Belt, Box Elder headline Class C favorites

Belt, Box Elder headline Class C favorites

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Belt, Box Elder headline Class C favorites

The Belt Huskies and Box Elder Bears have won the last two Class C state championships.

Both should be in the mix again this season.

It might take the Huskies (26-0 last season) a little time to gel this season as they plug holes lost by graduation. But Belt proved a year ago that it’s a second-half team. The Huskies trailed Fairview at halftime of the state championship game 25-20 before exploding in the second half en route to a 61-37 victory.

Koltin Haugrose, a two-time all-state senior guard, led the way for the Huskies in the title game with 17 points and seven rebounds. Senior forward Matt Metrione also is a returning starter for the Huskies. Senior forward Dusty Potter, junior forward Jaren Maki and junior Harry Green are part-time starters who are back. Junior guard Jess Bodner transferred from Stevensville and will bolster Belt’s cause.

“We lost some significant seniors to graduation, but we still have a good core of returning players, therefore development of some of our younger players will be the key to the success this season,” said Belt coach Kyle Paulson.

A year ago, Box Elder was in the same situation that Belt enters this season as the Bears were looking to defend a 26-0 state championship season. The Bears didn’t make it out of the always-tough Northern C.

But nobody is underestimating the Bears this season as every coach polled named Box Elder as a strong favorite to win it all this season.

The Bears return senior all-state players Brandon The Boy, a 5-foot-9 point guard, and Jerrod Four Color, a 6-4 post. Senior Jake Jones, currently injured from football as the Bears finished second to Denton-Geyser-Stanford on the Six-Man gridiron, also will be a major impact player upon his return.

Seniors Tristan Bernard, Shane Ketchum, Bodis Duran, Elias Robertson and Thane Wolf Chief join forces with juniors Pernell Morsette and Trey Henderson to give the Bears a deep bench.

“We expect to contend for 9C conference and district titles and look to advance out of the Northern C and qualify for State,” said Box Elder coach Jeremy MacDonald.

Among other teams that should be vying for trips to the Electric City for the State C tournament this March are: Chinook, Chester, Denton-Geyser-Stanford, Hays-Lodgepole, Power and Sunburst from Northern C.

In the West, Manhattan Christian, Valley Christian and Arlee appear to be the front-runners.

In the East, Fairview again leads the pack, and Plenty Coups looks to be the favorite in the South.

The Belt Huskies Rush the floor after their 61-39 victory over Fairview in the championship game of the Class C State basketball tournament. Belt figures to be strong again this year.

The Belt Huskies Rush the floor after their 61-39 victory over Fairview in the championship game of the Class C State basketball tournament. Belt figures to be strong again this year.

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