As the 2019 rendition of the State C Boys Basketball Tournament gets set to tip off, among the field of eight will be three thus far undefeated contenders and the two-time defending state champion Western second-seeded Arlee Warriors.
Arlee’s first-round opponent will be the Scobey Spartans, who are not an entirely unfamiliar matchup. The Spartans were the Warriors’ semifinal opponent in last year’s state tournament, won by Arlee 76-71.
This is the third consecutive trip to state for the Spartans as Eastern champions. Last season they took fourth place and the preceding season in 2017 they placed third. The team is comprised of a blend of youth seasoned by senior leadership. Senior co-captains include Martin Farver along with Jeremy Handy. Other contributors include sophomores Jayce Tande and Caden Handran, among others.
The Warriors also played Scobey in the 2011 title tilt, losing 55-47 in their first championship appearance coached by Dustin Keltner. Warrior players among that 2011 roster included Thomas McClure, Jesse Pfau and Kasey Bridgewater.
In the event the defending champ Warriors survive to advance past their first-round opponent, their semifinal match will be against the winner between the undefeated Northern top-seed Chinook Sugarbeeters and the Southern second seed Plenty Coup Warriors. Plenty Coup was Arlee’s opening-round opponent at the state tournament two seasons ago.
On the bottom half of the bracket are the Western top seed Manhattan Christian Eagles taking on the Eastern second seed Fairview Warriors ,and the Southern top seed Melstone Broncs playing the Northern second-seed Hays-Lodgepole Thunderbirds. Melstone’s only loss thus far had been an early-season shortfall to Manhattan Christian.
2018-19 State C Boys
MetraPark Rimrock Auto Arena
March 7-9, 2019
Bracket upper half
gm1: (1N) 9C Chinook (24-0) vs (2S) 6C PlentyCoup (21-3), 12:30 p.m.
gm2: (1E) 3C Scobey (23-0) vs. (2W) 14C Arlee (22-2), 2 p.m.
Bracket lower half
gm3: (1W) 11C Manhattan Christian (24-0) vs. (2E) 2C Fairview (21-3), 6:30 p.m.
gm4: (1S) 4C Melstone (23-1) vs. (2N) 9C Hays-Lodgepole (15-8), 8 p.m.
Friday games follow same time scheduling