Wildkats win first state title in more than 30 years
MISSOULA, Mont. - A fitting end to a number of outstanding careers this weekend as the Columbia Falls Wildkats won the 2017 Class A Girls State Tournament, beating Hardin 73-50 on Saturday night.
"This is the best feeling ever, we've worked for it for four years," said Wildkats senior Cydney Finberg. "We've anticipated it, because we've gotten so close, but to finally pull it off and to do it in the way we did our senior year is just amazing."
The Wildkats never faced much adversity throughout the state tournament, until the opening minutes of the title game when Hardin started the game on an 8-0 run.
"We have five seniors," said Columbia Falls senior Kiara Burlage. "We all played with heart when they got on that little 8-0 run. And then we just showed our experience and our heart and we pulled through."
"This is what you put in all the time in for and the girls played in a great atmosphere," said Wildkats head coach Cary Finberg. "They rose to the occasion. We didn't play a perfect game, you're never going to play a perfect game, but it was dang close. (I'm) real proud of them."
It's a special moment for these teammates along with coach Finberg and his daughter Cydney.
"To do this for my dad and my teammates that we've been working for, for so long, it just means the world to me," said Cydney.
For the first time since 1983, Columbia Falls sits alone at the top.
Here are the members of the Class A All Tournament Team.
First Team (MVP) Peyton Kehr, Columbia Falls Kiara Burlage, Columbia Falls Madisan Chavez, Hardin Emily St. John, Butte Central Aubrey Meiwald, Hardin
Second Team Kloie Thatcher, Butte Central Sydney Hovde, Columbia Falls Dani Douglas, Columbia Falls Naomi Terry, Havre Corinne Sanderson, Corvallis
Honorable Mention Gabby Webber, Belgrade Karissa Dushane, Hardin Penny Jessop, Corvallis Mollie Peoples, Butte Central Mallory McGill, Hamilton Sharmayne Hardy, Hardin Emme Warnken, Corvallis Cydney Finberg, Columbia Falls Kiah Hohenstein, Belgrade Aspen Cotter, Laurel Samantha Oliver, Havre Tricia Joyce, Butte Central