CHURCHILL – The Manhattan Christian girls basketball team punched its ticket to the District 11C championship game by pulling away from White Sulphur Springs in the second half on the way to a 62-41 victory on Friday.
Manhattan Christian led 27-17 at the break, but didn’t find separation until late in the third quarter when it went on a 14-3 run. A 3-pointer with time winding down in the third quarter by Kelly Van Kirk pushed the Eagles’ lead to 18 points. Manhattan Christian led by as many as 26 in the fourth quarter.
Manhattan Christian forced the Hornets into 27 turnovers on the evening, leading to multiple run-outs resulting in layups. Alex Veltkamp paced the Eagles with yet another double-double, notching 21 points and 12 rebounds. Morgan Vaisvillas had 11 points and seven rebounds to lead White Sulphur Springs.
Lone Peak survived the other semifinal against Shields Valley, 46-42, to advance to the championship game against Manhattan Christian. The Bighorns led by as many as 10 in the first half, but Shields Valley got a layup as time expired in the first half to cut the deficit to four.
The Rebels then tied things at 24, but Lone Peak used a 9-2 run to maintain distance from Shields Valley. With just one minute to play, the Rebels got a basket from Lauren Flatt to cut the Bighorns lead to two, 39-37. However, Shields Valley could not get a bucket down the stretch, allowing Lone Peak to ice the game from the free throw line.
KP Hoffman had 21 points, including an 11-for-12 mark from the foul line, and grabbed seven rebounds for the Bighorns. Shields Valley got 22 points and seven rebounds from Flatt.
Manhattan Christian and Lone Peak will square off Saturday evening for the 11C district championship. Manhattan Christian won both matchups with Lone Peak this season.