Kats’ shooting goes cold as they go 0-2 in divisional tourney

by Chris Peterson
Editor | March 4, 2020 7:26 AM

It was a tough way to end a good season, as the Columbia Falls girls basketball team went 0-2 in the Western A Divisional tournament last week in Ronan.

The Wildkats lost to Corvallis 50-32 in the opener Thursday and then fell to Dillon in loser-out action Friday, 47-35.

In both games the Wildkats struggled to score. Against Corvallis they had just six points in the second and fourth quarters and against Dillon they scored just 11 points in the second half while making costly turnovers down the stretch — they had 30 for the game — a season high.

Even so, the Dillon game was fairly tight, tied at 24 apiece at the half. But midway through the fourth the Beavers took a 37-32 lead and the Kats simply couldn’t buy a bucket — they would score just three points in the last four minutes, while Dillon put up 10.

LaKia Hill led the Kats with 10 points against Corvallis. Josie Windauer had 10 against Dillon.

The only bright spot was the first quarters, where the Kats held leads in both games, only to see them slip away.

Coach Cary Finberg said he took some of the blame, noting the team all season long would have stretches of cold shooting, despite the talent level.

“I couldn’t come up with the answer as to why we were so inconsistent,” he said.

The Kats had their lowest scoring games of the season in the tourney. They shot just 29 percent against Corvallis and 28 percent against Dillon.

Overall, it was a tournament of upsets. Whitefish dropped top-ranked Dillon from the Southwest in the opener 41-37 and No. 1 Browning from the Northwest lost to Frenchtown, 37-29 in the opener, too.

Corvallis would end up beating Frenchtown in the title game, 44-43. Browning battled back through the loser-out bracket to take third, dropping Dillon in the consolation, 48-22. The top four teams advance to state.

The Kats end the season at 16-4. Heading into the tourney they had lost just two games — both to Browning, by a combined four points.

This was the first time the Wildkats failed to make the state tournament since 2012. That year they went 9-12.

Still, the future looks bright. The Kats lose just one starter — Windauer, to graduation. They also lose seniors Graceanne Sevesind and Kimberly Peacock, who came off the bench for the Kats.

Corvallis 10 16 11 13 - 50

Columbia Falls 9 6 11 6 - 32

CORVALLIS (14-6) – Isabel Evans 12, Hannah Hutchingson 11, Brooke Powell 9, Jenna Jordan 10, Ashlynn Nixon 4, Bree Lewis 2.

COLUMBIA FALLS (16-3) – Maddie Robison 6, LaKia Hill 10, Josie Windauer 8, GraceAnne Sevesind 2, Hannah Schweikert 4, Madysen Hoerner 2.

Columbia Falls 14 10 6 5 - 35

Dillon 10 14 6 17 - 47

COLUMBIA FALLS (16-4) – Maddie Robison 4, Lakia Hill 5, Josie Windauer 10, GraceAnne Sevesind 2, Madysen Hoerner 2.

DILLON (14-6) – Tylia DeJohn 8, Ainsley Shipman 8, Lauryn Peterson 6, Josey Jones 14, Jordyn Walker 5, Kylee Pittman 3, Madalin Shipman 1, Abby Brevig 2.