UM Sports Trivia | Week of March 3

By CHRIS WALTERSKIRCHEN

In his 28 years as the head coach at Anaconda High John Cheek didn’t ever win a state basketball title, but he felt that he may have been a player short for what he needed for a title and he had a specific player in mind. The legendary boy’s basketball coach thought if he had had as complete a player and a court leader as Torry Hill, he could have won it all. Hill was the catalyst helping the Anaconda Copperhead Girls team to back-to-back Class A titles in her final two seasons.

The Montana Lady Griz stand just 2 win short of a 20 win season. If Montana can reach 20 wins it will mark the 30th time In Robin Selvig’s 36 seasons that they have reached that mark.

From 1994-2009 the Big Sky women’s basketball tournament was held in Missoula 11 times with 2 years in Pocatello and another two tournaments in Ogden. With North Dakota poised to host the 2014 League tournament it will mark the fifth different venue for the event in the last 5 years.

Sacramento State has never won a game over the Lady Griz in Missoula, but have defeated UM three of the last 5 years in Sacramento. Things have really taken off with the Hornets program over the last few years. When this season began the Hornets had won a total of 95 games since January 1, 2000, by contrast for the same period Montana had 299 wins in the same time period. The Hornets and Lady Griz each have 18 wins heading down the stretch.

If the Montana Grizzlies have to play anywhere on March 8th there is no better place than Flagstaff. In 1975 the Griz closed their regular season with a romp over NAU to put the finishing touches on their first Big Sky title. In 1997 Ryan Dick and J.R. Camel led the Griz to a come from behind win over Cal State Northridge to claim the Big Sky tournament title. In 2006 Virgil Matthews sparked the Griz to a decisive win over NAU on the Jacks home Court for another Big Sky title.

Twenty-five years ago this week the Class AA tournament in Billings featured the undefeated Butte High Bulldogs against 7 challengers. On Saturday Night the Bulldogs met Western AA foe Flathead in the title game where Rory Hellickson and Mark Gilman led Flathead to the championship. This is the most recent state title in boy’s basketball for Kalispell.

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Chris Walterskirchen has been an observer of Montana sports for nearly half a century. A Kalispell native, Chris has worked in various capacities for professional and college sports organization of at various times: ranging from announcing and statistical work to the concessions and even a stint as a costumedmascot.

Chris has academic degrees in communications and elementary education. His style of sports trivia involves more than just who won and who lost, but also focuses on the obscure or human side of sports. In this blog you will learn things like the Grizzly football team has won 210 games over the 19 seasons since they have had Monte as their mascot or that UNLV is the only school that both the Griz and Lady Griz have both faced in the NCAA basketball tournament

When not following sports Chris enjoys taking care of animals of all kinds (a peacock rescue?) and reading to pre-schoolers.