Strong defense and physical play were the keys to victory last week as the Wildkats basketball team picked up a pair of wins over AA opponents to improve to 5-0 this season.
The Kats overcame an 11-43 shooting night at home Thursday as they picked up a 37-30 win over Glacier.
Out-rebounded 45-37 in the contest, including 23-11 on the offensive glass, the Kats used a physical, stifing defense to shut down the Lady Wolfpack offense.
“I really believe that is the type of game our kids like to play in,” head coach Cary Finberg said. “We have several players who want to be physical, so that kind of game fits right into how we want to play. We thrive in a situation like that.”
Down 22-18 at the half, the Wildkats shut down the Glacier offense in the third quarter, holding the Lady Wolfpack to a single point and 0-17 shooting in the quarter to grab a 29-23 lead.
Glacier cut the lead to just three in the opening moments of the fourth quarter, but would come no closer as the Kats held on for the win.
Josie Windauer and Ryley Kehr led the way for the Kats in the victory with 15 points while Windauer added eight rebounds and five steals. Kehr had nine rebounds in the win.
LaKia Hill had three points and three rebounds, Trista Cowan finished with two points and four rebounds and Madysen Hoerner had two points and eight rebounds.
The Wildkat defense was on full display again at Flathead Saturday as the Kats held the Bravettes to 2-40 shooting in first and third quarters en route to a 36-32 victory.
“I thought defensively, we help up pretty good against a pair of tough AA schools. We struggled on offense a bit, but we did enough to get two wins,” Finberg said. “A team going 2-40 over two quarters, I don’t know if I have quite ever seen that before.”
Despite Flathead’s cold shooting, the Kats led just 8-4 after one quarter and 20-17 at the half. Columbia Falls pushed its lead to 30-24 after three and held on for the win.
Kehr led the Wildkat scoring attack with 12 points in the win while Cowan and Windauer each scored seven, Savvy Ellis added five, Hoerner had three points and Paige Berger scored two.
With the wins, the Kats remain undefeated this season, but Finberg says there is still room for improvement.
“I told the girls at practice, I have good news and better news. The good news is we are 5-0. The better news is that I think we can play a lot better than we are right now,” he said. “We just have to get our offense going, there is no doubt about it.”
The Kats will take on Bigfork on the road Thursday before opening up conference play at home against Ronan Friday.
Glacier 13 9 1 7 – 30
C Falls 10 8 11 8 – 37
C FALLS – Scoring: Josie Windauer 15, Ryley Kehr 15, LaKia Hill 3, Madysen Hoerner 2, Trista Cowan 2. Rebounds: Kehr 9, Hoerner 8, Windauer 8, Cowan 4, Savvy Ellis 3, Hill 3, Paige Berger 2, Hannah Schweikert 1.
GLACIER – Scoring: Raley Shirey 12, Kali Gulick 8, Ellie Keller 6, Emma Anderson 2, Kenzie Williams 1, Kaleigh Crawford 1. Rebounds: NA
C Falls 8 12 10 6 – 36
Flathead 4 13 7 8 – 32
C FALLS – Scoring: Ryley Kehr 12, Trista Cowan 7, Josie Windauer 7, Savvy Ellis 5, Madysen Hoerner 3, Paige Berger 2. Rebounds: NA
FLATHEAD – Scoring: Jenna Johnson 11, Taylor Henley 10, Kayla Martin 4, Kennedy Kanter 3, Maddie Walter 3, Emily Lembke 1. Rebounds: NA