The Class AA Glacier Wolfpack were too much for the Wildcats basketball squad to overcome Thursday as the Columbia Falls team fell in Kalispell, 62-38.
Hot three-point shooting and offensive rebounding helped the Wolfpack build a quick early lead and the Cats never recovered as they fell to 1-3 this season.
“Every time I thought Glacier was going to pull away from us, we battled back and didn’t give up. We just couldn’t match up with their strength, quickness and athleticism, though,” head coach Chris Finberg said about the loss. “We battled, but it just got away from us in the fourth quarter.”
Glacier opened the game with a 16-4 run and led 19-7 after one quarter. The Wolfpack pushed the lead as high as 18 in the second quarter before used an 8-1 run to cut the lead to 10 with just over a minute to play in the half. Allec Knapton put in a pair of free throws to get the run started before Jake Bulawsky, Cade Morgan and William Dyon each added baskets.
Glacier answered with four straight points to close out the half with a 37-23 advantage.
The Wolfpack used an 8-2 run to push their lead to 20 early in the third and the Cats never recovered as Glacier went on to win by 24.
Despite the loss, Finberg said his team learned a lot by taking on the larger school.
“The biggest thing we are concerned about right now is that we continue improving. We are not happy with the result against Glacier, but we will take some positives out of it,” he said.
Knapton led the Wildcat effort with 12 points and five rebounds while William Dyon had five points, Jack Price, Cade Morgan, Danny Henjum and Bulawsky each scored four, Dillon Shipp had three and Mason Peters added two points.
The Wildcats now turn their attention to defending Class B state champion Bigfork. Columbia Falls will face the young Vikings team, which lost eight seniors from last year’s squad, in Bigfork Jan. 3.
Columbia Falls 7 16 10 5 - 38
Glacier 9 18 11 14 - 62
COLUMBIA FALLS – Allec Knapton 12, William Dyon 5, Danny Henjum 4, Jack Price 4, Cade Morgan 4, Jake Bulawsky 4, Dillon Shipp 3, Mason Peters 2.
GLACIER – Weston Price 12, Drew Engellant 10, Keifer Spohnhauer 9, Jaxson Olsen 9, Michael Schwarz 6, KJ Johnson 5, Dillon Riffle 3, Colin Presnell 3, JT Allen 2, Luke Bilau 1.