HAMILTON – Usually a transition year means you’ll take some lumps along the way. Unless you’re the Columbia Falls girls.
The Wildkats look like a serious threat for back-to-back state titles, with a largely different team. Head coach Cary Finberg’s club once again finds themselves near the top of the Class A rankings, with only a couple senior hold-overs from last year’s champs.
On Saturday, Columbia Falls traveled to undefeated Hamilton. After trailing by five points at the end of the first quarter, the Wildkats ran away from the Broncs for a 46-33 win, proving to everyone, including the girls themselves, this team belongs at the top again.
“We came out here a little scatter-brained I think,” said senior forward Hannah Gedlaman about the beginning of the game in Hamilton. “But it shows a lot for us to be able to regain our confidence and just come out here and get things done.”
“It feels really good. I think we proved a lot tonight,” added guard Dani Douglas on Saturday. “We did come out a little shaky. But once we got it going, we got it going.”
“After last year’s state championship team losing what we lost, we knew this year was going to be a little transition year,” explained Finberg. “But these girls have picked up pretty seamlessly. And then with the younger kids we have coming up, this year has been huge in the fact that we’re learning as we’re going, and we’re winning as we’re going.”
At 12-1, Columbia Falls ranks second on our live-cordillera-network.pantheonsite.io power poll, just behind undefeated Havre.