Wildcats win in overtime at Ronan, fall against Corvallis

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Lowell Panasuk pulls up for a jumper against Libby earlier this season. Panasuk had a team-high 14 points as the Wildcats beat Ronan Saturday, 56-48. (Jeremy Weber photo)

It was an up and down road trip for the Wildcats last week as they fell at Corvallis Thursday but defeated the Chiefs in Ronan in overtime Saturday.

Columbia Falls led for most of regulation at Ronan Saturday but had to hold off a feisty Chiefs squad in overtime to earn a 56-48 victory.

The Cats led 43-39 heading into the fourth quarter and pushed that lead to 10 with 4:30 to play before the Chiefs began their comeback bid. Wildcat turnovers and timely shooting helped Ronan cut into the lead as Tucker Salmonsen and Austin Green fouled out. The Cats continued to lead by eight with two minutes to play, but Ronan would not go away quietly as the Chiefs tied the game at 46-46 to force overtime.

“We were doing great and then everything that could go wrong for us did,” Wildcat head coach Chris Finberg said.

Undaunted, the Cats dominated the overtime, even after Quintin Shriver became the third Cat to foul out of the contest. Drew Morgan and Lowell Panasuk hit big shots for the Cats down the stretch in the extra period as Columbia Falls outscored Ronan 10-2 to earn the victory.

“We had some guys really step up for us in overtime,” Finberg said. “Everyone that played contributed and that helped us get the win.”

Panasuk and Green led the Cats in the win with 14 points each as Green added four assists and four rebounds. Morgan finished with 13 points and Matthew Morrison had six points, 17 rebounds and three assists.

The Cats led by seven at the half in Corvallis Thursday but could not hold on in the second half as the Blue Devils picked up the win, 60-49.

Shriver led the Cats with 19 points in the contest while Morrison added 11 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks.

The Cats will be at home Thursday against Libby.

Columbia Falls 11 14 14 10 — 49

Corvallis 11 7 23 19 — 60

COLUMBIA FALLS: Austin Green 3, Tucker Salmonsen 7, Drew Morgan 4, Lowell Panasuk 2, Quintin Schriver 19, Logan Bechtel 3, Matthew Morrison 11.

CORVALLIS: Ridge Albright 9, Jeff Stoker 3, Caeson Jessop 6, Ryal Jessop 21, Ryan Wiggins 2, Zach Jessop 2, Kobe Jessop 12, Garrett Brown 5.

Columbia Falls 18 11 14 3 10 — 56

Ronan 11 14 9 12 2 — 48

COLUMBIA FALLS: Austin Green 14, Tucker Salmonsen 5, Drew Morgan 13, Lowell Panasuk 14, Billy Barrett 1, Quintin Schriver 1, Logan Bechtel 2, Matt Morrison 6.

RONAN: Zeke Misa 19, Randy Finley 2, Vincent Bird-Webster 2, Bubba Bush 2, Dallas Durheim 4, Jacob Gatch 5, Anthony Camel 14.

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