HELENA — The Carroll College Fighting Saints men’s basketball team took on the Eastern Oregon Mountaineers Monday night, winning by a score of 98-89.
Carlito Labarda, Jr., a familiar face in the Carroll College men’s basketball arena, was back in the PE Center, albeit in a different capacity Monday, as the Eastern Oregon head coach.
Labarda was an assistant coach for the Saints spanning four seasons from 2013-17, before being named the Eastern Oregon head coach. As Labarda walked through the PE Center Monday evening, he was met with handshakes and hugs, but it was time to get down to business.
The Mountaineers wasted no time jumping on miscues by the Saints’ offense, scoring six points before Carroll’s Match Burnham nabbed a rebound and put one home for the Saints. In a relatively evenly-matched contest, both teams had no problem putting up shots from beyond the arc, taking an identical 27 3-point attempts, sinking 11 apiece. The Mountaineers’ Jordan May was lights out from long range, hitting seven of his eight shots, finishing with 37 points, six rebounds and two steals.
What set Carroll apart from Eastern Oregon was free throw shooting. Carroll made 27 of 31 shots from the charity stripe, 15 more than Eastern Oregon. Matt Wyman continued to be on top of his game for the Saints, finishing with 31 points, six rebounds and two assists.
Match Burnham had 21 points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals in his season debut, while Dane Warp added 19 points and five assists in the win.
Carroll will take a break for 10 days before it heads to Butte to take on the Warner Pacific University Knights at the Montana Tech Tip Off Classic.