The Wildkats bounced back from Thursday’s loss at the state tournament Friday afternoon as they defeated Dawson County (Glendive) in a loser-out contest, 57-44.
The Kats did most of their damage in the opening quarter as Dani Douglas poured in eight points to help Columbia Falls build a 22-6 advantage.
Six different Wildkats scored in the quarter as Columbia Falls hit 59 percent of its shots in the opening eight minutes.
The Kats cooled off somewhat in the second quarter, scoring just 10 points to Glendive’s 13 as Columbia Falls took a 32-19 lead into the break.
Columbia Falls struggled to find the basket in the third quarter, making just two baskets in the frame, along with three free throws. Glendive took advantage of the Kat’s shooting woes, using an 8-2 run to cut the Wildcat lead to single digits heading into the fourth quarter, 39-31.
Trista Cowan, Hannah Gedlaman and Ryley Kehr combined to help spark a 10-2 Wildkat run to open the fourth quarter that put Columbia Falls up 49-33 midway through the final frame. The Red Devils cut the Wildcat lead to 13 with 3:07 to play but four straight points from LaKia Hill put the Kats up 17 moments later and Columbia Falls pulled away for good.
The Wildkats finished the game shooting 51 percent from the field while also putting in 17 of their 25 free throws.
Douglas led the Kats in scoring in the win, putting in all 13 of her points in the opening half. Kehr and Gedlaman each added 12 points and Cowan finished with 11 points and 12 rebounds. Hill scored six, Savvy Ellis had two and Josie Windauer scored one.
The Kats will be back in action tomorrow morning as they face the loser of Havre and Browning at 9:30 a.m.