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Manhattan Christian boys prepare for Plains with Arlee in mind

Posted at 10:57 PM, Feb 25, 2018

HAMILTON — Manhattan Christian can’t get its mind off of Arlee, but it’s hard to blame them.

The Eagles’ only loss to a Class C team came on Friday, a 69-60 decision against the defending state champion Warriors. This is the fourth consecutive time that Arlee has beaten Christian, including losses in last year’s state and divisional championship bouts.

Manhattan needed to win two games on Saturday in order to earn at least a chance of competing for a spot at state. The boys won both games in convincing fashion, meaning a play-in game with Plains on Monday will decide the Eagles’ playoff fate.

Last year’s Class C runners-up know where they belong.

“(Losing to Arlee) was really tough for us, but we just have to move on,” said guard Caleb Bellach. “We know that we deserve a spot at state and that was kind of our motivation for (Saturday), and we fought hard and got two wins.”

And the Eagles want another shot at the champs.

“(Our) kids know that they can play with (Arlee) and they can handle that pressure,” head coach Jeff Bellach said. “As great of players as they are, we won’t lose sight of the fact that we might get another chance at them.”