CHURCHILL – The Manhattan Christian boys basketball team will be playing with a chance at its second consecutive District 11C championship on Saturday night. The Eagles blitzed semifinal opponent White Sulphur Springs on Friday night, 84-21, after outscoring the Hornets 28-4 in the first quarter and racing out to a 55-8 halftime advantage.
The superior length and athleticism of Manhattan Christian frustrated the White Sulphur Springs offense all night. The Eagles forced 20 turnovers leading to 33 points, while turning the ball over just five times themselves.
Manhattan Christian shot 64 percent from the field and had all five starters score in double figures, led by Caleb Bellach’s 17 and Josiah Amunrud’s 16. Will Syverson scored seven to lead White Sulphur Springs.
The second semifinal of the night provided the fireworks the first game did not. Gardiner and West Yellowstone turned this game into a track meet, as they played at a breakneck pace throughout. The Bruins sprinted past the Wolverines, 96-68.
Gardiner started the second quarter on an 8-0 run spurred by its full-court pressure, giving the a Bruins a seven-point lead that they would push to double figures by halftime.
The Bruins’ pressure was a challenge for the Wolverines all night, continually forcing miscues by West Yellowstone that led to easy transition baskets for Gardiner. The Bruins racked up 39 points off turnovers.
Gardiner had six players reach double figures in scoring, led by Sean Rehmer’s 17 and Jacob Perius’ 11 points and 10 rebounds. Nathan Morse put up his second straight double-double for West Yellowstone, pouring in 20 points and ripping down 13 rebounds in the losing effort.
Gardiner will meet Manhattan Christian for the District 11C Championship on Saturday night. Manhattan Christian swept the regular-season meetings with Gardiner.