Prep Basketball Rankings Jan. 25

Whether Valkyries or Vikings, it's high times for Bigfork

By 406mtsports.com
Bigfork High School basketball player Isak Epperly on March 17, 2022. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

The Class B state boys and girls tournaments will be played in Great Falls in mid-March, but make no mistake: The road to the championships runs through Bigfork.

The Valkyries (12-0) have held the top spot in the girls rankings all season, thanks to a dominant run in which they are outscoring opponents by an average of nearly 50 points per game. Only three teams have scored more than 20 points against them, and the outlier was 46 by future Class A rival Columbia Falls — merely a 23-point Bigfork triumph.

Next best: a tie between St. Ignatius and Florence-Carlton at 31 points each. Bigfork is averaging 67.9 points per game behind a talented, deep and experienced yet still young group led by Braeden Gunlock, Maddison Chappius and Ava Davey.

Meanwhile, the Vikings (9-2) have been biding their time in the No. 2 slot but inched past previously unbeaten Missoula Loyola (11-1), which — no shame in this — fell to Class A No. 5 Columbia Falls 72-65.

Bigfork has maintained its lofty status despite two defeats, both to ranked Class A squads: The aforementioned No. 5 Columbia Falls (48-43) and defending state champion Butte Central (10-1), No. 2 behind Lewistown (9-0).

The Vikings have been only slightly less dominant than the Valkyries, outscoring Class B opposition by 33 points per game and not allowing more than 36 to a ‘B’ team.

Next school year, the Vikings and Valkyries will move back to Class A after a 14-year hiatus. Chances are, come March the rest of Class B will be muttering bon voyage. 

Bigfork isn’t the only school to enjoy both top spots this week. Billings West’s boys and girls hold the lofty perches in Class AA, the boys maintaining their grip and the girls taking advantage of previous No. 1 Helena Capital’s crosstown loss to Helena.

(Through Jan. 23)


Class AA

  1. Billings West (8-1) 
  2. Helena (7-1) 
  3. Hellgate (7-2) 
  4. Bozeman (7-2)
  5. Helena Capital (5-3) 

Class A

  1. Lewistown (9-0)
  2. Butte Central (10-1)
  3. Billings Central (8-2)
  4. Hamilton (9-2)
  5. Columbia Falls (9-2)

Class B

  1. Bigfork (9-2)
  2. Missoula Loyola (11-1)
  3. Fairfield (10-1)
  4. Wolf Point (11-0)
  5. Lodge Grass (8-2)


Class AA

  1. Billings West (7-1) 
  2. Gallatin (7-2)
  3. Hellgate (7-2)
  4. Sentinel (7-2)
  5. Helena Capital (6-2)

Class A

  1. Dillon (12-0)
  2. Browning (11-0)
  3. Billings Central (8-1)
  4. Laurel (10-1)
  5. Hardin (9-2)

Class B

  1. Bigfork (12-0)
  2. Malta (11-1)
  3. Baker (9-2)
  4. Big Timber (11-1) 
  5. Huntley Project (10-1)

Via 406mtsports.com