(1W) Manhattan Christian 55, (1E) Froid-Medicine Lake 35
GREAT FALLS — The Manhattan Christian boys are on top of the mountain once again.
The Eagles left no doubt who the best team in Class C is, beating previously undefeated Froid-Medicine Lake 55-35 for a state championship, Saturday night in Great Falls. It’s the second title in four season for the Eagles, who won a championship in 2019 and their third state trophy overall.
“It’s just an unreal feeling, and it’s what you dream about,” said senior guard Logan Leep. “Credit to this whole team, all these kids put in so much work. We’re in the gym everyday, our practices are hard - we push each other.”
The Eagles used hot shooting to take control of the game early, build a double digit lead and used disciplined defense to keep the athletic RedHawks from threatening a comeback.
Seth Amunrud led the Eagles with 18 points, Leep scored 16 including 4-of-7 from three point range. Ehtan Venema scored five points, but added 11 rebound and three blocks.
As a team, Manhattan Christian hit 7-of-14 from deep. Overall, they shot 18-of-36 shots for a 50-percent clip.
“We have so many scorers on this team, it doesn’t matter who’s shooting the ball,” said Leep. “We’re fine with giving it to anybody, we like to get the ball and get the open shot. It makes it way more fun and it’s just great basketball to play.”
The RedHawks came in with a perfect record, but it was clear from the early moments that they hadn’t faced a team as athletic and composed as the Eagles. Star sophomore Mason Dethman was in foul trouble early, and was forced to sit on the bench for large portions of the game before fouling out in the fourth quarter.
The Eagle defense closed down driving and passing lanes for RedHawks senior Javonne Nesbit, who had had the best tournament of any player entering Saturday’s final. Dethman and Nesbit both finished with eight points with each only converting three field goals.
It’s just another chapter in the storied recent history of the Manhattan Christian boys. This marked the sixth straight season that the Eagles advanced to at least the State C semifinals, not to mention a bundle of District and Divisional titles.
Several seniors were on the roster when Manhattan Christian last won the title in 2019, and several more watched the program soar before entering high school.
“It was amazing watching that 2019, they were fantastic,” Amunrud said. “And to add one of our own is just amazing.”
(2N) Belt 47, (1E) Melstone 22
Garrett Metrione scored 18 points and the Belt Huskies topped Melstone 47-22 to earn Third Place at the State C tournament in Great Falls.
Belt controlled the game from start to finish, held the Broncs to just nine field goals, forcing 12 turnovers and holding the Broncs to under 10 points in all four quarters of the game.
The Huskies also got seven points from Bridger Vogl, five from Reese Paulson and fur each from Keaghn McDaniel, JD Shepard and Aidan Bergstrom.
Bryce Grebe and Jayson Roth scored six apiece for Melstone.
The third place trophy is Belt’s first hardware since the 2016 season. The Huskies won a state title in 2015.