Johnson chosen for Treasure State Classic
March 21, 2019
BILLINGS – Seeley-Swan High School senior Chance Johnson was selected to participate in the Treasure State Senior Classic Tournament March 14-16. He was one of 12 seniors to represent the Western Class C Division in the tournament. Johnson enjoyed the high level of competition and opportunity to play on the same side of the court with some of his past rivals.
The annual tournament features seniors from AA, A, B and C classes. The Western C team was one of four C teams and was made up of players from the four Western Class C Districts. Each team was guaranteed three games against all classes Thursday and Friday. The top teams tipped off Saturday to close out the tournament.
Johnson was one of two seniors selected by the tournament coaches from the 13-C District. While Johnson said he wasn't told exactly why he was chosen, he thought his scoring percentage, winning record, defense and leadership on the court played into why he was selected as a post on the Western C team.
"I was very excited. I get a chance to play some basketball again with a lot of great kids," said Johnson.
2018 SSHS graduates Keaton Johnson and Cameron Haines were chosen last year and gave Johnson the inside scoop. Johnson's personal goal for the tournament was to play the best he could and have fun playing.
"I knew it was going to be a different experience and a lot harder than anything we have faced since everyone there was so good," said Johnson.
All the players stayed in the Billings Hotel and Convention Center. They had one warm up game to learn how to play together before starting the tournament on Thursday.
Western C's first game was against Central A Thursday night. Johnson said they were tied 84-84. Western C's point guard Greg Whitesell from Arlee put in a game winning three pointer as the time ran out.
"We were all pretty excited after that," said Johnson.
Friday morning the Western C team faced North AA. Even though it was a good game, Johnson said they lost to the more experienced AA players.
"We had some pretty good people on our team but we just didn't get it done," said Johnson.
Western C's third game was Friday afternoon against Central AA. Johnson said that game was within 10 points but they still lost. This put them out of the tournament.
Johnson said it was a great experience to play with a bunch of guys that were at his same skill level. He also enjoyed playing with guys from Darby and Drummond against whom he's played for years.
"It was a really cool experience playing with those guys," said Johnson. "We see them twice a year and you know how they play [and how] to guard them but you don't necessarily know how to play with them. It's a whole different challenge."
Johnson also liked meeting new people and doing different things on the court than he was used to. It was challenging to learn how others played as well as playing with them.
"There was definitely a lot of offense going on," said Johnson who added that in all three games his team scored at least 80 points. "I knew that there was going to be a lot of people that could put the ball in the basket."
Johnson kept his jersey as a memento.
While Johnson does not intend to play competitively at the college level, he said "It was an honor to be recognized."