The Columbia Falls girls basketball team avenged its only loss of the season with a heart-stopping win on Feb. 9, but the 57-55 victory over Browning left the Wildkats one point shy of the conference title as prep basketball’s regular season came to a close for the state’s Class A schools.
Ryley Kehr hit a game-winning 3-pointer in the closing seconds to send the Wildkats (17-1, 9-1 Northwest A) to victory against the Indians, but because both teams finished with 9-1 records in conference the regular season title came down to the point differential in the team’s two head-to-head matchups. Browning won 70-67 in overtime on Jan. 17, and that three-point margin gave the Indians the tiebreaker.
The teams could rematch again as early as the Northwest A conference tournament in Whitefish, Feb. 14-16. The top four teams on the girls and boys side from that tournament advance to the Western A divisional tourney, Feb. 21-23 in Hamilton, where they will be playing for one of four spots in the state tournament.
Browning’s boys (17-1, 10-0) completed an undefeated conference season and will enter the conference tournament as the top seed. The Indians put on bow on their impressive regular season with a decisive 70-47 win against Columbia Falls on Feb. 9. Whitefish (13-5, 7-3) is enjoying its best season in years and will enter the conference tournament, at their home gym, as the second seed.
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