Flathead Lake 3on3 extracts: What’s behind a name

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Will Mesteth of Arlee speeds around a defender to go in for an easy lay-up during 3-on-3 action.

There are many creative names that players come up with as a name under which they register to compete in local basketball tournaments. More often than not, any significance is lost to the majority of readers because little context is given to who happens to be playing under the rubric of a given team. Below is a brief extract of a few teams which not only made deep runs into the tournament brackets, but also featured some local flavor among their rosters. It is hoped that by identifying some of the rosters will lend a greater measure of appreciation for area readership.

The Flathead 3-on-3 basketball format is becoming one of the most popular tournament formats in the United States.

The 3-on-3, which had itís peak in the early 90s, has had a resurgance in popularity with the youth population, which makes up the biggest portion of the 3-on-3 format today.

The 3-on-3 touranment was modeled after Hoopsfest in Spokane, Washington, which is one of the biggest tournaments in the world.

The tournament finished itís 27th annual season, which is another successful tournament event, as the Flathead Lake approaches itís 30th anniversary.

The Tournament included some of the top-tier players not only in the Mission Valley, but also within the region.

The tournament features some of the top-notch athletes of all abilities levels, including some of the best players that have participated in the Montana High School Association-sanctioned events, and have achieved state titles.

Girls 9-10

Dream Team (LaReina Cordova, Madyson Currie, Margaret Cordova, Areanna Burke). The Dream Team, a squad comprised of three Ronan Maidens and a Mission Lady Bulldog (Currie), would battle their way through the backwaters of the consolation bracket to almost force a second championship against the Butte-based Lady Irish, falling just shy 13-14. The contest featured some stellar marksmanship from behind the arc with Ari Burke dialing the operator long distance to completing the call, blocked shots by Madyson Currie and LaReina Cordova, jump ball tie-ups, and a lot of hustle that resulted in a handful of steals.

Lady Irish (Emmarie Richards, Laura Rosenleaf, Olivia Spear, Taylor Bushman) incoming freshmen who will enroll at Butte High, whose basketball future looks bright base on the caliber of play on display.

Fast & Furious Anika Ransom, Autumn Britt, Tessa Troble, Piper Linson) future Bigfork Vals who were playing up, meaning they could have competed in the girls 7-8 bracket had they wished.

Girls 11-12

Hossiers (Madison Clairmont, Regan Clairmont, Kieauna DeRoche, Madeline McCrea). In the fourth place match, the Ronan-based Hossiers and Kalispell-based MMRM, a latter a first name acronym derived from two Stillwater Christian and two Flathead Bravette forenames, would tie 13-13 at the end of regulation, forcing a free throw shootout. MMRM would make one more to advance 17-16.

MMRM (Madison Morken, Molly, Regina (sp?), Marae Tinzmann), an acronym derived from player forenames, two of which attend Kalispell Flathead and two pending juniors at Stillwater Christian


Wild Women (Louetta Conko-Camel, Laurencia Starblanket, Margelina Whiteman, Erika MadPlume), comprised of one half Arlee Scarlet graduates and the other half Browning Lady Indian former players, would ultimately place second.


Letís Just Shoot (Jerry Louie-McGee, Mariah Hamel, Payton Lefthand, Lauren Lefthand), were derailed from a deeper run by Tire Depot White during one of the fifth place games in the consolation bracket. Louie-McGee is part of the gridiron Griz wide receiver corps entering his senior season. Hamel (PHS class of 2012) was a two-time all-conference (1st-tm 11-12, hm 09-10) stellar point guard for the Polson Lady Pirates. Payton Lefthand (PHS class of 2016) was all-state his senior season along with an all-tournament honorable mention (2x a-c: 1st-tm 2015-16, hm 2014-15). His sister Lauren (PHS class of 2017) was 2nd-team all-conference her senior season and now plays for the SKC Lady Bison. Worth mention is that Payton Lefthand was one of the Pirate players who showcased the essence of good sportsmanship during the waning moments of the Polson vs Hardin consolation contest at State who gathered in a rebound, then passed the ball to a Hardin player who was on the floor with hopes of making a basket to get his name in the box score.

Boys 7-8

Chiefs (Ted Coffman, Marlo Tonasket, Colter Cornwall, Drake Finley) were undefeated heading into the championship, where they were double tapped by the Northern Thunder. Look for these names to be showing up over the course of the next couple of seasons among area team basketball rosters.

Boys 11-12

Half & Half (Gunnar Grisak, Ryker Wenderoth, Anton Lefthand, Trevor Schultz), members of the Polson Pirate varsity who made a deep run through the undefeated bracket before being offed by second place finisher Off in the Woods, then eliminated by Body Count 100.

2019 Flathead Lake 3on3

27th annual edition, Polson, MT

Saturday-Sunday, July 27-28

Boys grades 5-6

1st place - Select Basketball

2nd place - Sauce Squad

3rd place -Steal Bob Swish Pants

Girls grades 5-6

1st place - Ballerz

2nd place -Thunder-White

Boys grades 7-8

1st place - Northern Thunder

2nd place - Chiefs

3rd place - Hazard

Girls grades 7-8

1st place - 406 Wild

2nd place - Apasaalooke Elite

3rd place - Pavement Princess

Boys grades 9-10

1st place - Valley Boys

2nd place - Thatís Whatís up

3rd place - Big Ducks

Girls grades 9-10

1st place - Lady Irish

2nd place - Dream Team

3rd place - Native Express

Boys grades 11-12

1st place - Fluffy Bunnies

2nd place - Off in the Woods

3rd place - Rip City

Girls grades 11-12

1st place - Lady Cats

2nd place - Sauce Brothers

3rd place - MRMM

Womenís Open

1st place - CFA

2nd place - Wild Womens

3rd place - Buckskin


1st place - Mixed Poi Time

2nd place - Tire Depot- White

3rd place - Fosters

6-1& Under Elite

1st place - Poi Time

2nd place - Red Hots

3rd place - Run n Gun

6-1 & Under Rec

1st place - Over the Hill

2nd place - Fatties

3rd place - BBW

Menís Open Elite

1st place - Tire Depot- Red

2nd place - Flexing

3rd place - Desert Horse Elite

Menís Open Rec

1st place - Purple Reign

2nd place - Smokiní Joes

3rd place - Chips & Dip

Tournament top three results posted on tourament facebook page

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