaining, is third, followed by Browning and Hamilton.

Class B features undefeated teams Colstrip and Big Timber at the top of the rankings, but voters were split on the remaining teams in the class. Fairfield comes in at third, just ahead of defending champion Bigfork. Missoula Loyola ranks fifth behind the Vikings, and Deer Lodge, Poplar and Lodge Grass also received votes.

Manhattan Christian has finished second to Arlee each of the past two seasons, but the undefeated Eagles rank ahead of the Warriors in the rankings. Melstone and Scobey, which split two meetings at last year’s state tournament, are third and fourth, respectively, while Chinook, undefeated in the Northern C, is fifth. Twin Bridges, Plenty Coups and Great Falls Central were among the others to receive votes.

The complete MontanaSports.com boys basketball power rankings, as voted on by members of the MTN Sports team, are below. For the girls rankings, please click here.

Class AA

  1. Missoula Hellgate (8-1)
  2. Great Falls High (8-1)
  3. Great Falls CMR (8-2)
  4. Bozeman (6-3)
  5. Billings West (6-3)

Please click here for the Class AA coaches poll.

Class A

  1. Billings Central (10-1)
  2. Hardin (11-1)
  3. Butte Central (12-0)
  4. Browning (11-1)
  5. Hamilton (11-2)

Class B

  1. Colstrip (12-0)
  2. Big Timber (12-0)
  3. Fairfield (9-2)
  4. Bigfork (11-1)
  5. Missoula Loyola (10-2)

Receiving votes: Deer Lodge (9-2), Poplar (11-2), Lodge Grass (9-3).

Class C

  1. Manhattan Christian (12-0)
  2. Arlee (9-1)
  3. Melstone (11-1)
  4. Scobey (11-0)
  5. Chinook (12-0)

Receiving votes: Twin Bridges (13-0), Plenty Coups (11-1), Great Falls Central (11-1).