BUTTE — Day 2, the semifinal round of the Western C boys basketball divisional tournament, tipped off Friday at the Maroon Activities Center in Butte. Arlee and Manhattan Christian each notched double-digit semifinal wins to advance back to the Western C divisional championship.
The Warriors and Eagles will meet at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.
Arlee 76, Gardiner 62
This game started in a an absolute shootout, both teams exchanging 3-pointers. That slowly progressed into all-out mayhem of running up and down the court. Arlee took a 32-22 lead into halftime and, despite the Bruins getting that lead down to about three in the midway point of the third quarter, the Warriors held on for the 76-62 win.
Leading the way for the Warriors was Lane Johnson, who scored a game-high 25 points on 6-of-13 shooting. Greg Whitesell added 22 points for Arlee, which withstood a strong shooting performance from Gardiner’s Sean Rehmer, who went 6 of 13 from beyond the arc for 25 points. Also contributing for Gardiner was Luke Stermitz, who tallied nine points and nine rebounds.
Manhattan Christian 57, Twin Bridges 45
In the highly anticipated battle of unbeatens, the first quarter was all Falcons. Manhattan Christian started to get things together in the second quarter, though, rallying back to take a 30-21 lead heading into halftime. Out of the break, Manhattan Christian head coach Jeff Bellach made some defensive adjustments, which limited Twin Bridges’ outside shooting as the Eagles pulled away for the 57-45 win.
Caleb Bellach dropped a game-high 25 points and proved to be the difference-maker in the second half for the Eagles. He kickstarted the offense that led to Sam Leep and Caidin Hill combining for 17 points. Daniel and Charle Kruer chipped in 17 on 7-of-17 shooting. Bryce Nye was the Falcons’ high scorer with 13 points and four rebounds.