HAMILTON — It’ll be No. 1 versus No. 2 in the Western C boys basketball semifinals on Friday as undefeated defending champion and top-ranked Arlee and second-ranked Manhattan Christian easily dispatched their first-round opponents on Thursday.
Manhattan Christian 81, Drummond 55
Drummond stayed with Manhattan Christian into the third quarter, but the Eagles put away the Trojans with a 45-28 advantage in the second half. Junior guard Caleb Bellach led Manhattan Christian with 28 points on 12-of-21 shooting. Sam Leep added 12 points off the bench for the Eagles, who have yet to lose to a Class C team this season. Manhattan Christian will now meet Arlee in a state championship rematch in Friday’s semifinal round. Jonah Parke scored 22 points for Drummond, which will face Darby in a Friday loser-out game.
Arlee 101, Darby 31
Defending Class C champion Arlee scored 30 points in the first quarter and never looked back in a 101-31 rout against District 13C runner-up Darby. The Warriors, who remain unbeaten, led 63-23 at halftime and made 15 3-pointers in the win. Billy Fisher (23) and Isaac Fisher (16) combined for 39 points, while Greg Whitesell made six 3-pointers and added 20 points. Nelson Smith had 10 points for Darby, which faces Drummond in a Friday loser-out game.
Plains 58, Seeley-Swan 47
Plains exploded for 24 first-quarter points, 10 from Kyle Weeks, to help the Horsemen past Seeley-Swan, 58-47, in first-round action at the Western C divisional tournament on Thursday. Jay Vonheeder added 11 points for Plains, which will face Twin Bridges in Friday’s semifinal round. Seeley-Swan will play Gardiner in a loser-out game Friday.
Twin Bridges 67, Gardiner 65, OT
Bryce Nye scored 18 points and Clay Wolfe added 15 as Twin Bridges defeated Gardiner 67-65 in overtime to cap the first round of the Western C divisional tournament. The Falcons jumped out to a quick 12-5 lead at the end of the first quarter, but the Bruins battled back to the take a 51-47 lead late in the fourth. The teams ultimately went into overtime tied at 56, and the Falcons would never trail in the extra frame on their way to clinching a berth in Friday’s semifinal round against Plains. Bryson Stermitz led Gardiner with 17 points. The Bruins will face Seeley-Swan in loser-out action on Friday.