BOZEMAN — Manhattan Christian and Arlee have made every one of their matchups a hot ticket over the past couple seasons, as the two have proven to be the two best teams in all of Class C. The Warriors have gotten the upper hand all four times over the last two years, twice in divisional championships and twice in state championships.
Arlee won the state championship in another close bout, 66-58, on Saturday night for its second straight title, while the Eagles were again forced to settle for second place.
After Saturday’s game, Arlee had nothing but respect for the team that has pushed them harder than any other during its magical two-year ride.
“I really, really have a spot in my heart for Manhattan Christian,” said Arlee headman Zanen Pitts. “It’s unfortunate, the outcome, there has to be a winner, but gosh (that is) a good group of boys and a phenomenal program.”
Guard Phillip Malatare played his final matchup against Christian, but he still wishes nothing but the best for Manhattan in the future.
“I have a lot of respect for them boys,” the senior said. “Caleb Bellach is a young player, and I hope he can make it back here. I respect Manhattan Christian. They are an awesome team to play, and I hope Arlee gets to play them again next year.”