Sports

Bigfork, Columbia Falls Atop Basketball Rankings

Columbia Falls girls ranked first, Glacier girls earned second in Class AA

The defending state champions in Columbia Falls and Bigfork are the teams to beat this season, according to the first Associated Press high school basketball polls released Wednesday.

The Wildcats (6-1 overall) are the top-ranked boys team in Class A, garnering five first-place votes and beating out Dillon (4-1) and Havre (5-1).

The Vikings (5-0) are tops in Class B, ahead of Glasgow (6-0).

The two talented local teams square off Thursday night in a high-profile nonconference game in Bigfork at 7 p.m. Bigfork has won 31 games in a row dating back to last season, when the Vikes went 26-0 and won the state title. Columbia Falls’ lone defeat this season was against Dillon, 64-44, at the Class A Tip-Off Tournament.

The undefeated Columbia Falls girls (7-0) are ranked first in Class A, ahead of Laurel (5-1).

The Glacier girls (4-1) are ranked second in Class AA.

The Bigfork girls (4-1) are ranked seventh in Class B.

Click here for updated standings throughout the season.

Here are the first weekly Associated Press high school basketball polls:

BOYS

Class AA

1. Missoula Hellgate (5)   4-0
2. Billings West (2)  5-0
3. Helena Capital (1)  4-1
4. Bozeman  4-1
5. Billings Skyview  3-2
Others receiving votes: Glacier

Class A

1. Columbia Falls (5)   6-1
2. Dillon (1)   4-1
(tie)Havre (2)   5-1
4. Butte Central   4-1
5. Laurel   4-2
Others receiving votes: Sidney, Frenchtown

Class B

1. Bigfork (7)   5-0
2. Glasgow (1)   6-0
3. Choteau   5-0
4. Lodge Grass   6-0
5. Jefferson (Boulder)   5-1
6. Columbus   3-1
7. Big Timber   5-1
8. Missoula Loyola   5-1
9. Wolf Point   4-1
10. Shepherd   5-1
(tie)St. Labre   4-1
Others receiving votes: Thompson Falls, Rocky Boy, Lame Deer, Florence, Huntley Project

Class C

1. Box Elder (2)   5-1
2. Highwood (3)   5-0
(tie)Denton-Stanford-Geyser (1)   5-0
4. Fairview   5-1
5. Hays-Lodgepole   6-0
6. Westby-Grenora   6-1
7. Arlee   6-0
8. Manhattan Christian (1)   6-0
9. Hinsdale   6-1
10. Belt   4-0
Others receiving votes: Sunburst, Park City, Broadus, Great Falls Central, Philipsburg, Twin Bridges, Culbertson, Ennis, Broadview-Lavina

GIRLS

Class AA

1. Helena Capital (3)   4-1
2. Glacier   4-1
3. Billings Senior (1)   4-1
4. Missoula Sentinel (3)   5-1
5. Bozeman (1)   3-1
Others receiving votes: Billings Skyview, Great Falls

Class A

1. Columbia Falls (6)   7-0
2. Laurel   5-1
3. Hamilton (1)   5-1
4. Butte Central   4-1
5. Dillon   4-2
Others receiving votes: Frenchtown, Havre,  Hardin, Glendive

Class B

1. Fairfield (7)   6-0
2. Malta (1)   6-0
3. Manhattan   6-0
4. Choteau   6-0
5. Forsyth   6-0
6. Red Lodge   5-1
7. Bigfork   4-1
8. Colstrip   5-1
(tie)Rocky Boy   4-1
10. Wolf Point   4-1
Others receiving votes: Ronan,  Three Forks, Shepherd, Plentywood, Baker, Cut Bank, Missoula Loyola

Class C

1. Roy-Winifred (4)   6-0
2. Belt   4-1
3. Darby (1)   6-0
(tie)Chester-Joplin-Inverness (1)   5-0
(tie)Saco-Whitewater   6-1
6. Seeley-Swan (1)   6-0
7. Geraldine Fort Benton   6-0
8. Fairview   5-1
9. Cascade   5-0
10. Charlo   6-0
Others receiving votes: Harrison-Willow Creek, Grass Range/Winnett, Circle, Twin Bridges, Park City, Chinook, Gardiner,  Broadview-Lavina, Jordan, Scobey-Opheim,  Arlee

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