Browning holds on to beat Wildkats at home in conference rivalry

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The Columbia Falls girls basketball team lost to Browning at home Thursday, 59-58, breaking the Wildkats’ seven-game winning streak.

Browning shot out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter and the Kats were down at one point 25-12 in the second. But the Kats cut the margin to four by the half, with Browning up 31-27.

“For some reason this team is not getting off to good starts,” coach Cary Finberg said. He noted the girls got out-rebounded in the first quarter, 18-4.

Still, the Kats would take the lead in the third and were up by as many as 10 at one point and had a six-point lead with a little more than three minutes left. But the Kats suffered from some poor shooting down the stretch and Browning took the lead with a little more than 30 seconds left.

In the next possession, the Kats turned it over on an errant pass with 13 seconds left. Columbia Falls fouled, but Browning missed the free throw and the Kats got the ball back with 9 seconds left.

Browning had a couple of fouls to give and they used them. With 1.9 seconds left the Kats inbounded to Hannah Schweikert, who had the hot hand all night, but her open shot at what would have been her ninth three was off the mark and Browning came away with the victory.

Finberg said the girls didn’t make good decisions with the lead.

“We didn’t have enough patience in the fourth quarter,” he said. Too many times it was one pass and then a shot, rather than moving the ball around.

The Wildkats were led by Schweikert who hit eight three-pointers and had 26 points in the loss. Tamika Guardipee had 18 to lead Browning.

The girls faced AA Flathead at home Tuesday after presstime and then they’re on the road against Hamilton Saturday — another tough opponent. Hamilton is 6-4 on the year and second in the Southwest A conference.

Browning 19 12 12 16 — 59

Columbia Falls 11 16 19 12 — 58

BROWNING — Tamika Guardipee 18, Tatum Running Crane 10, Asina Matt 9, Dulci Skunkcap 8.

COLUMBIA FALLS — Hannah Schweikert 26, Josie Windauer 8.

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