BILLINGS – Arlee’s three-peat dream lives on.
The Warriors used a 10-0 run to begin the second half and held on down the stretch for a 63-57 win over previously unbeaten Scobey in the first round of the State C boys basketball tournament Thursday, putting the two-time defending champions back into the semifinals Friday.
Arlee led 29-27 after a back-and-forth first half but ran the lead to 39-27 within two minutes of the third quarter. Greg Whitesell scored five of the 10 points on his way to a game-high 23.
Scobey couldn’t get outside shots to fall after the break. The Spartans closed to within six with two minutes to play, and Jeremy Handy had a chance to make it a one-possession game, but his 3-point attempt rattled in and out as Arlee collected the rebound and sealed the win. Scobey was just 1 of 8 from 3-point range in the second half.
The Spartans finished 17 of 54 from the field (31.5 percent) while Arlee shot 54.1 percent (20 of 37).
Isaac Fisher had a double-double for the Warriors with 13 points and 11 rebounds, while Cody Tanner added 11 points. Aidan Fishell was the only Spartan in double figures with 15.
CHINOOK 67, Plenty Coups 51
In the first game of the day, the Chinook Sugarbeeters used a 20-7 run in the second quarter on their way to a 67-51 win over Plenty Coups.
Cord Schneider led Chinook with 17 points and 10 rebounds, while Isaac Bell added 14, including an exclamation-point dunk with two minutes to play in the game. Bell also had five assists to lead the team.
Julian Glenn led the Warriors with 21, including the opening basket of the game, a 3-pointer that gave Plenty Coups its only lead. Chinook quickly ran off eight straight points and never looked back. The Beeters led 15-8 after the first quarter and 35-15 at halftime.
Chinook was very efficient from the floor, shooting 22 of 38 (57.9 percent). The Beeters kept their lead in the second half at the free throw line, shooting 22 of 32 for the game.
Four other Chinook players scored between seven and nine points in the balanced effort.
The win moves Chinook into Friday’s first semifinal at 6:30 p.m against the winner Arlee. Plenty Coups will meet Scobey in a loser-out game Friday at 12:30 p.m.