Thursday, June 13, 2024

Wildcats wallop Whitefish twice in one week

| February 7, 2024 2:00 AM

Columbia Falls is firmly in first place of the Northwest A Conference after their Cat-Dog victory over Whitefish by a score of 58-48 on Friday, Feb. 2. The Wildcats — winners of eight straight — improved to 8-1 in conference play and 10-5 overall.

“During our winning streak, we’ve been getting healthy and getting our basketball legs under us,” Columbia Falls Head Coach Chris Finberg said. “A lot of our guys played football that made that run to the state championship game. Some guys we’re banged up from that season, so we’re now getting healthy and playing good basketball.”

Jace Hill scored 20 for the Wildcats in the victory. Columbia Falls was able to jump out to a 20-10 lead in the first quarter thanks to two three-pointers by Alihn Anderson. After going into halftime with a 31-23 lead and extended that advantage by six points in the third quarter.

Cody Schweikert added 14 points and Anderson finished with 11.

“This past week, we had three conference wins, which was huge,” Finberg said. “Two of them were on the road, so hopefully we can finish strong with Polson, Browning and Libby coming up. I could see the matchup against Browning be for the regular season conference championship.”

On Jan. 30, Whitefish had a 28-21 lead in the first half, but Columbia Falls battled back for the 50-38 Northwest A victory. A big part of that was Cody Schweikert scoring 15 of his 23 points in the second half.

The Bulldogs were held to 10 points in the second half, and Columbia Falls took the lead in the third quarter thanks to a 14-5 run. 

“It all starts and stops with defense, when we’re locked in you can see those 10-0 runs,” Finberg said. “Our defense allows us to get out in transition and get a bit of momentum going.”

    Wildcat Dayne Tu (center) puts up a shot against Whitefish at home Tuesday, Jan. 30. (Avery Howe photo)
    Wildcat Cody Schweikert makes two against Whitefish at home Tuesday, Jan. 30. (Avery Howe photo)