Johnston Earns Conference Honors

McKenzie Johnston has seen her teammates fall due to injury before the season began, and as the season has played out, and has seen fellow players retire, and on Sunday had it capped off with a mistake by the committee that left the alternates out of their announcement, it all fell into the kind of season she has had.

The 2017-18 season was supposed to be a redemption tour for the Lady Griz, all precipitated by Valley’s first season-ending knee injury, followed a month later by Harris’s, leaving a team alarmingly young and short on experience. Out of necessity, Johnston had to add scoring to her role as play maker. It wasn’t out of her comfort zone but out of character. So Johnston did what she had to do, she’s led the team in scoring with 11.6 per game and assists with 145, and ranked second in rebounds grabbing an average of 5.5 per game while helping her once-again shorthanded team go from seven wins to 13. She’s kept everyone involved, finishing second in the Big Sky in assists, while taking more shots than anybody else on the team.

Fifteen players were voted to the Big Sky’s first, second and third teams, Johnston was among the five players who picked up at least three votes but didn’t have enough points to crack the third team. The All-Big Sky teams were highlighted by Northern Colorado’s Savannah Smith, named Most Valuable Player, joining Smith on the first team were Eastern Washington’s Delaney Hodgins, Weber State’s Larryn Brooks, Idaho’s Mikayla Ferenz and North Dakota’s Lexi Klabo.

Montana plays No. 9 Sacramento State at 1 p.m. on Monday at the Reno Events Center, with the winner advancing to face No. 1 Northern Colorado at 1 p.m. on Wednesday.