- Associated Press - Friday, March 2, 2018

BUTTE, Mont. (AP) - The Heart Butte boys’ basketball team, which has been away from home for more than two weeks, dropped its opening game of the Class C state tournament to defending runner-up Manhattan Christian.

The Heart Butte players have been staying at hotels and mostly eating at restaurants since they traveled to Shelby for their district tournament on Feb. 13. Several feet of snow and strong winds have made travel difficult to impossible on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. The team did not return home because they couldn’t or feared they would not be able to travel to their next tournament.

Caleb Bellach had 25 points, 12 rebounds and three blocked shots Thursday night in Manhattan Christian’s 66-53 win in Butte.

Riley Spoonhunter led Heart Butte with 23 points and six rebounds as the team suffered its first loss of the season.

Heart Butte plays Fairview in a loser-out game on Friday afternoon.

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