Faupel named All-American; Thatcher, Dembek receive mention

Faupel named All-American; Thatcher, Dembek receive mention
From left, Montana Tech's Martha Dembek and Hattie Thatcher, and MSU-Northern's Natalee Faupel received All-American honors Thursday. (Butte Sports file photos)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Natalee Faupel repeated as an All-American.

The Butte High graduate and MSU-Northern senior received that distinction Thursday when the NAIA announced the 2017 Division I Women’s and Men’s Basketball All-American teams.

Montana Tech seniors Hattie Thatcher and Martha Dembek also received a mention.

Faupel averaged a league-best 17.4 points per game to lead the Skylights to another trip to the NAIA National Tournament. Northern won a first-round game before bowing out of the tournament in Billings.

Before closing her career, Faupel became Northern’s all-time leading scorer.

Faupel, the 2015-16 Frontier Conference MVP, was one of two players from the Frontier Conference to be named to the first team. Lewis-Clark State College’s Caelyn Orlandi, the 2016-17 league MVP, is the other.

Thatcher and Dembek received an honorable mention. The nods come after Dembek, a Winnett native, averaged a team-leading 15.1 points per game. Thatcher, a teammate of Faupel at Butte High, averaged 11.6 points and 5.4 assists per game. She broke the Orediggers’ career assist record.

Montana Western senior guard Aniese Palmore was named to the second team after leading the Bulldogs to the NAIA Tournament. She was joined on that team by Lewis-Clark State junior Brittany Tackett.

Western’s Kaye Bignell, Carroll’s Cassidy Hashley and Northern’s Sierra Richards joined Thatcher and Dembek receiving an honorable mention.

On the men’s side, Carroll College senior guard Zach Taylor was named first-team All-American.

Montana Western junior Dom Robinson earned a spot on the second team after leading Western to the National Tournament, while Western senior Shyke Smalls and Carroll junior Ryan Imhoff were named to the third team.

The honorable mention list includes Lewis-Clark State’s Doug McDaniel and Zavon Jackson and Rocky Mountain College’s Zach Hinton and Riley Bradshaw.

Click the links below for the full list of All-Americans.

NAIA Women’s All-American team

NAIA Men’s All-American team

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