BILLINGS — It wasn't always easy, but the first three No. 1 seeds at the State C boys tournament all won their first round games Thursday at MetraPark in Billings. Defending champion Manhattan Christian, Belt and Broadus each now advance to semifinals Friday night. Unbeaten Lustre Christian, however, fell to Big Sandy.
Manhattan Christian 54, Broadview-Lavina 45
Manhattan Christian survived a late challenge from the upstart Broadview-Lavina Pirates in a 54-45 win. The Eagles led by as many as 21 points midway through the 3rd quarter, but Broadview-Lavina trimmed it all the way down to five in the 4th before the defending champs put the game away.
Kade Erickson, Class C's leading scorer this season, was held scoreless in the first half, but the Broadview-Lavina senior was a key catalyst in the Pirates' comeback attempt. Erickson scored 10 in the final quarter, and ended up with 12 points and nine rebounds. He leaves Broadview as the program's all-time leading scorer.
William Sanguins also played a key role down the stretch. The Pirate scored 14 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, a big reason BV-Lavina had a 43-33 edge on the glass. But it just wasn't enough, as the Pirates only shot 17-56 from the field (30.4%).
Manhattan Christian was 20-53 (37.7%) from the floor. Seth Amunrud led all scorers with 20 points on 7-13 FG shooting, including 6-6 from the free throw line. Christian Triemstra added 14 for the Eagles.
Manhattan Christian will play Belt in a semifinal Friday at 6:00 p.m. Broadview-Lavina will play Fairview in a consolation game Friday at 9:30 a.m.
Belt 53, Fairview 43
Belt won the 4th quarter 21-5 as the Huskies pulled off a comeback against East No. 2 seed Fairview. The Warriors led 38-32 after a Hunter Sharbono put-back basket to end the 3rd quarter. Sharbono led all players with 21 points and 16 rebounds.
Belt's Bridger Vogl keyed the Huskies' comeback, hitting back-to-back threes to cap a 13-1 run to begin the quarter. They were Vogl's only made threes of the game on an off-day (5-20 FG, 2-8 3FG), but he did lead the team with 17 points and nine rebounds. Reese Paulson added 13.
Fairview's Jeff Tjelde had the highlight of the night near the end of the 3rd, throwing down a dunk in transition that didn't count after an intentional foul was committed against him right before he jumped. He made one free throw to pave the way for Sharbono's basket and the Warriors' biggest lead. Tjelde finished with 12 points and nine rebounds.
Both teams made 18 field goals, but Fairview was 0-11 from three point range while Belt was 6-17. Fairview also committed 16 turnovers to just six for the Huskies.
Belt will play Manhattan Christian in a semifinal Friday at 6:00 p.m. Fairview will play Broadview-Lavina in a consolation game Friday at 9:30 a.m.
Broadus 66, Lone Peak 38
After trailing 12-11 at the end of the 1st quarter, Broadus outscored the Bighorns 55-26 the rest of the way to earn an easy first round win. The Hawks shot 71.1% (27-38 FG) from two-point range in the game, including an incredible 17-19 in the second half.
6'6" senior Dillon Gee scored 19 points and grabbed 12 rebounds and Marcus Mader added 19 points to pace Broadus. The Hawks had 16 assists as a team and forced 21 Lone Peak turnovers.
The Bighorns, playing in their first State C game in program history, took a 12-11 lead after the 1st quarter, but went cold after that. Lone Peak shot just 15-52 from the field. Gus Hammond led them with 12 points while Max Romney added seven points and nine rebounds.
Broadus moves on to a 7:30 p.m. semifinal Friday, while Lone Peak falls into a consolation game at 11:00 a.m.
Big Sandy 60, Lustre Christian 47
Braydon Cline poured in 28 points on 10 of 18 shooting and grabbed seven rebounds to lead Big Sandy to a 60-47 win over Lustre Christian in the opening round of the State C boys basketball tournament in Billings.
Big Sandy led by as many as 15 in the first half, but Lustre Christian was able to trim the lead to six on multiple occasions in the fourth quarter. Free throw shooting from the Pioneers helped seal the game.
Lustre Christian entered the contest 23-0 and playing it's first game at the state tournament in program history, but the Lions dug themselves an early hole falling down 13-3 and couldn't climb all the way back.
Isaac Pedraza was the only other Pioneer in double figures with 11 points. Elijah Lenihan led Lustre Christian with 15.
Big Sandy will play Broadus on Friday at 8 p.m. in the semifinals, while Lustre Christian falls to loser-out action against Lone Peak.