BILLINGS — Caleb Bellach wasn’t about to be denied again. After two runner-up finishes, Manhattan Christian has the State C boys basketball title that’s been so elusive.
The Eagles settled down early and bolted to a 12-4 lead and never trailed again on the way to an 81-53 win over Arlee Saturday night at Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark.
Everything Bellach touched seemed to turn to gold. He finally checked out to a standing ovation with just more than two minutes left having scored 42 points. Josiah Amunrud totaled 20.
The Eagles led 19-11 after one and increased it to 45-29 at halftime led by the one-two punch of Bellach and Amunrud. They dominated the first half with 19 and 15 points, respectively. Bellach was 9-of-9 foul shooting at the break. He finished 17 of 18 from the charity stripe.
Arlee got into foul trouble early. Greg Whitesell, who had 11 first-half points, picked up a technical with 3:18 to play in the second, and was one of three players on the bench with three fouls at the halftime. Following the technical, the Eagles made 2 of 4 free throws and a field goal extending their lead to 36-24.
The second half was never in doubt as Manhattan Christian rocketed its lead to after three. Greg Whitesell led Arlee in scoring with 18 followed by Cody Tanner with 10.
This was the third straight year Arlee and Manhattan Christian had met in the championship.