Warriors seek third state title
BUTTE – In a packed, standing-room only gym at the Maroon Activities Center, the two-time defending Class C State champion Arlee Warriors and the undefeated Manhattan Christian Eagles battled to stake their claim on the Western C Divisional Championship on Saturday. The Eagle’s struck gold with a 63-51 victory against the Warriors.
Manhattan Christian sprinted out to an early 16-4 first-quarter lead over Arlee. The Warriors managed to chip at the double-digit Eagle lead to finish the quarter down by eight, 18-10. In the second quarter, the Eagles kept the Warriors at arms-length and closed out the half with a 14-point margin, 36-22. The Warriors put together a strong third quarter, and at one point, they were within six points of the lead 38-32, but quick points by the Eagles' offense in the last two minutes of the third quarter extended the Manhattan Christian lead to 46-35.
Arlee got as close as four points (55-51) in the final quarter with a three-point shot by Cody Tanner with just under two minutes left. The Eagles responded by scoring the next eight consecutive points to clinch the win.
For the Warriors, Lane Johnson scored 15 points. Greg Whitesell had 14 points, and Isaac Fisher finished with 10.
On Thursday, Arlee started their bid for a fourth consecutive division title by blasting Drummond 72-53. Johnson led the Warriors with 19 points. Whitesell had 17 and Fisher chipped in 10.
On Friday, the Warriors won against Gardiner, 76-62. Whitesell scored a team-high 16 points, and Johnson put in 14.
In Phillipsburg on Tuesday evening, Feb. 26, the Warriors will play in a divisional challenge game against the Twin Bridges Falcons for a berth to the state tournament on March 7-9 in Billings.
The challenge game will be played after press time Tuesday. The final game results can be found at www.valleyjournal.net.
Manhattan Christian 18 18 10 17 – 63
Arlee 10 12 13 16 – 51
Arlee – Lane Johnson 15, Greg Whitesell 14, Isaac Fisher 10, Cody Tanner 5, Billy Fisher 3, Lane Schall 2, Zach Running Crane 2.
Manhattan Christian – Caleb Bellach 20, Sam Leep 19, Josiah Amunrud 16, David Aamot 3, Tyler Kamps 3, Caidin Hill 2.