Gardiner suffers first loss, falls to Manhattan Christian

Neil Patrick Healy
The Gardiner boys suffered their first loss of the season Friday, falling to the Manhattan Christian Eagles 67-44. 
Manhattan Christian’s size and length were both apparent advantages in the early goings, with the Eagles taking an 18-11 lead at the end of the first quarter. 
Gardiner’s top scorer Bryson Stermitz, who was held to two first-quarter points, got back into form in the second quarter with a nine-point burst that drug the Bruins back into the game, taking a 22-21 lead with a bank 3-pointer. The Eagles would shore up their defense and take a 26-22 lead into halftime. 
The majority of the third quarter saw a back-and-forth game, with Gardiner eventually tying it up at 36 with a minute to go thanks to two 3-pointers by Clancy Thomas. It was the final minute of the third that saw Gardiner implode. In that minute span, Manhattan Christian went on an 8-0 run to take a 44-36 lead going into the fourth quarter.
The run continued in the fourth, with the Eagles jumping out to a 20-2 run to take a 56-38 lead. Manhattan Christian would set the game to cruise control and coast to an easy 23-point win. The Bruins were held to one made field goal and eight points in the fourth quarter. Stermitz, who is normally an emphatic scorer, was held to two second-half points. 
Gardiner also beat Broadview/Lavina, 101-79, Saturday, with six Bruins scoring in double figures. Stermitz finished with 20 points on 9-of-16 shooting. 
Gardiner hits the road Thursday to take on Shields Valley.