<a href="http://www.flatheadbeacon.com/articles/article/slide_show_northwestern_a_divisional_basketball_championships/16320/" title="Slide Show of images from the Northwestern A Divisional tournament championship games.“>Slide Show of images from the Northwestern A Divisional tournament championship games.
If the No. 3 Polson Lady Pirates were going to beat the heavily favored No.1 Columbia Falls Wildkats in the Northwestern A Divisional championship game, they would do so with pressure. And they almost did, falling in the back-and-forth game 48-46 at Glacier High School Saturday.
From the opening tip off, the Pirates frustrated the Kats with their full-court press, forcing turnovers, tipped balls and bad shots. By the end of the first quarter, the Pirates had built a 13-5 lead, behind nine points from Kayla Duford.
But in the second, with the Kats down by 10, Kelsey DeWit, the 6-foot-1 Columbia Falls senior, went on a tear. She scored 12 points in the first half and 10 in the second quarter alone, helping her team crawl back.
The physical game had both coaches jawing at the officials, and Polson’s coach received a technical in the second. Kayla DeWit, Kelsey’s younger sister and the team’s leading scorer, was in foul trouble for much of the game and didn’t score her first field goal until the fourth quarter.
But that’s when she was needed most, and the younger DeWit tallied 14 points before fouling out with 1:23 left in the game. That foul, which outraged the Columbia Falls fans, gave Polson an opportunity to tie the game. But Riley Kenney missed the front end of a one-and-one. This would become a theme, as both teams missed crucial free throws in the closing seconds of the game.
Polson regained the lead with 48 seconds left when Breanne Kelley stole the ball and drove the length of the court for an uncontested layup.
But the Kats went back to Kelsey DeWit, who was fouled in the lane. And the senior, playing in her last Divisionals, sank them both. DeWit then fouled out with just 17 seconds to go, but Polson’s Nicole Davey missed two free throws.
Polson’s last chance to tie the game came with 4 seconds left, but a final driving layup fell well short. And Columbia Falls’ players stormed the court.
Kelsey DeWit led Columbia Falls with 22 points and six rebounds. For Polson Riley Kenney had 12 points and Nicole Davey added 11.
Polson also advances to the state tournament.
<a href="http://www.flatheadbeacon.com/articles/article/game_center_2010_northwestern_a_divisionals/16246/" title="For more Northwestern A Divisional tournament coverage, visit the Game Center: 2010.“>For more Northwestern A Divisional tournament coverage, visit the Game Center: 2010.
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