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Kalispell Flathead girls set for State AA tourney following drama of divisionals

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Posted at 9:32 PM, Mar 08, 2023

KALISPELL — Thanks to a buzzer-beating 3-pointer, the Flathead Bravettes won the Western AA divisional tournament last week. Now they're ready for the state tournament

"We’re definitely going to win the thing, and when you get that one seed you can’t have a different mindset so that’s what we’re looking forward to," said head coach Sam Tudor. "And like I said though, that doesn’t happen in one game, we gotta just go one at a time."

It all came down to Avery Chouinard's buzzer-beater, which bounced off the rim not once, not twice, but three times before falling through the hoop to give the Bravettes the title.

"I’m looking at the score, looking at the time still there, and I’m hearing people be super loud, and I hear the, 'three, two…,' and then I shoot it and I don’t even think I looked at the basket when it went in. It was insane," said Chouinard.

Teammate Kennedy Moore who led the team at 21 points and nine rebounds per game during the tournament, knows the moment couldn’t have been more perfect.

"It felt awesome, it was a huge weight off our shoulders because it bounced around on the rim forever and I was standing under the hoop, like, 'Please go in,'" said Moore with a smile on her face. "And when it went in it was just so exciting because the whole gym went crazy and it was in our hometown, and what a way to finish out for the seniors."

A senior herself, Chouinard couldn't have asked for a better ending on her home court

"It means so much," said a sentimental Chouinard. "This is the final one, this is it. You've got to do all you can."

And coach Sam Tudor knows his seniors have made all the difference this year.

"They’re fighting tooth and nail to get through every game and they did it," said a proud Tudor. "So I hope to see some of that too here at state, just that grit. If I had to define the team with one word it’d be grit, it makes my hair gray and gives me a heart attack about every game but it’s been enjoyable."

With the Class AA state tournament here, Moore said the team couldn’t be more ready.

"We’re just going to have a lot of fun and then once game time comes on Thursday we’re going to hunker down and get it done," said Moore.

The Bravettes will be looking to ride their momentum as the Western one seed when State for Class AA starts in Butte on Thursday.