Chelan Weiler scored a game-high 13 points and Ericka Ziegler collected 15 rebounds to lead Columbia High to a 59-24 non-league victory at Corbett, Ore., Monday.
"It's just one game; don't read anything more into it than that. We've still got a long way to go," Bruins Coach Mike Yarnell said. "But, overall, the effort, for a first game, was outstanding."
The Bruins built a 12-6 lead at the end of the first quarter and led their season-opener, 28-15, at halftime.
Yarnell said Columbia's key to victory was its defensive pressure.
"We made 35 steals with our 1-3-1 halfcourt trap," Yarnell noted. "Most of our offense was generated off the transition from defense."
Ziegler led the team with 11 steals, while Weiler had six and Shannon McNallan chipped in with five.
"We play an up-tempo style of basketball, and they played right into what we wanted to do," Yarnell said.
And even though they missed 18 layins on a night they shot 20 for 77 from the field, the Bruins compensated by getting to the free-throw line for 29 attempts; they made 18 (8 of 12 in the second quarter, 6 of 8 in the fourth).
Weiler was particularly sharp from the line, converting her final eight attempts to finish 9 for 10.
Moreover, Ziegler and Jenny Pulido, playing in new positions on offense (wing and post, respectively), added balance to the Bruins' scoresheet, tallying 11 points each.
Yarnell said the trio of Weiler, Ziegler and Pulido sparked Columbia offensively in the first half. Ziegler scored nine points in the first half, Pulido had eight and Weiler netted seven.
"We didn't do a very good job of running our halfcourt offense; that's something that needs some work," Yarnell said. "But, on the positive side, we got quite a few points off second-chance baskets. We had 22 offensive rebounds and outrebounded them, 35-23, altogether."
With the game in hand entering the fourth quarter, Yarnell gave four of his starters (Weiler, McNallan, Ziegler and Kelsey Kidd) the rest of the night off.
Doing so allowed him to play some of his first-year varsity players. Michelle McMillen responded to the extra PT by scoring five of her nine points in the final period.
Another big contributor off the CHS bench was Lacey Kruse. She provided six points, six rebounds and three steals in extended playing time.