By KATHLEEN WOODFORD
Clark Fork Mountain Cat fans howled for the underdogs as the boys team clawed their way up from the No. 6 seed, to playing for second place at the 13C District tourney.
The Boy Cats went into the tournament with only one conference win during the basketball season. But they hit their stride Saturday with a one-point victory against Victor at 11 a.m. with a 51-50 final score.
The Cats then squared off against Lincoln for the second time in tournament play with a consolation game win, 61-56.
In both Saturday games, freshman Bryan Mask, was on the foul line swishing in the winning buckets. Mask, along with fellow freshman, Aaron Waddle, and Carson Callison, along with senior Connor Voll, peppered the court with 3-pointers all day.
The Cats could have used some of their magic from Saturday’s games during the challenge game against the Darby Tigers on Monday.
The Cats and Tigers met at 1 p.m. in Frenchtown and the Cats got the ball to the basket but just couldn’t sink enough shots. Meanwhile the Tigers couldn’t miss and sealed the deal in the fourth quarter putting 23 points on the board for a 76 to 65 win. Darby will advance to Divisionals in Hamilton.
The Darby Tigers lost to Seeley Swan in the championship game Saturday evening, 48-34.
This tourney marked the first time the boys have won a game at District since the Superior/Alberton Coop started three years ago, said Head Coach Erik Johnson. “This is a young team and they have the talent to compete. There’s nothing like the end of the season to develop a sense of urgency. They played great today.”
The team had lost to Lincoln in the Thursday game, 55-43 and earlier in the season, they’d lost to the Lynx by 30 points.
Voll said the coaches were confident the team could win. “They kept saying that we weren’t out of it and that we can win. That pushed our confidence and we went in it to win it.”