Central Montana Eagles compete at state

Special Olympians attending the State Basketball Tournament in Helena are (front row, from left) Jess Arneson, Allisha Ayers, Phil Huber, Phil Wichman, (back row) Johnnie Rice, Carson Patten, Jay McGuire and Danny Selph.                                                                                                                          

Photos courtesy of Kaylene Patten

Jess Arneson (middle) proudly shows off the gold medal he won in the individual basketball skills competition at the State Special Olympics. Standing with Arneson is Coach Carl Patten (left) and Phil Huber.

The Central Montana Eagles basketball team wrapped up their season at the State Special Olympic basketball competition in Helena on Nov. 10-11. The team of Allisha Ayers, Phil Huber, Jay McGuire, Carson Pattern, Danny Selph and Phil Wichman competed in the 3-on-3 basketball competition in Helena.
In their first game on Friday, the Eagles played the Rams of the Special K Ranch  and won 18-4. With Phil Huber as the leading scorer in the second game, the Eagles earned an 18-6 win over the Missoula Otters C Blue team.
Saturday the competition was much tougher for the Central Montana squad. The Eagles opened Saturday against the number one team of the tournament, the Bitterroot Stars. The two teams battled on even terms throughout the contest, but neither team was able to secure more than a four-point lead. At halftime, the teams were tied, 6-6. With 10 seconds left in the contest and the Eagles up by two points, the Stars had the ball with the opportunity to score. A strong defensive effort by the Eagles kept the Stars out of the key, and the Eagles secured a 14-12 win.
The Eagles played in the championship game at 3 p.m. against the Kalispell Krushers. Unfortunately, the Krushers came out in force and took a 12-6 lead at halftime. The Eagles could not rally in the second half, allowing the Krushers to win 24-12. The Eagles did win a silver medal at state.
Mike Huber and Tara Olson coached the Eagles.

Arneson competes in individual skills
Special Olympian Jess Arneson competed in the individual skills competition at state. Carl and Kaylene Patten coached Arneson in his basketball skills. Arneson received a gold medal for his efforts.
Although he did not compete this year, Johnnie Rice joined the Central Montana team on Friday and Saturday.
The Eagles are already looking forward to having another successful season next year. 

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