Top-Ranked Wildkats Look to Follow Boys’ Example

By Beacon Staff

Riding a 12-game win streak, the Columbia Falls girls roll into this week’s Class A state basketball tournament in Great Falls hoping to duplicate the boys’ success. The Wildkats (19-1) are enjoying one of the best seasons in program history and will try to claim the team’s first state championship since 1983, when Columbia Falls was in Class AA.

It would be a monumental achievement for head coach Cary Finberg, who could become the first in Montana history to win two championships in the same season. Finberg guided the boys to its fifth title last weekend in Great Falls, and returns this week seeking more hardware. Finberg already became the first coach to win two divisional titles in the same night when Columbia Falls swept the Northwestern A tournaments in Kalispell two weeks ago.

The Wildkats open tournament action against Belgrade, the No. 2 seed from Central A, at 12:30 p.m. Thursday. Hamilton, the top seed from Southwestern A, takes on Miles City, the No. 2 from the East, at 2 p.m. Laurel, the top team from the East, squares off against Anaconda, the No. 2 team from Southwestern A, at 6:30 p.m. Havre, the No. 1 from Central A, plays Frenchtown at 8 p.m.

Laurel defeated Billings Central 33-31 in last year’s title game.

State A
Four Seasons Arena, Great Falls

12:30 p.m. – Columbia Falls (19-1) vs. Belgrade (9-13)
2 p.m. – Hamilton (17-3) vs. Miles City (12-9)
6:30 p.m. – Laurel (16-4) vs. Anaconda (12-9)
8 p.m. – Havre (14-6) vs. Frenchtown (15-6)
6:30 p.m. – Columbia Falls-Belgrade winner vs. Hamilton-Miles City winner
8 p.m. – Laurel-Anaconda winner vs. Havre-Frenchtown winner
8 p.m. – Championship

RELATED: The Pride of Columbia Falls

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