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Columbia Falls a Basketball Town

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Seventeen miles from West Glacier is the town of Columbia Falls.  It's home to the Class A Wildkats and the community of just over 4,700 people is crazy about their basketball.

"It's definitely a basketball town and it always has been, and so it's so great to see the community rally around us and for the doubleheaders it's just packed and it's exciting," said Ciera Finberg.

"Yea it's huge in Columbia Falls everyone looks forward to basketball every year and you have everyone in town just talking about basketball because we have such a great history," said Jared Trinastich.

Speaking of history the Wildkats boys have been to the state championship game six times in the last decade winning four titles and have won five straight divisional championships.

"It kind of comes with the territory, you know when you win the community gets excited, the kids get excited and hopefully you build on that to continue what has gone on in the past," said Columbia Falls Head Coach Cary Finberg.

But with winning comes high expectations, and with high expectations, comes the pressure to win.

"You have past players from when I used to play with them and they are always saying we have to get that divisional title and keep the streak going. But I like having all that pressure and it makes us want it more," said Trinastich.

"You know it's a lot of pressure because of all the other successful teams and we have won divisional's five years in a row and you don't want to be the team to end the streak," said Alex Presnell.

Columbia Falls basketball is not just successful but also unique.  Cary Finberg coaches both the boys and girls teams, which forces them to travel together and share a coach, bringing with it a special sense of unity.

"I love it we are just one big family, both teams and with our doubleheaders we get to support each other and not a lot of teams get to do that," said Haley Belgarde.

"We're like a family like Haley said and it's a cool thing because a lot of teams don't get to experience that, said Finberg.

As the regular season winds down the community of Columbia Falls is once again excited as the boys and girls teams have a combined record of 25-5 and certainly have state championship aspirations

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