Chelan Weiler had 10 points and six steals and Columbia High wore host Stevenson down last Friday to earn its first Trico Division victory of the season, 34-21.
"It wasn't pretty but it's a win," Bruins Coach Mike Yarnell said of CHS's victorious effort.
Pressure defense and rebounding provided the keys for the Bruins (1-1 in Trico, 6-4 overall), who limited the Bulldogs to six field goals, recorded 23 steals (out of 35 Stevenson turnovers) and won the rebound battle 41-22.
"Our defense looked really good and we had 24 offensive rebounds," Yarnell noted, "so we got a lot of good looks at the basket. But we just could not put the ball in the hoop with any consistency."
Still, the Bruins were in control at every break in play.
Weiler and Jenny Pulido each scored four points in the first quarter to help Columbia establish an 8-7 lead.
In the second, Lacey Kruse scored four points as CHS pulled out to a 17-11 halftime advantage. Columbia's lead after three quarters of play was 24-16.
Ericka Ziegler scored four points and Weiler, Kruse and Michelle McMillen each put in two in the fourth quarter to keep the Bruins in front.
The Bruins prevailed on a night that the Bulldogs' best player, 6-foot senior center Rylee Walker, was unavailable. Columbia took advantage of Walker's absence by dominating the backboards.
Kelsey Kidd pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds, including 11 on the offensive glass. Pulido added 10 rebounds, and Kruse and Ziegler each collected eight.
Moreover, Kruse made her presence felt defensively by blocking "at least five shots," Yarnell said.
All in all, Yarnell pronounced CHS's performance "a good effort."
"We've still got some work to do," he continued. "We missed 17 layins and were only 8 for 19 from the foul line."
In particular, Yarnell observed, the Bruins have to be more disciplined when transitioning from defense to offense.
"We've kind of created this monster where we put all this energy into the defense, and when we get the ball back, we tend to force things," Yarnell said. "We have to learn when to let up, when to slow down and be in control when we transfer that energy from defense to offense."
Castle Rock 47, at Columbia 45:
The Bruins' fourth-quarter rally Jan. 2 came up short and the Rockets escaped with their third Trico win of the season.
"We had a good look at the end but the shot (that could have tied the score) just didn't go down," Bruins Coach Mike Yarnell said.
Columbia trailed 31-18 at halftime and 42-29 after three quarters but outscored Castle Rock 16-5 in the fourth to pull within 47-45.
Jenny Pulido and Ericka Ziegler each scored six points, and Chelan (Chani) Weiler had four in the last frame to spark the CHS comeback.
"We played really well in the fourth quarter," Yarnell noted. "The girls would not give up."
Castle Rock built its 13-point bulge, in part, with second-chance baskets.
Columbia did a better job of defending the perimeter and boxing out under the baskets in the fourth quarter, however.
Moreover, the Bruins took better care of the basketball in their transition from defense to offense.
"Chani and Ericka pushed the ball up the court really well, and Pulido played really well inside," Yarnell said. "The keys were, we cut down on our turnovers and shot the ball better."
Pulido finished with a career-high 18 points, Ziegler tallied 15 and Weiler added eight.
On the minus side, the Bruins shot just 5 for 16 from the foul line, including a 1-for-7 effort in the second half.