Basketball Roundup: Defending Champion Bigfork Rolling Again

Columbia Falls girls, Whitefish boys also begin prep season in impressive fashion

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.