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By Jack H. Smith
Three Forks Voice 

Plenty of success for Wolves in 2019

 

January 2, 2020

Corey Yecny battles underneath the basket at last year's Southern B Divisional Tournament. File photo

There were plenty of success stories for Three Forks High School sports in 2019.

The Three Forks High School basketball teams both made return trips to state in 2019.

In February, the third-seeded Lady Wolves won three games in three days to win their third consecutive 5B District Tournament Title.

Three Forks won the tournament title at the Belgrade Events Center with a 51-42 win over third-seeded Big Timber.

Moments after the game, head coach Mike Sauvageau praised the hard work and determination of his team during the three games of the tournament.

"I couldn't be happier for these girls. To be able to win the championship and take home the trophy is great for these kids," he said.

The Lady Wolves qualified for state with a third-place finish at the Southern B Divisional Tournament with a 48-38 consolation championship win over the Herders.

Three Forks would finish fourth at state which included a 61-40 win over Harlem and a 43-36 win over Columbus.

The Three Forks High School boys basketball team finished second at the 5B District and Divisional Tournaments to earn a spot at the state tournament in Belgrade.

After falling in overtime of the finals of the 5B District Tournament against Big Timber, the Wolves responded at the Southern B Divisional Tournament with a 63-57 quarterfinal win over Lodge Grass and a 57-48 semifinal victory against Huntley Project. Three Forks would finish second after a hard-fought loss against Colstrip.

Following the divisional tournament, head coach Terry Hauser discussed the importance of qualifying for state for two straight years.

As I've said before I love all of these kids and these seniors have an extremely special place in my heart. I'm happy for them and I am going to really enjoy this last week with them. It's crazy to even say that because it feels like yesterday this group of kids were still in grade school playing in traveling tournaments all over the state," he said. "Now here they are in high school still doing it but on a lot more competitive and thrilling stage, and they get to do it basically at home in front of all their friends, family, teachers and community."

The Wolves (17-8) were eliminated from the Class B Tourney with a 51-40 loss to Big Timber.

Three Forks had fallen 68-67 to Poplar in overtime action in the quarterfinals.

The Three Forks High School cross country team finished their season on a high note at the State Meet at the Eagle Falls Golf Course in Great Falls.

Head Coach Tara Forsberg said the top five boys ran really well for the Wolves who finished 12th out of 26 scoring teams.

"Only a couple personal bests, I think the cold and snow had something to do with that," she said.

Jacob Ramsey led the way for Three Forks with a 27th place finish and the top freshman Class B time of 18:40.22. Garrett Golding had a time of 19:41.03, Wyatt Golding finished at 20:04.26, Devon Potts finished at 20:30.02 and Beau Johnston had a time of 20:37.47.

Forsberg said Wyatt Golding was able to complete his state-run for the first time in his high school career and had a great race, Garrett Golding and Johnston competed well as freshman and will no doubt be back next year at state, and junior Devon Potts is one of the most consistent runners for the team and did not disappoint.

Senior Aden Lehr finished with a time of 22:18.06, and senior Dean Buchholz had a time of 22:23.06.

Forsberg added the team will be gaining four promising freshmen to replace their three seniors.

On the girls side, Forsberg said they only had four girls run out of five – but they ran strong.

Senior Hannah Wilson led the team with a 21st place finish and a time of 21:54.23.

Kodee Kolberg finished at 23:19.77, Lily Jones had a time of 24:08.24, and Inna Pachalova finished the race at 29:08.25.

Forsberg said the girls struggled this season to find their rhythm and confidence.

"We hope they come back next year with a renewed spirit. We only lose Hannah Wilson but are gaining four freshmen so Lily Jones and Kodee Kolberg will have a great team to work with as juniors.

The Three Forks High School track and field team had two individual state champions and numerous other strong performances in May at the Class B State Meet in Kalispell.

Freshman Keaton Lynn finished in first place in the long jump with a mark of 17 feet and .25 inches. Kendall Lynn also brought home a state title with a first-place finish in the triple jump. She finished with a mark of 36 feet and four- and one-half inches.

As a team, the Lady Wolves finished in fifth place. Others who received medals included Paeton Ohs placing third in the discus and sixth in the javelin, Jasmyn Murphy finishing sixth in the triple jump, Kendall Lynn finishing sixth in the 300 hurdles and third in the long jump.

The boys finished the two-day meet in 11th place and earned four top-six medals.

For the second straight season, Three Forks High School had a competitor at the state wrestling tournament. Bryant Kotter qualified for the tournament with a fourth-place finish at 138 pounds at the Southern B/C Divisional Tournament in Townsend.

There was a familiar face on the sidelines in 2019 for the Three Forks High School football team.

Former Montana State standout tight end Connor Sullivan was hired as the new head coach for the squad. He will replace former coach Matthew Bakken who resigned in May.

Sullivan helped lead the Bobcats to the second round of the NCAA FCS playoffs in 2018 and will forever be etched in the lore of the Cat-Griz rivalry for his game-sealing 26-yard reception on a fourth-and-1 play with less than 1:30 remaining in the 2016 matchup.

Sullivan met with his team for the first time Thursday and told them the program will not be about "me, me, me" and instead will focus on building a culture.

"We've always been a basketball school. That's going to change," he said.

The season came to an end in November for the Three Forks High School volleyball team at the 5B District Tournament in Belgrade.

Paeton Ohs and the Three Forks girls basketball team finished fourth at state. File photo

The fourth-seeded Wolves finished one game away from qualifying for this week's Divisional Tournament after falling in an elimination game to Manhattan 17-25, 17-25, 25-15, 22-25.

Head coach Tracy Welter said she just loved the 2019 team and wished things would have turned out differently.

"Our eight seniors were the most fabulous young ladies I got to work with. They will leave big shoes to fill for next season," she said.

The eight seniors are the team are McKenzie Feddes, Kirstin Klompien, Macey Combs, Kendall Lynn, Payton Page, Erin Welter, Lilly Lindquist, and Breanna Bloch.

Three Forks opened the tournament in dominant fashion with a 26-28, 25-14, 25-18, 25-18 victory over Whitehall. After falling in three sets in their next match against top seeded Townsend, The Wolves stayed alive at the tournament with a 24-26, 25-10, 25-10, 25-11 victory over Big Timber.

 

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