Lacey Kruse poured 21 points, collected 11 rebounds and made four steals Monday to key Columbia High's 31-24 season-opening girls basketball win at Washougal.
Kruse, one of three senior starters, netted nine points in the first half of the non-league contest as the Bruins mounted a 19-14 lead by the end of the second quarter.
The 5-11 center continued to be Columbia's main offensive threat after the intermission, tallying all 12 of her team's points, including eight in the third quarter, when CHS built its biggest lead of the game at 27-15.
Senior guard Michelle McMillen added six points, seven steals and three assists; junior Adrianne DeLay posted three points, six steals and three assists; and sophomore guard Laurel Huth chipped in one point and two steals on a night Bruins Coach Mike Yarnell went with a tight rotation of just seven players.
The seven combined for a defensive effort that limited Washougal to 10 field goals and 13 attempts from the free-throw line, and created 20 steals.
Those steals gave the Bruins the extra possessions they needed to offset their own 24 turnovers, a 2-for-14 effort from the line and the Panthers' 36-25 rebounding advantage.
Columbia High plays its home opener next Tuesday, Dec. 9, against Dufur, Ore., in the first game of a varsity double-header in Miller Memorial Gym. Tip off is scheduled for 5:45 p.m.
The Bruins managed three offensive rebounds--two by Kruse, one by DeLay--but passed for nine assists in their game against the Panthers...
Freshmen Aleigha Rude and Taryn Struck made their varsity debuts Monday; they combined for three rebounds, one steal and one turnover off the bench...Senior starting guard Rachel Connolly accounted for two assists and two rebounds.