The two Flathead Valley programs that brought back trophies from last year’s state basketball tournaments are off to blistering, undefeated starts to the 2018-19 prep season.
The Columbia Falls girls (5-0), who were third in Class A last season, swept Kalispell’s two Class AA programs last week, dropping Glacier 37-30 on Dec. 13 and edging Flathead 36-32 two days later. The Wildkats were led by Ryley Kehr and Josie Windauer (15 points each) in the win over the Wolfpack. Columbia Falls opened the year with a pair of lopsided wins at the Missoula Tip-Off Tournament before knocking off Frenchtown 41-36 on Dec. 8.
The Bigfork boys, meanwhile, have extended their winning streak to 29 games with a 4-0 start to this season. The Vikings went 24-0 to win the Class B state earlier this year and began the 2018-19 season with a rematch of last season’s state title game, blasting Shelby 71-41. Bigfork has won every game this season by at least 30 points, routing Eureka 77-24 on Dec. 13 and pounding Anaconda 64-26 on Dec. 15.
Whitefish Boys Start Fast
After earning just two wins all of last season, Whitefish began the 2018-19 campaign with four straight victories before falling to Northwest A conference favorite Browning on Dec. 15.
The Bulldogs (4-1) won twice at the Missoula Tip-Off tournament and picked up a narrow 49-47 win against Libby on Dec. 14, one day before dropping a 63-50 game to the Indians. Whitefish’s quick start has been keyed by all-state standout Lee Walburn, who averaged more than 24 points through the season’s first three games.