BUTTE — Rylan Gauthier scored 26 points and grabbed six rebounds as Park City held off Fairview for a 50-44 win in the first round of the State C boys basketball tournament at the Civic Center on Friday.
The Panthers, who entered the tournament as the Southern C’s No. 1 seed, built a 26-13 halftime lead, limiting Fairview to just three second-quarter points. The Warriors exploded for 20 points in the third quarter, though, to close the gap to 36-33 going to the fourth. Fairview eventually took the lead on five consecutive points from Cody Asbeck in the fourth.
Gauthier immediately answered with a bucket and the foul to give the lead back to Park City. The Panthers would secure the game from the free throw line, making 19 of 26 attempts during the game. Gauthier was 13 of 14 at the charity stripe. The Panthers got six points and 14 rebounds from Austin Popp, while Connor McNeil and Talon Johnstone each added eight points.
Asbeck and Alex Schriver each scored 11 points to lead Fairview, which falls into the loser-out bracket. The Warriors will play Heart Butte or Manhattan Christian Friday at 2 p.m.
Park City will meet Heart Butte or Manhattan Christian in Friday’s late semifinal. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m.
Manhattan Christian 66, Heart Butte 53
Manhattan Christian used a 14-0 first-quarter run to build a lead it would never relinquish in handing Heart Butte its first loss of the season, 66-53, in the first round of the State C boys basketball tournament at the Civic Center on Thursday.
The Warriors jumped out to a quick 7-4 lead behind an energetic crowd, but the Eagles steadied to grab a 20-9 lead by the end of the first quarter. They would balloon the lead to as many as 14 points in the first half, ultimately taking a 36-29 lead into the break. The Eagles made five of their 11 3-point attempts in the first half.
Heart Butte seemingly had an answer in the third period, scoring the first four points of the half to close within 36-33. Manhattan Christian steadied again, though, and quickly built the lead back to double digits. The Eagles led by as many as 15 points in the fourth quarter, cruising to the 66-53 win.
Caleb Bellach had a huge game, recording game highs of 25 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks. The junior grabbed four offensive rebounds and made seven of nine free throws. Sam Leep came off the bench for another big performance, scoring 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting, including a 3-for-6 mark from 3-point range.
The Eagles will now meet Park City in Friday’s semifinal. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m.
Heart Butte got 23 points from Riley Spoonhunter, 11 from Shylon Spoonhunter and 10 from Isaiah ArrowTopKnot. The Warriors will meet Fairview in a loser-out game at 2 p.m. Friday.