2016 sports year in review
———— January ————
decide on college
LHS senior Abbie Lohof signed to play basketball for the MSUB Yellowjackets. LHS Senior Courtney Hallock joined the RMC cross country/track program. LHS ‘s Morgan O’Neil signs letter of intent to RMC for golf. Joliet’s Annie Cooke signs to RMC volleyball.
Laurel hosting Legion
Laurel will host the Class A-American Legion Northwest Region Baseball Tournament in the summer. Eight teams: two from Alaska, two from Montana and one from Wyoming, Idaho, Washington and Oregon will compete. The Laurel Dodgers qualified because they are hosting. The tournament rotates from state to state in the Northwest each year so Montana won’t host the tournament for another seven or eight years.
LHS senior invited
to Shodair Soccer Classic
Travis Nation was chosen to play in the 17th annual Shodair Soccer Classic in Helena. The match raises awareness to the nonprofit Shodair Children’s Hospital in Helena as well as bringing together the premier players from around the state in a final farewell game before they begin their college careers.
Lady Locos fall to rival Rams
After winning two straight games the Locomotives faced off against their rival the Billings Central Rams and lost. Abbie Lohof led her team with 17 points and after a close first half her squad fell 48-36 in the end.
Locomotives lose OT thriller
The Laurel boys basketball varsity squad came back from a 19-point deficit in the third quarter to their rival Billings Central before missing a half-court shot at the buzzer and sending the game into OT. They had momentum, but couldn’t pull through on the offensive end in the extra period and lost by three, 70-67.
———— February ————
Lady Panthers dominate
The Park City girls basketball team won two blowout games to improve to 12-2 on the season. They beat Absarokee 59-44 and then the next day beat Bridger 74-35. MacKinzie Verke got into double-digits in both games to lead her team to victories with 17 and 14 points respectively.
LHS wrestlers headed to State
The Locomotives qualified wrestlers in 11 of 13 weight classes, including a pair of 145 and 170 pounds. Clayton Carter was Laurel’s highest placer at the Divisional meet the week before.
Park City 13-game
win streak ends
The Lady Panthers had won their 13th game in a row against the Red Lodge Rams, before losing to the undefeated Broadview Pirates the following day 54-40. Only one Panther reached double-digits in scoring in the loss and brought their season record to 13-3.
Clayton Carter takes
Locomotive Clayton Carter took the class A championship in the 132 pound weight class at State. He was Laurel’s first individual championship winner since 2013, when Cody Stone Murphy earned the heavyweight title.
Locos fall in OT to rival Rams
The Lady Locomotives lost to the conference leading Billings Central Rams in OT. With 1.4 seconds left on the clock Laurel let the Rams hit the buzzer beater that sealed their fate in a one-point 44-43 loss.
———— March ————
Locomotives off to State
Laurel boys beat Havre, Sidney and Miles City to play their rival Billings Central in the Eastern A divisional basketball tournament. After winning State the year before they wanted to defend their title, but lost 52-31 to the Rams to end their season.
Lady Locos lose tough
Laurel fell to Havre and Park County to cut their season short and miss out on State. In the process head coach Amber Griffith lost three of her seniors, Madison Tucker, Paige Hodges and Abbie Lohof, who all graduated.
Park City finishes
fourth at Divisionals
The Lady Panthers went 2-2 in the tournament, beating the Mustangs and Engineers, but losing to the Huskies and the Hawks. Only two teams would gain a spot at State and with the final loss against the Hawks, Park City’s season was over.
Two Laurel boys compete in State hockey tournament
Laurel High School juniors Shane Milton and Carver Thompson played for the Junior Bulls hockey team in Billings. They made the Class A State Tournament and finished fifth.
Three Laurel athletes
selected to all-state and all-
conference basketball teams
Senior Abbie Lohof was selected to both All-State and Eastern A All-Conference first team. Freshman Aspen Cotter made second team All-Conference. Junior Casey Cole was named to first team All-Conference.
———— April ————
Joliet and Park City
student athletes selected to all-state and all-conference basketball teams
Park City’s Tehya Ray and Mackinzie Verke made 6C All-Conference first team. Haile Gregerson was selected to 6C All-Conference second team. Rylan Gauthier and Dylan Sitzman made 6C All-conference second team.
Joliet’s Ty Olson and Matt George made 4B All-Conference second team. Anne Cooke made All-Conference first team and the head coach of the J-Hawks for the boys, was selected as Class B Coach of the Year.
Lady Locos defeat Central
The Lady Locomotives softball team came out with a 17-15 win over rival Billings Central Rams. After a three-game week the girls played the Rams last and gave the home crowd something to really cheer about in the victory.
Carbon County 4H BB
gun state champs
The Carbon County 4H Shooting Sports X-tremes won the 2016 Montana State BB Gun Championship. The win qualified the team to attend the Daisy National BB Gun Championship Match which brings together the nation’s best.
Local girls earn
Rocky Mountain College golfers Kyla Clancy from Park City and McKenzie Webinger of Laurel were both named to the Frontier-All-Conference teams.
———— May ————
Laurel hosts track meet
The Park City/Harlowton Invitational track meet took place in Laurel. The Joliet boys took second and the Park City girls took second at the meet.
Joliet, Laurel and Park
City track Districts
Laurel girls took first at the Glendive meet with 133 points. Park City boys took first and the girls took second at the Laurel meet for 6C. The Joliet boys took first for 4B and the girls took second.
Lady Loco softball
The Lady Locomotive softball team breezed through the Eastern A Divisional tournament defeating Miles City and Glendive for the title.
The Laurel boys took third and the girls took first behind outstanding scores from Taylor Ludwig and Casey Cole. In the Southern B Divisionals the Joliet boys took third behind Ty Olson and the girls took sixth. At the Southern C Divisional meet the Park City boys took fourth and the Panther girls took first behind phenomenal scores from Brittany Frank and MacKenzie Verke.
———— June ————
LHS students compete on winning lacrosse team
Laurel students Liam McCollum and Jackson Pollock both play for the Billings Bandits lacrosse team and competed in the state tournament in Missoula. The Bandits entered the tournament undefeated in conference play, 5-0 and an overall record of 13-2. They finished third overall at the high school state tournament.
Dodgers pitch no-hitter
Laurel played Lovell, Wyo. twice in a row and won both meetings, the first with a 13-2 victory and the second 16-1. The second game had Cameron Schriver pitch a no-hitter for the Dodgers and behind a nine runs scored second inning, Laurel dominated on both ends.
Dodgers win ‘Lee
Cloninger’ baseball classic
Laurel went 5-0 at Kindrick Legion Field in Helena to win the Lee Cloninger Class A Memorial Baseball Tournament. They played the Helena Representatives in the championship game and won. The big play came at the bottom of the seventh inning when a single by Mason O’Donnell scored Kanyin Moran and Carson Hoke to win the game. This is the third consecutive year the Dodgers have won the tournament.
State junior golf
Laurel’s Paul O’Neil took first at the Montana State Junior Golf Championship in Billings. O’Neil shot rounds of 76 and 78 to win the 14-15 year old championship by six strokes. Overall his tournament score ranked him fourth against competitors up to 17 years in age.
Headed to nationals
LHS freshman Danica Hoppman headed to the National Finals High School Rodeo in Gillette, Wyo. for barrel racing. Hoppman went into the State Rodeo Finals in Baker leading in both barrel racing and pole bending.