Warriors’ sights are now set on defense of the Class C state title

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  • ARLEE CLAIMED second place in the Western C Divisional Tournament with a win over Twin Bridges. Pictured are, front row from left, Levi Fullerton, Javen Pitts, Lane Schall, Quinton Wabaunsee, Rapoe Brown, Zanen Pitts Jr., Robert Brown, Hiram Brown and Billy Fisher; and back row, head coach Zanen Pitts, manager Trey Tewawina, Hunter Brown, Deon RedCloud, David Haynes, Lane Johnson, Cody Tanner, Greg Whitesell, Isaac Fisher, Darshan Bolen, Zach RunningCrane, Chase Gardner, Nate Coulson, managers Troy Tewawina and Donovin Hanken, and assistant. coach Francis Brown. (Photo and ID assistance courtesy of Jordan Lefler)

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    WALDEN TEWAWINA drums and sings preceding an Arlee Warriors varsity basketball game in the Arlee High School gym. Tewawina has twin sons, Trey and Troy, who are team managers. (Joe Sova/Lake County Leader)

  • ARLEE CLAIMED second place in the Western C Divisional Tournament with a win over Twin Bridges. Pictured are, front row from left, Levi Fullerton, Javen Pitts, Lane Schall, Quinton Wabaunsee, Rapoe Brown, Zanen Pitts Jr., Robert Brown, Hiram Brown and Billy Fisher; and back row, head coach Zanen Pitts, manager Trey Tewawina, Hunter Brown, Deon RedCloud, David Haynes, Lane Johnson, Cody Tanner, Greg Whitesell, Isaac Fisher, Darshan Bolen, Zach RunningCrane, Chase Gardner, Nate Coulson, managers Troy Tewawina and Donovin Hanken, and assistant. coach Francis Brown. (Photo and ID assistance courtesy of Jordan Lefler)

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    WALDEN TEWAWINA drums and sings preceding an Arlee Warriors varsity basketball game in the Arlee High School gym. Tewawina has twin sons, Trey and Troy, who are team managers. (Joe Sova/Lake County Leader)

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

Billings, Montana

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

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