Kats Western A champs

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  • Josie Windauer goes up over Browning's Dulci Skunkcap for two of her team-high 16 points against the Lady Indians Saturday. (Jeremy Weber photo)

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    Ryley Kehr pulls up for a jumper in the lane over Brownings Taylor Jordan in the second quarter Saturday. (Jeremy Weber photo)

  • Josie Windauer goes up over Browning's Dulci Skunkcap for two of her team-high 16 points against the Lady Indians Saturday. (Jeremy Weber photo)

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    Ryley Kehr pulls up for a jumper in the lane over Brownings Taylor Jordan in the second quarter Saturday. (Jeremy Weber photo)

HAMILTON — Columbia Falls claimed the Western A Divisional girls basketball title on Saturday night, defeating Northwest A rival Browning 59-52 at Hamilton High School.

The Wildkats (22-1) struggled from the field early and fell behind 13-7, but took advantage of the fast-paced game to go on a 14-0 run between the first and second quarters.

“When we rebounded the ball on defense we did a good job running the ball in transition,” Columbia Falls coach Cary Finberg said.

“Our transition game was huge tonight.”

The Indians — usually proficient from behind the arc — missed all their 3-point attempts in the first half.

Columbia Falls built a 45-30 lead early in the fourth quarter. But Tatum Running Crane knocked down the Indians’ first triple to jump-start a Browning rally that cut the Wildkats’ lead to 55-50 with less than a minute to go.

Dulci Skunkcap tried to get the Indians within two and missed two open looks from 3-point range. Josie Windauer knocked down two free throws to ice the game.

Windauer scored 16 points on her birthday to lead the Wildkats, while Ryley Kehr and Hannah Schweikert each had 10.

“Our younger kids stepped up when we needed them,” Finberg said.

“A lot of kids grew up tonight and hopefully they can carry that to state.”

Skunkcap led all scorers with 23 and Taylor Jordan put up 16 for Browning (16-6).

It was the Wildkats’ third victory in three weeks over Browning, and 12th consecutive victory overall. The Indians handed the team its only loss of the season on Jan. 17 at Browning.

Columbia Falls will open the Class A state tournament on March 7 in Great Falls against Laurel, the No. 4 seed from the Eastern A.

Columbia Falls 11 19 13 16 – 59

Browning 13 9 8 22 – 52

COLUMBIA FALLS – Josie Windauer 16, Ryley Kehr 10, Hannah Schweikert 10, Maddie Robison 9, Madysen Hoerner 8, Trista Cowan 2, LaKia Hill 2, Savvy Ellis 2.

BROWNING – Dulci Skunkcap 23, Taylor Jordan 16, Cha’slin Kipp 4, Tatum Running Crane 3, Caelin Guardipee 2, Danaiya Polk 2.

Boys

Butte Central 46,

Hamilton 37

HAMILTON — The Maroons conquered the Broncs to take the Western A title.

Butte Central took a 35-26 lead into the fourth quarter, then Hamilton battled back to make it 41-37. But the Broncs could not convert down the stretch while Central knocked down late free throws.

Braden Harrington had a game-high 13 points for the Maroons. Carson Rostad scored 12 for Hamilton.

Butte Central 10 14 11 11 – 46

Hamilton 6 12 8 11 – 37

BUTTE CENTRAL – Braden Harrington 13, Cade Holter 9, Dylan Sestrich 8, Jared Simkins 7, Matt Simkins 4, Luke Heaphy 4, Gator Yelenich 1.

HAMILTON – Carson Rostad 12, Tanner Goligoski 11, Hunter Omlid 7, Camron Rothie 4, Trey Searle 3.

Consolation Games

Girls

Libby 36, Butte Central 30

HAMILTON — Libby survived a third-quarter comeback by Butte Central to take third place.

Both teams struggled for points in the first half, and the Loggers (18-9) had a 16-7 lead at the break. But the Maroons held Libby to two points in the third quarter to cut the Loggers’ lead to 18-17.

Libby found its stride on offense and doubled its scoring output in the final frame to put Butte Central away.

Jayden Winslow had a game-high 14 points for the Loggers. McKenzie Proffitt and Alli Collins each added nine points.

Tricia Joyce had nine to lead the Maroons.

Libby 9 7 2 18 – 36

Butte Central 5 2 10 13 – 30

LIBBY – Jayden Winslow 14, Alli Collins 9, McKenzie Proffitt 9, Sammee Bradeen 4.

CENTRAL – Tricia Joyce 9, Sophie Thatcher 8, Emma Keeley 4, Amira Bolton 4, Delaney Hasquet 2, Shea Davis 2, Madison Kump 1.

Boys

Browning 60, Frenchtown 46

HAMILTON – Tyree Whitcomb had 28 points and Browning stormed back in the second half to take down the Broncs for third place.

The Indians (22-2) were down 28-23 at the intermission, but outscored Frenchtown 37-18 in the second half for a comfortable victory.

Riley Spoonhunter netted 13 for the Indians and Blayne DeRoche added 10.

Zack Baker scored 11 for Frenchtown.

Browning 10 13 17 20 – 60

Frenchtown 16 12 7 11 – 46

BROWNING – Tyree Whitcomb 28, Riley Spoonhunter 13, Blayne DeRoche 10, CJ Smith 5, Trevon Fisher 2, Ethan Running Crane 1, Deion Mad Plume 1.

FRENCHTOWN – Zack Baker 11, Cade Baker 9, Devin Shelton 8, Jared Cole 7, Ben Larson 7, Hank Rugg 2, Tel Arthur 2.

Loser-Out Games

Girls

Libby 49, Ronan 37

HAMILTON — Libby used a big fourth quarter to take down Ronan.

The Maidens led 31-30 after three quarters, but the Loggers outscored Ronan 19-6 in the final frame.

Jayden Winslow had a game-high 16 points and Samantha Miller added nine for the Loggers.

Jaylea Lunceford led the Maidens with 12 points and Tiana Ulutoa scored 10.

Ronan 12 7 12 6 – 37

Libby 8 12 10 19 – 49

RONAN – Jaylea Lunceford 12, Tiana Ulutoa 10, Kieauna DeRoche 7, Madeline McCrea 4, Aislyn Baker 1.

LIBBY – Jayden Winslow 16, Samantha Miller 9, Emma Gruber 7, McKenzie Proffitt 6, Alli Collins 4, Syd Gier 3, Sammee Bradeen 1.

Butte Central 43,

Hamilton 40

HAMILTON — The Maroons knocked out the Broncs.

Tricia Joyce led Butte Central with 14 and Sofee Thatcher had 12.

Mariola Tesoro paced Hamilton with 12.

Hamilton 7 8 10 15 – 40

Butte Central 11 8 12 11 – 43

HAMILTON – Abby Johnson 3, Sophia Doyle 2, Mariola Tesoro 12, Maggie Ringer 2, Jordan Taggart 5, Lauren Ryter 6, Katelyn Dickemore 8, Ami Mason 2.

CENTRAL – Bella Sorini 4, Tricia Joyce 14, Emma Keeley 7, Maddie Kump 1, Sofee Thatcher 12, Delaney Hasquet 5.

Boys

Browning 62, Whitefish 55

HAMILTON — Browning outscored Whitefish 39-27 in the first half then held on to eliminate the Bulldogs (15-9).

The Indians had a balanced scoring attack, with 11 players tallying points. Tyree Whitcomb led the way with 15 and Ethan Running Crane had 10.

Lee Walburn scored 22 and Dillon Botner 15 in their final game for the Bulldogs.

Whitefish 14 13 12 16 – 55

Browning 17 22 9 14 – 62

WHITEFISH – Lee Walburn 22, Dillon Botner 15, Ryan Kemm 11, Sam Menicke 7.

BROWNING – Tyree Whitcomb 15, Ethan Running Crane 10, Rylee Spoonhunter 9, Justin Bird 7, CJ Smith 5, Deion Mad Plume 5, Derek Sharp 3, Latrell Bullchild 2, Brant Bremner 2, Blayne DeRoche 2, Trevon Fisher 2.

Frenchtown 64, Dillon 59

HAMILTON — The Broncs survived a back-and-forth battle against the Beavers.

Frenchtown led 41-31 at halftime, then Dillon stormed back to take a 47-46 lead into the fourth.

The Broncs outscored the Beavers 18-12 in the fourth to earn the win.

Cade Baker tallied 19 points and Zack Baker 13 for Frenchtown.

Michael Haverfield had a game-high 26 for Dillon.

Frenchtown 24 17 5 18 – 64

Dillon 17 14 16 12 – 59

FRENCHTOWN – Cade Baker 19, Zack Baker 13, Hank Rugg 12, Ben Larson 7, Devin Shelton 7, Jared Cole 3, Mason Pyron 2, Carson Shepard 1.

DILLON – Michael Haverfield 26, Bradley Rakich 9, Jace Fitzgerald 7, Dylan Cervelli 6, Justus Peterson 4, Braden Anderson 3, Cole Truman 2, Cole Johnston 2.

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