Eagles

Through 19 games this season Manhattan Christian has rarely trailed at halftime. But that was the situation Wednesday in a quarterfinal game at the Western C Divisional in Deer Lodge.

The Eagles trailed 19-18 at the break to Granite (Phillipsburg), but rallied for a 48-37 victory at Powell County High School. Third-year head coach Jeff Bellach acknowledged his players were a little tight and battled some “tough luck” in the opener.

“Phillipsburg had a solid game plan and it took us a bit to make some adjustments,” he said. “But I think that adversity is just continuing to help us grow and improve.”

Christian improved to 20-0 and will face unbeaten Charlo (14-0) in the semifinals at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. The Vikings defeated Twin Bridges 42-30 in other quarterfinal action.

The teams met twice at last year’s divisional tournament with the Vikings winning in the quarterfinals and Christian prevailing in a rematch in the consolation game. The Eagles then won a challenge game to advance to the state tournament for the first time in a decade.

“We know them well having played twice at divisionals last year,” said Bellach. “Should be a fun matchup.”

Christian had taken an 11-7 lead after the first quarter before trailing by one at the break. The Eagles surged into the lead in the third quarter with a 20-point burst, and did not trail again after Eliana Kuperus buried a 3-pointer.

Kiersten Van Kirk tallied a double-double, 12 points and 10 rebounds, to lead Christian. Ava Bellach chipped in with 10 points and six boards.

Manhattan Christian 48, Granite 37

Granite                       7  12  12   6   -  37

Christian                    11  7   20  10  -  48

GRANITE - Ameila Hill 0 2-4 2, Chaelyn Cotton 1 0-0 2, Rachel Ward 22-4 7, Reece Pitcher 4 2-2 11, Sadee Lilyquist 1 0-0 2, Gretchen Hill 1 0-2 3, Ramsey Smith 0 0-0 0, Asha Comings 5 0-3 10, Montannah Piar 0 0-0 0. Totals: 14 6-15 37.

MANHATTAN CHRISTIAN (20-0) - Taylor DeVries 0 3-3 3, Hope Kenney 2 0-1 4, Eliana Kuperus 3 0-0 7, Kiersten Van Kirk 4 4-6 12, Katelyn Van Kirk 0 0-0 0, Ava Bellach 3 2-2 10, Grace Aamot 2 2-4 6, Natalie Walhof 2 1-3 6. Totals: 16 12-19 48.

3-point goals: Gra 3 (Ward, Pitcher, Hill), MC 4 (Bellach 2, Kuperus, Walhof).