BUTTE — The Columbia Falls Wildkats defeated the Hardin Bulldogs 73-50 to win the Class A basketball state championship on Saturday.
Senior Peyton Kehr scored a team-high 22 points, senior Kiara Burlage scored 19 points and junior Dani Douglas added 16 points as Columbia Falls (23-1) won its first title since 1983.
The Wildkats rode into the title contest on a 12-game win streak and collided with a Hardin squad that had a 20-game win streak and only one defeat on the season.
With an efficient offense and a stingy defense, Columbia Falls powered back from a 8-0 deficit to start the game and never looked back, leading 22-15 after the first quarter and 37-30 at half. In the third quarter, the Kats outscored the Bulldogs 18-6.
Columbia Falls’ experience in big games proved beneficial. Six of the team’s players were members of the undefeated state championship volleyball team. The basketball team placed second a year ago and third in both 2015 and 2014.
Senior Cydney Finberg scored nine points, senior Sydney Hovde had four and senior Haylie Peacock added two. Sophomore Trista Cowan scored one point.
Madison Chavez led Hardin (22-2) with 22 points and Karissa Dushane scored 10.
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Read next week’s Flathead Beacon for more from the Class A state championship game.
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