The Wildkats basketball team seemed to be hitting on all cylinders in Whitefish Thursday as Columbia Falls cruised past the Lady Bulldogs 61-27 to improve to 10-0 this season.
The pressing defense that has been the Wildkats’ calling card this season was in full force, but the Columbia Falls offense came out hot as well in the opening quarter, opening up a 24-8 lead after eight minutes as LaKia Hill sparked the run with 11 points and three assists in the opening frame.
“We came out and established what we set out to in that first quarter,” head coach Cary Finberg said. “We are playing pretty well defensively right now We are forcing a ton of turnovers and holding them to low shooting performances, but I still think we can get better, They are really starting to understand what they need to do individually.”
Hill would finish with a game-high 17 points, along with five assists and three steals, while Ryley Kehr added 15 points, five rebounds and four steals and Trista Cowan filled up the stat sheet with 13 points, 12 rebounds, six steals, six blocks and two assists.
“Trista had been steady for us all year long,” Finberg said about Cowan’s performance. “The only thing that has really been able to slow her down has been foul trouble, When she stays out of foul trouble, she always puts up big numbers.”
The highlight of the game came with just over a minute to play as Kimberly Peacock made her first appearance in a game since being diagnosed with cancer in the summer of 2017. Peacock did not score, or even get to take a shot, but just being on the court was win, according to Finberg.
“I had talked to Kimberly and her dad earlier in the day and we figured that game would be a good opportunity for her to make her debut, We just all agreed to it and then the opportunity was there. It was a great moment,” Finberg said. “Kimberly has handled this situation with a lot of courage and she is battling and working hard to get back to where she wants to be, Hopefully, we can get her on the court some more as the year goes on.”
The Kats will look to remain unbeaten this week as they travel to face a tough test in Browning Thursday before hosting Hamilton Saturday and playing at Ronan Tuesday.
For full stats on the Whitefish game, read this article at www.hungryhorsenews.com.
Columbia Falls 24 14 8 15 – 61
Whitefish 8 5 6 8 – 27
SCORING: CFALLS - Lakia Hill 17, Ryley Kehr 15, Trista Cowan 13, Savvy Ellis 5, Josie Windauer 5, Graceanne Sevesind 3, Hannah Schweikert 2, Maddie Robison 1. WHITEFISH - Peyton Kastella 13, Gracie Smyley 5, Kaiah Moore 4, Hope Brown 3, Marlee Bender 2. REBOUNDS: CFALLS - (36) Cowan 12, Kehr 5, Windauer 5, Paige Burger 3, Ellis 3, Schweikert 2, Sevesind 2, Lauren Falkner 1, Robison 1, Madysen Hoerner 1. WHITEFISH - (34) Bender 8, Brown 6, Kit Anderson 4, Claire Carloss 4, Jasmine Matern 4, Moore 3, Smyley 3, Kastella 2. STEALS: CFALLS - (19) Cowan 6, Kehr 4, Hill 3, Schweikert 2, Windauer 2, Ellis 1, Robison 1. WHITEFISH - (1) Moore. ASSISTS: CFALLS - (15) Hill 5, Cowan 2, Schweikert 2, Ellis 1, Hoerner 1, Kehr 1, Robison 1, Sevesind 1, Windauer 1. WHITEFISH - (5) Matern 2, Carloss 1, Mikenna Ells 1, Syley 1 BLOCKS: CFALLS - (9) Cowan 6, Hoerner 1, Kehr 1, Windauer 1. WHITEFISH - (4) Bender 2, Anderson 1, Moore 1. TURNOVERS: CFALLS - (16) Hill 4, Kehr 3, Burger 2, Robison 2, Cowan 1, Ellis 1, Falkner 1, Schweikert 1, Windauer 1. WHITEFISH - (32) Moore 10, Bender 5, Smyley 4, Brown 3, Anderson 2, Carloss 2, Ells 2, Kastella 1, Matern 2. SHOOTING: CFALLS - 24-59 (41%) FG, 8-22 (36%) FT, 5-10 (50%) 3PT. WHITEFISH - 9-46 (20%) FG, 7-12 (58%) FT, 2-11(18%) 3PT.