The Columbia Falls Wildkats picked up a pair of wins at the Western A Tip Off Tournament in Missoula over the weekend, blowing out Butte Central Friday and surviving a close game against Frenchtown Saturday in girls hoops.
The Kats had no trouble with the Lady Maroons Friday as Columbia Falls jumped out to a 23-4 lead after one quarter and never looked back en route to a 64-17 victory.
“We jumped on them real quick and it was just one of those games where it got away from them (Butte Central),” head coach Cary Finberg said. “We pretty much had a big edge in all facets of the game. It was one of those times when everything was working for us and nothing was working for them.”
Led by Josie Windauer’s 18 points, four rebounds and three assists, the Kat dominated from the opening tip, forcing Butte Central into 24 turnovers and holding the Lady Maroons to just 5 of 23 shooting in the contest.
In contrast, the Wildkats made 22 of their 43 shots, out-rebounded the Maroons 28-16 and turned the ball over only 10 times in the win.
“You want to be able to bottle up that performance and be able to do that every game, but it just doesn’t work that way,” Finberg said. “It shows what we are capable of when we do the right things.”
Along with Windauer’s performance, Trista Cowan had 14 points, three rebounds and three steals and Ryley Kehr finished with 11 points, four rebounds, three steals and four assists. Madysen Hoerner led the Kats in rebounding with five and LaKia Hill led in assists with six.
The Kats had to overcome a sluggish start Saturday morning, but overcame a 16-12 halftime deficit to pick up a 41-36 victory over Frenchtown.
Columbia Falls led 9-4 after one quarter, but the Wildkats were outscored by the Lady Broncs 12-3 in the second quarter.
“We had 10 turnovers against Butte the whole game and then turn around and have 15 against Frenchtown in the first half. We didn’t do a whole lot right in that first half,” Finberg said.
Without senior Ryley Kehr (ACT testing) and with junior Windauer in foul trouble for much of the game, the Kats were forced to put some younger players on the floor and lean on the leadership of two senior players in the second half, Cowan and Savvy Ellis.
“I thought Trista played a tremendous game against Frenchtown. She carried us offensively. I also thought Savvy Ellis played one of her better games she has had at the varsity level,” Finberg said. “They stepped up with us with their experience and led the way.”
The Kats were able to settle down in the second half to outscore the Lady Broncs 29-20 as the Wildkats also won the second-half rebounding battle, 21-9.
Cowan led the way for the Kats in the win, going 5 of 6 from the field to finish with 16 points, 12 rebounds and four blocked shots. LaKia Hill also scored in double figures with 11 points and added four rebounds and five assists. Ellis finished with three points, six rebounds and three steals while Hannah Schweikert scored five, Paige Berger had three, Windauer scored two and Hoerner added one point and five rebounds.
The Kats will face a tough test this week as they take on a pair of AA foes, Glacier at home Thursday and Flathead on the road Saturday.
Columbia Falls 23 17 21 3 - 64
Butte Central 4 2 5 6 -17
C Falls – Scoring: Josie Windauer 18, Trista Cowan 14, Ryley Kehr 11, Hannah Schweikert 7, Madysen Hoerner 5, LaKia Hill 4, Paige Berger 3, Savvy Ellis 2. Rebounds: Hoerner 5, Kehr 4, Windauer 4, Cowan 3, Hill 3, Schweikert 3, Ellis 2, Taylor Weaver 2, Peyton Rhodes 1, Maddie Robison 1.
Butte Central – Scoring: Emma Keeley 7, Shea Davis 2, Delaney Hasquet 2, Avery Kelly 2, Maddie Kump 2, Bella Sorini 2. Rebounds: Sorini 3, Sophie Thatcher 3, Taylor Harrington 3, Amira Bolton 2, Keeley 2, Tricia Joyce 1, Kelly 1.
Columbia Falls 9 3 16 13 - 41
Frenchtown 4 12 8 12 - 36
C Falls – Scoring: Trista Cowan 16, LaKia Hill 11, Hannah Schweikert 5, Paige Berger 3, Savvy Ellis 3, Josie Windauer 2, Madysen Hoerner 1. Rebounds: Cowan 12, Ellis 6, Hoerner 5, Hill 4, Berger 2, Schweikert 2, Graceanne Sevisind 1, Winaduer 1.
Frenchtown - Scoring: Claire Bagnell 11, Kiya Shelton 10, Hailey Arthur 8, Madison LaTray 4, Lauren Demmons 3. Rebounds: Shelton 9, Bagnell 3, Demmons 3, LaTray 2, Harper Armitage 1, Arthur 1, Cassidy Moen 1, Hope Rebich 1.