Whitefish’s seniors capped off their basketball careers with a thrilling 70-65 overtime win over Frenchtown at home on senior night.
The Broncs led nearly the entire game, up 11 after the first quarter. The Bulldogs slowly chipped away at that deficit, cutting it to five at the half and to just four points by the start of the fourth quarter.
Down 55-57 with 1:30 left to play, Sawyer Silliker gabbed an offensive rebound off a Derek Kastella layup and put it back up for the score and the foul. The three-point play gave Whitefish its first lead of the game and the Bulldogs would remain on top for the remainder of the game.
The Broncs wouldn’t go away without a fight. Frenchtown’s Adam Botkin tied the game at 60 apiece with a corner three with just five seconds remaining in regulation. Bulldog head coach Sean Duff called a timeout with 1.7 seconds left, but Kastella’s long three point attempt was wayward and the game headed to overtime.
Silliker came up with the first basket in extra minutes, hitting a three from the wing before fouling out less than a minute later. Silliker finished with 22 points. Kastella led the rest of the way with six of his 26 points coming in overtime.
“This is huge, it’s so exciting,” Kastella said after the game. “Coming into senior night, playing a team you lost by 30 points to the last time and then to come out on top like this, it feels great.”
“This puts us in a good position,” Silliker added. “We’re going to start a run now.”
Saturday’s win was the first conference victory for Whitefish (6-10, 1-4), and the Bulldogs will have two chances to add Northwest A wins this week. Whitefish heads to Columbia Falls for what will likely be a heated rivalry game on Thursday, and the regular season will conclude with a game in Polson on Saturday.
Stevensville 8 18 20 22 — 68
Whitefish 15 11 16 10 — 52
STEVENSVILLE — Jarod Kingsbury 16, James Fry 16, Dalton Bragg 15, Chayse Richards 8, Gavlak 9, Alex Strada 4.
WHITEFISH — Derek Kastella 15, Sawyer Silliker 21, Ryan Kemm 2, Lee Walburn 12, Dillon Botner 2.
Frenchtown 18 9 17 16 5 — 65
Whitefish 7 15 18 20 10 — 70
FRENCHTOWN — Jacob Price 8, Brock Rugg 12, Cade Baker 3, Adam Botkin 26, Austin Means 16.
WHITEFISH — Derek Kastella 25, Murphy Wick 2, Sawyer Silliker 22, Ryan Kemm 7, Lee Walburn 5, Dillon Botner 9.