Wildcats Split Hoops Doubleheader With Whitefish

By Beacon Staff

It was a story of three defenses at Columbia Falls’ Friday night home basketball doubleheader against Whitefish.

First, the WildKats managed to break through a pesky Whitefish Lady Bulldog defense for an 11-1 fourth quarter, successfully defending their home court, 35-20.

Second, the Bulldog defense held off the Wildcats just long enough to sneak away with a crowd-disheartening, last minute 61-58 comeback win on Columbia Falls’ home court.

Third, these two rival schools teamed up and raise money to help former CFalls all-state standout basketball star Craig “Finny” Finberg defend himself against pancreatic cancer. Despite the battles taking place on-court, the Columbia Falls and Whitefish Student Councils got together to organize a fundraiser for Finny in conjunction with the hoops doubleheader.

That’s one of the things that sets this valley’s communities apart. Despite the tense situation on court in the waning minutes of the Cats/Dogs boys’ game, Columbia Falls fans applauded the efforts of their Whitefish opponents when the fundraising totals were announced Friday night.

To learn more about “Finny’s Fight” against pancreatic cancer, see Myers Reece’s coverage here in the Beacon

Photos from the WildKats 28-20 win over the Lady Bulldogs:

Senior guard Alyssa Ladenburg (#22) drives around Bulldog Adele Fauntleroy (#40) as she heads to the paint.
Ladenburg (#21) gets tangled up with Whitefish’s Heather Melcer (#22). Ladenburg retained possession.
Grilley (#24) safely toes the line and gets the ball off to a teammate after being trapped on the baseline by Bulldog defenders.

Photos from the Wildcats 61-58 loss to Whitefish:

Leading Bulldog scorer Colt Idol (#34) looks a little bit Egyptian after letting go of a first half layup.
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A coach and younger brother with a lot on his mind, head coach Cary Finberg sports a Finny shirt and focuses on his team early in the game. </td
Finny was on everyone’s mind, as well as their shirts.
Bulldog Josh Backer (#24) finds it rough going as he picks up his dribble to shoot in the first half. Freshman forward Austin Barth (#33) and junior Mitchell Wassam (#34) see to the defense.
An all too familiar scene, Colt Idol (#24) going up hard for a score.
Whitefish’s Aaron Tkaychk (#12)pulls up for a jumper at the key, as senior guard Tanner Barth (#12) tries to get a finger on it.
The “C-Town Drumline” lets out all the stops during an outstanding halftime performance.
Grant Getts (#44) bends over backwards to get a second-half offensive rebound.
Kyle Howell (#11) makes a short jumper.
Bulldogs coach Eric Stand admitted that the crowd was a big factor in the game, keeping his team a bit off-balance during in the first half.
Junior forward Mitchell Wassam (#34) takes it to the hole.
Other than Idol’s 24 point performance, the behind-the-scenes story of the game appeared to be Whitefish’s focus on taking the often-dominant Grant Getts out of his game, limiting him to five points. Idol (#34) and Josh Backer (#24) were repeatedly found doubling up on Getts (#44), as seen here.
Getts (#44) gets a late layup against Idol (#34).

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