Columbia Falls Girls Battle Back to Reach State Tournament

Defending Class A state champion Wildkats win three straight, finish third at divisional

By Andy Viano

Defending Class A state champion Columbia Falls recovered from an opening round loss to win three straight games in the consolation bracket and qualify for the state tournament.

The Wildkats (20-4) finished third at the Western A Divisional in Butte, knocking off Hamilton 43-42 in overtime in the consolation finals on Feb. 24. Eventual tournament champion Butte Central took down Columbia Falls in the opening round on Feb. 22. Browning (17-5) also qualified for the state tourney with a second-place finish, reaching the finals before falling 54-46 to the Maroons.

In the boys tournament, the Indians (19-6) were the only Northwest A Conference school to move on to state, finishing third at the divisional tournament. All four Northwest A teams lost in the opening round, with Browning advancing by way of three wins in the consolation bracket.

The Class A boys state tournament is March 1-3 in Bozeman. The girls tournament will be played the following weekend, March 8-10, in Great Falls.

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