Wildcats win pair of thrilling home games

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  • Drew Morgan battles Ronan’s Zarec Couture for a rebound in the first quarter Tuesday. (Jeremy Weber photo)

  • 1

    Dillon Wanner takes the ball inside against Ronan’s Randy Finley in the fourth quarter Tuesday. (Jeremy Weber photo)

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    Drew Morgan takes the ball in against Ronan’s Elijah Durheim Thursday. Morgan had a team-high 15 points in the Wildcats’ win over the Chiefs Thursday and hit a buzzer-beater three to down Corvallis Saturday. (Jeremy Weber photo)

  • 3

    Sam Hovde takes the ball inside against Ronan’s Zarec Couture Tuesday. (Jeremy Weber photo)

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    Logan Bechtel looks for someone to pass to against the swarming Ronan defense Tuesday. (Jeremy Weber photo)

  • 5

    Dillon Shipp shoots over Blue Devil Garrett Brown Saturday. (Jeremy Weber photo)

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    Sam Hovde goes up for a shot over Corvallis’s Garrett Brown Saturday. (Jeremy Weber photo)

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    Logan Bechtel takes a tougher jumper over Corvallis’s Tanner Jessop Saturday. (Jeremy Weber photo)

  • 8

    Danny Henjum takes a fadeaway jumper against Blue Devil Caleb Warnken Saturday. (Jeremy Weber photo)

  • Drew Morgan battles Ronan’s Zarec Couture for a rebound in the first quarter Tuesday. (Jeremy Weber photo)

  • 1

    Dillon Wanner takes the ball inside against Ronan’s Randy Finley in the fourth quarter Tuesday. (Jeremy Weber photo)

  • 2

    Drew Morgan takes the ball in against Ronan’s Elijah Durheim Thursday. Morgan had a team-high 15 points in the Wildcats’ win over the Chiefs Thursday and hit a buzzer-beater three to down Corvallis Saturday. (Jeremy Weber photo)

  • 3

    Sam Hovde takes the ball inside against Ronan’s Zarec Couture Tuesday. (Jeremy Weber photo)

  • 4

    Logan Bechtel looks for someone to pass to against the swarming Ronan defense Tuesday. (Jeremy Weber photo)

  • 5

    Dillon Shipp shoots over Blue Devil Garrett Brown Saturday. (Jeremy Weber photo)

  • 6

    Sam Hovde goes up for a shot over Corvallis’s Garrett Brown Saturday. (Jeremy Weber photo)

  • 7

    Logan Bechtel takes a tougher jumper over Corvallis’s Tanner Jessop Saturday. (Jeremy Weber photo)

  • 8

    Danny Henjum takes a fadeaway jumper against Blue Devil Caleb Warnken Saturday. (Jeremy Weber photo)

It took overtime and a buzzer-beating three pointer, but the Wildcats basketball team picked up a pair of home wins last week, defeating Ronan 58-55 Thursday and Corvallis 48-47 Saturday.

The Cats found themselves in a tight battle with the Ronan Chiefs Thursday evening, needing overtime to pick up a 58-55 victory. The Cats held the advantage for most of the game, with the Chiefs leading for less than a minute in the entire contest, but Ronan kept the game close and never trailed by more than six.

The Wildcat defense held the Chiefs to just 25 percent shooting inside the arc, but Ronan hit 10 of its 25 shots from three-point territory to keep the game close.

“We were finally able to keep a team in check from inside the three-point line. That was huge for us,” head coach Chris Finberg said. “They hit some timely threes to stay in it, but we played them well inside.”

Both teams had a chance to win at the end of regulation, but a Wildcat turnover with 3.6 seconds led to a missed three at the buzzer by Ronan’s Randy Finley.

Sam Hovde scored the first basket of overtime to give the Wildcats the lead for good as Columbia Falls out scored the Chiefs 11-8 in the extra period, including knocking down 7-12 foul shots.

Drew Morgan led the Cats with 15 points and 11 rebounds while Sam Hovde added 15 points and seven boards. Dillon Shipp was also in double figures with 11 points and added nine rebounds.

The Cats picked up a win in dramatic fashion Saturday, using a buzzer-beating three from Morgan to down the Blue Devils 48-47.

Down by as many as 11 in the fourth quarter, the Wildcats went into a full-court press, turning defense into offense to get back into the game.

“We wanted to go to the press earlier, but foul trouble kept us from being able to do that,” Finberg said about his strategy. “At some point, though, you have to just roll the dice and not worry about the fouls, and that’s what we did.”

At one point, the Cats had four players on the court with four fouls each, including Morgan, who played the entire second half with four fouls.

With the Cats down 47-45 with 5.8 seconds to play and needing to move the ball the length of the court, Logan Bechtel inbounded the ball to Danny Henjum near half court, who found Drew Morgan for a long buzzer-beating three from the right wing to give Columbia Falls the victory.

With the long shots finally falling for the Cats’ offense, Finberg says it is a good sign as the team enters the final stretch of the regular season.

“We have started to hit some shots from the outside, and that is great to see,” he said. “I thought all along that we had some good shooters, but they kind of lost their confidence against tough defense early in the year. Now that we are hitting some shots from out there, it helps open everything up for us.”

Shipp led the Cats with 13 points in the win over the Blue Devils while Hovde added 12 and Morgan scored 11.

The Cats were back in action Tuesday as they took on the Pirates in Polson. The Cats will be at Libby Friday.

For full stats, read this story at www.hungryhorsenews.com.

Ronan 10 13 9 15 8 - 55

Columbia Falls 12 14 10 11 11 - 58

SCORING – C-FALLS: Drew Morgan 15, Sam Hovde 15, Dillon Shipp 11, Danny Henjum 7, Dillon Wanner 7, William Dyon 3. RONAN: Jacob Gatch 20, Dallas Durheim 13, Leonard Burke 7, Randy Finley 6, Zarec Couture 4, Aidan Birdinground 3, Bubba Bush 2. REBOUNDS – C-FALLS: (41) Morgan 11, Shipp 9, Hovde 7, Henjum 6, Logan Bechtel 5, Wanner 3. RONAN: (42) Durheim 15, Gatch 11, Finley 7, Bush 3, Couture 3, Birdinground 2, Burke 1. STEALS – C-FALLS: (15) Morgan 5, Bechtel 3, Shipp 3, Wanner 2, Hovde 1, Brad Nieves 1. RONAN: (9) Finley 3, Terell Stump 3, Burke 1, Bush 1, Durheim 1. ASSISTS – C-FALLS: (11) Morgan 4, Shipp 4, Bechtel 1, Henjum 1, Wanner 1. RONAN: (17) Bush 9, Finley 3, Gatch 2, Stump 2, Couture 1. BLOCKS – C-FALLS: (2) Henjum, Hovde. RONAN: (2) Durheim, Gatch. TURNOVERS – C-FALLS: (15) Bechtel 3, Hovde 3, Morgan 3, Wanner 3, Shipp 2, Henjum 1. RONAN: (19) Finley 5, Gatch 4, Bush 3, Couture 2, Durheim 2, Stump 2, Burke 1. SHOOTING – C-FALLS: 19-62 (31%) FG, 13-20 (65%) FT, 7-25 (28%) 3PT. RONAN: 18-56 (32%) FG, 9-21 (42%) FT, 10-25 (40%) 3PT.

Corvallis 7 21 10 9 - 47

Columbia Falls 8 13 9 18 - 48

SCORING – C-FALLS: Dillon Shipp 13, Sam Hovde 12, Drew Morgan 11, Danny Henjum 6, William Dyon 3, Dillon Wanner 2, Logan Bechtel 1. CORVALLIS: Caleb Warnken 15, Caeson Jessop 12, Garrett Brown 8, Tanner Jessop 6, Jace Barcus 4, Liang Liedle 2. REBOUNDS – C-FALLS: (20) Hovde 7, Morgan 3, Wanner 3, Henjum 2, Shipp 2, Bechtel 1, Dyon 1, Nieves 1. CORVALLIS: (32) Warnken 10, Brown 9, T. Jessop 4, C. Jessop 4, Barcus 3, Liedke 2. STEALS: C-FALLS: (9) Shipp 4, Bechtel 2, Henjum 2, Hovde 1. CORVALLIS: (4) T. Jessop, C. Jessop, Liedle, Warnken. ASSISTS – C-FALLS: (10) Wanner 5, Henjum 2, Bechtel 1, Hovde 1, Morgan 1. CORVALLIS: (7) C. Jessop 4. Liedle 3. BLOCKS – C-FALLS: (none) CORVALLIS: (1) Cole Trexler. TURNOVERS – C-FALLS: (12) Shipp 5, Bechtel 3, Wanner 2, Hovde 1, Morgan 1. CORVALLIS: (19) C. Jessop 5, T. Jessop 4, Liedle 4, Barcus 2, Brown 2, Warnken 2. SHOOTING – C-FALLS: 12-40 (30%) FG, 19-28 (67%) FT, 5-12 (41%) 3PT. CORVALLIS: 13-41 (32%) FG, 19-24 (79%) FT, 2-10 (20%) 3PT.

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