USA Today Highlights Finberg, Johnson, Hashley

The national media outlet released its All-USA Montana girls and boys basketball teams and coaching honors

By Dillon Tabish
Flathead's Tiana Johnson. Best of Preps on March 15, 2017. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

USA Today has recognized some familiar names in its high school sports All-USA sports showcase.

The national media outlet released its All-USA Montana girls and boys basketball teams and coaching honors recently.

Cary Finberg, head coach of the Columbia Falls girls basketball team, was named coach of the year. The Columbia Falls native led the Wildkats to a 23-1 overall record and the Class A state title, the program’s first since 1983.

Tiana Johnson, a senior forward for the Flathead Bravettes, was named to the first-team All-Montana squad. Johnson, who has committed to play at Sacramento State, led the state in scoring, averaging 17.1 poings per game. She also grabbed 8.6 rebounds per game on average.

Kiara Burlage, a senior forward for Columbia Falls, earned second team honors.

Sophia Stiles, a senior guard at Malta, was named Player of the Year. She was part of the first-team along with Dani Urick, a junior at Belt, Natalie Klinker, a senior at Fairfield, and Jamie Pickens, a sophomore at Helena.

Along with Burlage, other second-team honorees were Kamden Hilborn of Helena, Shannon Worster of Frenchtown, Mollie Peoples of Butte Central and Kylie Frohlich of Missoula Sentinel.

Jaxen Hashley, a senior at Glacier, was named to the first team All-USA Montana team. Hashley was MVP of the Class AA state tournament after leading Glacier to its first state championship. He averaged 11.9 rebounds per game and 16.7 points.

Polson senior Matthew Rensvold earned second-team honors.

Rounding out the all-state first team were Player of the Year Brendan Howard of Great Falls, Phillip Malatare of Arlee, RayQuan Evans of Billings Skyview and Dillon’s Tanner Haverfield. On the second team were Nate Costin of Malta, Brazton Hill of Anaconda, Taylor England of Helena and Braydon Deming of Billings West.

Zanen Pitts was named boys coach of the year after leading Arlee to a 26-1 overall record and the first state title in program history.

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