Arlee Warriors celebrating more than state basketball title

ARLEE – The Arlee Warriors won the Class C state basketball championship over the weekend, but they’re celebrating for a different reason.

The Warriors dedicated their win to promoting openness about mental health and hoped that their message would be heard across the state — and across the country.

Star senior guard Phillip Malatare is one of the players who is certainly enjoying this moment.

“A little Class C school being like an Icon around the country is definitely amazing. A school of 120 people — it was definitely awesome trying to be like role models for everybody out there and I hope we did that.”

The Warriors were undefeated this season and their latest win marks their second state championship in a row. For Phillip’s father, John the victory meant the end of an era.

“Honestly, it was bitter sweet because my son, Phillip, it was the last time he was gonna wear a Warrior uniform. The game, never got nervous whether they were gonna win or lose, at but it’s just knowing that my kid was going to be playing in a Warrior uniform for the last time,” John Malatare told MTN News.

Reporting by Donal Lakatua for MTN News