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A blog about sports in Montana, with an emphasis on Flathead Valley High Schools.
Montana Sidelines - Sports Around The Flathead ValleyMontana Sidelines - Sports Around The Flathead Valley
As Postseason Approaches, Wildkats Hold Top Ranking in Class A
Bigfork falls to third in Class B; Glacier girls move to fourth in Class AA
Ciera Finberg, right, puts pressure on Bigfork's Mattison McAnally during the Wilkats' win over the Valkyries in Columbia Falls earlier this season. - File photo by Lido Vizzutti | Flathead Beacon
Winners of seven in a row, Columbia Falls remains the top-ranked Class A girls team in the latest Associated Press High School Basketball Poll.

The Wildkats (14-3 overall, 7-0 in conference) have already secured the Northwestern A regular-season title and play tonight against Polson (6-10, 3-3). The divisional tournament is next week in Ronan.

Haley Belgarde is leading Columbia Falls with roughly 15 points per game. Both Hope Burlage and Winter Kemppainen are averaging roughly nine per game.

Frenchtown (13-4, 5-2) is second in the conference standings, followed by Polson, Libby (3-14, 1-6) and Whitefish (1-16, 1-6).

The Columbia Falls boys moved back into the rankings and are fifth in Class A. The Wildcats (12-5, 6-1) are atop the Northwestern A standings. Whitefish (10-7, 5-2) is second, followed by Frenchtown (8-9, 4-3), Polson (6-10, 1-5) and Libby (7-10, 1-6).

In Class B, Bigfork recently suffered its first loss against a Class B this season and fell to third place in the rankings. The Vikings (14-4, 7-1) host a District 7-B playoff game on Thursday.

In Class AA, the Glacier girls team moved up to fourth place after beating Missoula Big Sky 66-53 last week. The Wolfpack (13-3, 6-2) are in third place in the Western AA standings. Top-ranked Sentinel (16-1, 7-1) is in first and No. 2 Helena Capital (14-1,7-1) is second. Flathead (8-7, 3-5) is in fourth place. Glacier and Flathead host Helena's two teams this weekend.

Glacier's boys team dropped to fifth in the rankings. The Wolfpack (13-3, 6-2) are in third place in Western AA. Second-ranked Missoula Hellgate (14-2, 7-1) is atop the standings while fourth-ranked Helena Capital (11-4, 7-1) is second. Flathead (10-6, 4-4) is in fourth. Flathead and Glacier travel to Helena this weekend for a pair of conference matchups.
Montana High School Basketball Polls
The top teams in the Associated Press high school basketball poll with first-place votes in parentheses and won-loss record, total points and position last week at right:
Boys
Class AA
1. Billings Skyview (8), 14-2, 80, 1
2. Missoula Hellgate, 14-2, 67, 3
3. Billings West, 13-3, 64, 2
4. Helena Capital, 11-4, 56, 5
5. Glacier, 13-3, 53, 4
Others receiving votes: None.

Class A
1. Laurel (9), 17-0, 90, 1
2. Stevensville, 14-3, 78, 2
3. Browning, 15-2, 73, 3
4. Dillon, 12-3, 57, 4
5. Columbia Falls, 12-5, 25, NR
Others receiving votes: Butte Central 18, Billings Central 7, Corvallis 6, Glendive 6.

Class B
1. Florence (9), 17-1, 90, 3
2. Malta, 16-2, 72, 2
3. Bigfork, 14-4, 71, 1
4. Rocky Boy, 16-2, 68, 5
5. Wolf Point, 13-5, 48, 7
6. Forsyth, 15-3, 43, 4
7. Fairfield, 13-5, 24, 9
8. Missoula Loyola, 12-5, 23, 8
9. Columbus, 13-5, 20, T10
10. Shepherd, 12-6, 17, 6
Others receiving votes: Lodge Grass 10, Whitehall 5, Choteau 2, Plentywood 1, Townsend 1.

Class C
1. Fairview (7), 17-0, 79, 1
2. Roy-Winifred (1), 18-0, 73, 2
3. Drummond, 14-0, 62, 3
4. Melstone, 17-1, 58, 4
5. Plenty Coups, 15-3, 37, 7
6. Broadview-Lavina, 16-2, 24, 8
7. Twin Bridges, 15-3, 20, NR
8. Ennis, 15-3, 18, 9
(tie)Belt, 15-3, 18, 10
10. Centerville, 15-3, 16, 5
Others receiving votes: Dutton-Brady 14, Wibaux 10, Victor 5, Culbertson 4, Arlee 1, Box Elder 1.

Girls
Class AA
1. Missoula Sentinel (5), 16-1, 74, 1
2. Helena Capital, 14-1, 71, T2
3. Butte (3), 14-2, 70, T2
4. Glacier, 13-3, 53, 5
5. Great Falls, 13-3, 52, 4
Others receiving votes: None.

Class A
1. Columbia Falls (9), 15-3, 90, 1
2. Butte Central, 13-4, 74, 4
3. Frenchtown, 13-4, 69, 3
4. Hamilton, 13-4, 65, 2
5. Hardin, 12-5, 44, 5
Others receiving votes: Laurel 18.

Class B
1. Fairfield (8), 18-0, 80, 1
2. Townsend, 18-0, 72, 2
3. Malta, 17-1, 62, 3
4. Deer Lodge, 17-1, 58, 5
5. Colstrip, 16-2, 45, 4
6. Choteau, 14-4, 38, 7
7. Forsyth, 16-3, 31, 8
8. Shepherd, 15-4, 28, 6
9. Florence, 12-5, 17, 10
10. Baker, 11-7, 4, 9
Others receiving votes: Manhattan 3, Plentywood 1, Huntley Project 1.

Class C
1. Belt (6), 18-1, 77, 1
2. Winnett-Grass Range (2), 18-0, 74, 2
3. Seeley-Swan, 13-1, 59, 3
4. Westby-Grenora, 16-2, 40, 6
5. Harlowton-Ryegate, 16-2, 36, 4
6. Broadview-Lavina, 16-2, 35, 5
7. Chester-Joplin-Inverness, 16-2, 27, 7
8. St. Labre, 16-2, 26, 8
9. Drummond, 13-1, 13, NR
10. Twin Bridges, 15-2, 11, NR
Others receiving votes: Roy-Winifred 10, Arlee 9, Hinsdale 7, Shields Valley 7, Wibaux 5, Culbertson 2, Chinook 1, Harrison-Willow Creek 1.
 
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