BILLINGS — Kylie Frohlich, Jordyn Schweyen and Kamden Hilborn were already quite familiar with one another.
Frohlich and Schweyen's Missoula Sentinel Spartans had crossed paths with Hilborn's Helena Bengals many times over the past few years, including in the last two Class AA state championship games.
So, for a weekend at least, the three got to take a break from competing against one another and donned the same uniforms, as the trio represented the Treasure State during the Midland Roundtable Montana-Wyoming All-Star Basketball Series on Friday and Saturday.
Playing on the same team was short-lived, however, and the group will see plenty more of each other down the road. Schweyen and Frohlich will continue to be teammates and stay put in Missoula with the Lady Griz, while Hilborn is heading to Bozeman to play basketball for the Bobcats.
Hilborn wasn't the lone Bobcat representative on the Montana All-Star team, either. She will be joined at MSU by Brynley Fitzgerald of Dillon, making it four girls on the team who will stick around and play Big Sky Conference basketball next year.
The rivalry will be there, but for now, the group said it was nice to get to know one another over this past weekend in a different facet of the game.
“Not having known them very well and finding out what great girls they are and they’re super fun,” Frohlich said. “It’s been in the back of my head, knowing that we’re going to have to play against these girls but I think it’s going to be fun seeing them in the next couple of years, just like getting to say hi when we’re not competing on the floor together. They’ve been really awesome.”
Fitzgerald led the group with 21 points over the two days, scoring 10 on Friday in Sheridan and 11 on Saturday at Rocky Mountain College. Frohlich was right behind her with 20 total points. Schweyen had 17 between the two days and Hilborn, who spent a lot of time setting up teammates as the team’s pass-first point guard, finished with 12.
“It’s been super fun to kind of come together for a few days because for the rest of the time we’re going to be rivals pretty much,” Schweyen said. “It’s just been super fun getting this opportunity to compete with people that we’re going to be playing against for the next couple of years.”
Though Hilborn and Fitzgerald play in different classifications — Helena is AA while Dillon is A — the two aren’t completely unfamiliar with one another as they played some travel basketball together in middle school.
“We play travel basketball in the summers and everything,” Fitzgerald explained. “It’s awesome to watch each other grow throughout high school. I never had the privilege of playing against them a lot in high school, but when we did it was always fun and it’s cool to watch everyone come together and kind of go out with a bang.”
“We’ve known each other and we’ve always known who each other is, but we really got to know each other a lot better this weekend,” Hilborn added. “We’ll get to see a lot more of each other and we’re really excited and we get along really well and she’s (Fitzgerald) a great player so I’m really excited to play with her.”
While Fitzgerald made her commitment in November to the Bobcats, Hilborn waited close to the last possible second, announcing her future with the Bobcats on May 1. She was recently named the 406mtsports.com Female Athlete of the Year for state championship runs in soccer and basketball, and winning the pole vault in track and field.
“We had a lot of fun. Brynley and I getting to play together was awesome and getting to play with Kylie and Jordyn was really fun,” Hilborn said. “We’ve been playing against each other for so long and it’s always been that rivalry, and there’s still going to be that rivalry so I think this little connection here was great and we all played really well together so that’s something to look back on and remember.”
The Bobcats finished last season 16-15 a year after winning the Big Sky Conference tournament championship.
“We’re both really excited. They’ve got a really good thing going over there,” Fitzgerald said. “We go over June 25 to start classes and we have three other girls that we’re going to be with so that’s pretty cool going in.”
Schweyen and Frohlich committed to the Lady Griz on the same day last summer. Shannon Schweyen, Jordyn’s mother, is the team’s coach. The Lady Griz were 14-17 last year.
“Since we have that college opportunity, we know this is one more fun opportunity that we get to do together before we go to the next level,” Frohlich said of teaming up with Schweyen over the weekend. “It’s been really great just because we’ve been playing together for so long … This game is just another chance for us to work together and just have fun.”
“It was fun sort of capping off our high school career, especially with a group of girls like this, all getting our opportunity,” Schweyen said. “Just kind of thinking of what we’re going to do next year, whether we’re going to redshirt or not, so this could possibly be our last game for a long time. Leaving it out there for these girls and this team was fun and exciting.”