Columbia Falls Boys Move on to State Basketball Semifinals

By Beacon Staff

The Columbia Falls Wildcats outscored the Stevensville Yellowjackets 21-9 in the final period of their Class A first-round state matchup in Butte Thursday night, putting the finishing touches on a 53-36 victory.

Columbia Falls, the defending Class A champion and top seed from the Northwest, moved on to face Billings Central in a semifinal game at 8 p.m. Friday night. Central, the second seed from the East, defeated Central No. 1 Browning 51-47 in the first round.

The Wildcats held Stevensville (18-4) to 16 points on 29 percent shooting in the second half. For the game, Stevensville shot 30 percent. The Yellowjackets play Browning at 2 p.m. Friday in a loser-out game.

In the other semifinal game, Southwestern No. 1 Dillon takes on Eastern No. 1 Laurel at 6:30 p.m. Friday night. The tournament, held at the Butte Civic Center, ends with the championship game at 8 p.m. Saturday night.

Austin Barth and Luke Kazlauskas led the Wildcats (18-3) with 13 points apiece in the victory over Stevensville.