ANACONDA — The 23rd Annual Wayne Estes memorial basketball tournament tips off action Thursday at 5 p.m. and runs until the final championship game late Sunday afternoon.
Tournament director Bill Hill said 100 teams have signed up and paid the entry fee for this year’s tournament. Team’s will be traveling from as far north as Tacoma, Wash., and as far south at Southern Utah.
This season, the 3-point shootout will be held on Friday at 7 p.m. and will feature last year’s winner Jake Mickelson from Montana-Western along with a normally deep and talented field. The contest will also feature an appearance by the Butte Daredevils, a member of the Continental Basketball Association.
On Saturday, the slam dunk contest will begin at approximately 7 p.m. and normally packs the Snake Pit. Both the 3-point and slam dunk contests will be held at the Memorial Gymnasium.
The tournament also has increased the prize fund for all divisions this year; a move that Hill said will make the Wayne Estes the top tournament in the Northwest once again.
Men’s Open will pay $3,500 to the winner while second place will take home $2,000. Last year’s champion, Schaplow Law Firm from Bozeman is an early favorite to repeat followed closely by S-Dunn Enterprises and longtime tournament supporters Myron Simms of Utah State and Lossie Mitchell from San Jose State.
Hill said as many as 12 teams could win the Men’s Open this year, making what he believes is the deepest Open division ever.
In the Men’s B, State Farm is the odds-on favorite to get back into the money. An unexpected third-place finish last season with players based out of Carroll College lead the See ESTES, Page B5 charge to the $2,000 first-place prize.
Anaconda’s Mike Miller along with college buddies Jeff Pasha, Seamus Malloy, Connor Malloy, Ryan McCarthy and Regan Mack start off Friday play against Helena Sand and Gravel from Anaconda led by the deadly shooting combination of Trevor Case and Chris Crawshaw on Friday morning at 8 a.m. at the Memorial Gymnasium.
This year, the high school boys will be split into two divisions to equal out the playing field. The high school A division will begin play on Friday while the B division starts off at 5 p.m. tonight at the Daly Gym.
The A division is spewing with talent led by the defending class A state champions Dillon Champs along with a Butte High contingent for CCCS Inc.
Roundup and Lame Deer, ranked highly all year in the class B polls, were tough luck district losers to state first and second place finishers Huntley Project and Plentywood, respectively, and are looking for a measure of revenge.
Dillon is led by an explosive guard tandem of Jake Iverson, Zach McRae and Spencer Jenne and will first play on Friday at 2 p.m. against the Roundup Panthers at the Daly Gym.
CCCS Inc. is led by Butte High boys Brandon Boltz, Cole Conway, Michael Hawbaker and Tyler Gilder, Missoula Sentinel’s Andy Garland and Frenchtown’s Nate Lebsock. They take on Sanford AC All-Stars Friday at 3 p.m. at the Daly Gym.
In the B division, Willie’s Homeboys comprising of Butte High’s Jason Matilla, Shane Clary, Willie Sullivan, and Casey Dennehy face off against the Anaconda Wrestlers on Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Daly gym.
On the Women’s side, Tim McKeon Law Firm led by a bevy of former Lady Griz stars will look to avenge the Open division championship game loss to Billings. Current Missoula Sentinel and former University of Washington standout Karen Deden along with ex-Griz such as Skyla Sisco, Katie Edwards, Julie Deming, Jody McLeod, Leann Minte and Simmaron Schilot will play Friday at 5 p.m. at the Memorial against Team WSB.
The Women’s B division is anyone’s guess. Big Sky Hoops, led by Anaconda’s Ali Hurley, Torry Hill and Korey Krumm, Dillon’s Hayley Pettit, Missoula Sentinel’s Josyln Tinkle, Bozeman’s Gatorade Player of the Year for Montana Kirsten Tilleman, CMR’s Mary Anderson among others will challenge for the trophy.
Another Anaconda based team, Mo Club, will be a tough test. Showing off the Laslovich family tree, the Mo Club is led by Beth, Christina, Cara and Lisa Laslovich n all current and former standouts for the Copperheads.
Also, Bow!Wow!s from Butte should be in the thick of things at the end. The Bow!Wow!s are by Butte High’s Joey O’Neill, Gwen Abbott, Lexie Nelson, Kalli McCloskey and Brianne Holland-Stergar.
The Mo Club and Big Sky Hoops play at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m., respectively, at the Fred Moodry Gymnasium on Saturday. The Bow!Wow!s start play against the Senior Citizens from Anaconda on Saturday at 8 a.m. at Fred Moodry Gymnasium.
Below are a list of divisions and players to watch during the tournament.
Men’s Open S-Dunn Enterprise, Utah n Tanner Lind 6-0 Utah St.; Eric Bowie 6-2 U of Montana; Dominique Davis 6-10 U of Montana; David Bell 6-0 U of Montana; Dan Trammell 6-8 U of Montana; Myron Simms 6-3 Utah St.; Bernard Rock 6-0 Utah St.; Evric Grey 6-7 UNLV; Lossie Mitchell 6-3 San Jose State.
Club Moderne Pussy Cats, Anaconda n Tyler Hurley 6-6 Anaconda High; Rochi Estes 5-10, Mt. Tech; Zach Parks 6-8 North Idaho College; Layne Glaus 6-0 Western; Jake Mickelson 6-5 Western; Chase Godecke 6-8 Beaverhead High; Jared Smithson 6-1 Western; Clay Cantrell Drummond; David Foster 6-5 Big Timber.
Tacoma Kings, Tacoma, Wash. n Jujuan Winesberry 6-10 U of Washington; Jimmy Haywood 6-1 Oregon State.
Tommy’s Ride, Butte n Shea Bradshaw 6-2 Mt Tech; Sam Conolly 6-3 Mt Tech; Tommy Craddock 6-8 Mt Tech; Matt Nottingham 5-10 Mt Tech; Don Deshazer 6-3 North Idaho College; Jake Williams 6-6 Mt Tech.
Schaplow Law Firm, Bozeman n Matt Luedke 6-1 Western; JR Camel 6-0 U of Montana; Mike Chavez 6-8 U of Montana; Zach Pitts 6-0 Western; Nick Dissly 6-4 MSU; Carson Dunn 6-5 MSU; Ted Morris 6-10 MSU; Terry Schaplow 6-3 MSU. Calvin Ento 6-5 MSU.
Northwest Cougars, Pasco, Wash. n Greg Johnson 6-0 Carroll; Kevin Criswell 6-2 U of Montana; Brent Cummings 6-7 U of Montana; Luck Harman 6-0 Mt Tech; Antonio Chavers 6-2 WSU; Matt Dlouhy 6-6 U of Montana; Ivory Clark 6-6 Washington State; Paul Butorac 6-10 Eastern Washington.
Deception, Pocatello, Idaho n Ron Harwell 6-5 Idaho State; Rob North 6-10 Idaho State; Antwan Lovelett 6-4 Idaho State; Mike Wheelock 6-4 Idaho State; Jared Brawn 6-5 Idaho State; Dewayne Cleaves 6-6 University of Memphis; Milt Wagner 6-5; Pervis Ellison 6-10.
CUATDASHIPP, Denver, Colorado n Johnnie Reece 6-2 Oregon; Jerome Yancy 6-7 Illinois; DJ Stalley 6-5 Dayton; Marcus Holmes 6-7 Idaho; Chris Terrell 6-5 Colorado.
Men’s B State Farm, Anaconda n Mike Miller 6-0; Jeff Pasha 6-4; Seamus Malloy 6-3; Connor Malloy 6-5; Ryan McCarthy 5-10, Regan Mack 6-0.
Men’s 6-1 Mud Lakers, Driggs ID n Chad Williams 5-11.
Red Tiger Drilling, Belgrade n Mike Hayter 6-1; Taylore Hauser 5-10; Terry Hauser 6-0.
Women’s Open Womens A McKeon Law Firm, Anaconda n Skyla Sisco 5-7 U of Montana; Julie Deming 5-11U of Montana; Katie Edwards 5-8 U of Montana; Jody McLeod 6-1 U of Montana; Leann Minte 5-9 U of Montana; Simmaron Schilot 6-1 U of Montana; Kare Deden 6-5 U of Washington; Jill Morton 5-7 Louisville; Bambi Douma 6-1 Idaho State.
Taco Time, South Jordan, UT n Andrea Graa 5-4 Anaconda high; Kellie Phillip 5-10 MSU track; Jayme Connors 6-2 San Jose St.
Womens B Big Sky Hoops n Torry Hill 5-7 AHS; Korey Krumm 5-9 AHS; Ali Hurley 6-0 AHS; Joslyn Tinkle 6-3 Big Sky; McKenzie Foster 5-9 Big Timber; Hayley Pettit 6-2 Dillon; Kirsten Tilleman 6-1 Bozeman; Jordan Sullivan 6-2 Sidney; Mary Anderson 6-3 CMR; Ashley Ferda 5-7 Whitefish.
Mo Club n Beth Laslovich 5-8; Lisa Laslovich 5-7; Cara Laslovich 5-5; Christina Laslovich 5-8.
Bow!Wow!s n Joey O’Neill 6-3 BHS; Gwen Abbott 6-0 BHS; Brianne Holland Stergar 6-2 BHS; Kalli McCloskey 5-7 BHS; Tatum Holland 5-10 BHS; Micaul McClafferty 5-11 BHS; Charney Murphy 5-9 BHS; Lexie Nelson 5-6 BHS; Crystall Burns 6-2 BHS.
Thursday M n Memorial Gym, D n Daly Gym, FM n Fred Moodry, L n Lincoln, JC n Job Corp.
Men’s B 7 p.m. n UAS, Butte, vs. Mo Clubbers, Missoula, M. 8 p.m. n Goosetown, Anaconda vs. WMC Dawgs, Dillon, M.
Men’s 6-1 6 p.m. n Cooks Express, Anaconda vs. AZ Co/American Financial, Butte, M. 9 p.m. n MES, Frenchtown vs. Anaconda Motors, Anaconda, M.
High school B 5 p.m. n Copenhagen Angels, Anaconda vs. Perry Choppers, Anaconda, D. 6 p.m. n Dood It, Anaconda vs. Fried Chicken & Kool Aid, Butte, D. 7 p.m. n Copperhead Wrestlers, Anaconda vs. Willie’s Homeboys, Butte, D. 8 p.m. n Dillon vs. Back Door Action, Anaconda, D. 9 p.m. n Anacompton Ballers, Anaconda vs. Drop It Like It’s Hot, Anaconda, D.