Basketball Roundup: Bigfork’s Long Winning Streak Ends

Columbia Falls, Flathead girls notch two wins each

Bigfork High School’s boys basketball team did not lose a game in 2018. They won’t be so fortunate in 2019.

The Vikings (7-1) had their 31-game winning streak snapped in Deer Lodge on Jan. 5, falling 49-47 to the Wardens in a game that was tight throughout. Logan Gilliard paced Bigfork with 16 points in a losing effort and Clayton Reichenbach added 11.

Bigfork failed to qualify for the Class B state tournament at the end of the 2016-17 season but bounced back to post a perfect 24-0 mark during the 2017-18 campaign, culminating with the school’s second state championship in five seasons.

In girls action, Class A powerhouse Columbia Falls kept its undefeated season going with a pair of dominating performances and the Flathead Bravettes notched a pair of wins to vault up the Western AA standings.

The Wildkats (9-0, 3-0 Northwest A) went on the road Jan. 4 and shellacked previously unbeaten Libby 47-24, then concluded a brief road trip with a 81-25 rout of Polson. Columbia Falls has finished in the top three in the state for five straight years, including a third-place finish last year, and has been extremely impressive thus far in 2018-19. Their perfect record includes wins over Class AA schools Glacier and Flathead.

The Bravettes (4-2), meanwhile, stifled Class A Whitefish 39-21 on Jan. 4 and held off Post Falls (Idaho) 38-35 one day later. Flathead is off to its best start in years as it seeks to qualify for the Class AA state tournament for the first time since 2013.