By Myers Reece, 3-03-12
For the second game in a row at the Class A boys state basketball tournament, Columbia Falls was at its best when it mattered most: the fourth quarter.
Down 27-25 entering the final period of the state semifinals at the Butte Civic Center on Friday night, the Wildcats outscored the Rams 18-5 in the fourth to win 43-32.
With the victory, Columbia Falls (19-3) advanced to face Dillon (20-2) in the Class A state title game for the third time in four years. The championship showdown is scheduled for 8 p.m. Saturday night.
Dillon beat Columbia Falls 54-50 in the 2009 Class A championship. The Wildcats avenged that loss with a 55-43 victory to claim last year’s title.
Luke Kazlauskas led Columbia Falls with 13 points, followed by Austin Barth with eight. Parker Johnson and Anthony Correa each chipped in seven for the Wildcats.
Ryan Burke scored 13 points to lead Billings Central. Daniel Meyer had seven for the Rams.
Dillon defeated Laurel 56-39 in the semifinals on Friday night.
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