A nine-point run in a two-minute span of the fourth quarter propelled La Center to a league standings-altering 49-44 victory over Columbia High here last Friday.
With the win, the Wildcats vaulted into sole possession of first place in the SWW 1A League’s Trico Division at 5-0. The loss dropped the Bruins a game back at 4-1.
The game—a back-and-forth affair through three quarters of play—turned in La Center’s favor with just over 4 minutes remaining.
After CHS’s Laurel Huth converted two free throws to tie the score at 36-all with 4:15 to play, Hannah Trigg of La Center scored off a backdoor cut on the ensuing possession.
She also put in the next seven points—two as the cutter off a high-post screen, three on a basket and a free throw, and two off a steal—as La Center swelled its lead to 45-36 with 2:06 left.
The closest Columbia got after that was 47-44 with 28 seconds to play on a free throw by Ericka Ziegler, who finished with 11 points and a game-high 23 rebounds.
Scoring honors in the game, however, went to Trigg, who rescued her team from defeat by shooting for 11 of her 19 points in the fourth quarter.
Columbia, which enjoyed its last lead of the night at 28-27 with 42 seconds to go in the third quarter, was led by Shannon McNallan, who tallied a season-high 13 points.
McNallan and Ziegler both scored five points in the first half to help the Bruins establish a 20-15 advantage.
Bit by bit, however, the momentum slipped away from Columbia in the third quarter. By the end of the period it had shifted to La Center, which regained the lead on a 3-pointer by Shay Cheeseman that came with four ticks on the clock.
Early in the final stanza, though, it was still anybody’s game. CHS’s Adrianne DeLay hit a 3-pointer at the 6:27 mark to tie score at 32 and less than a minute later Lacey Kruse scored on a putback to make it 34-34.
But down the stretch, Columbia had no answer defensively for Trigg, who stepped up her scoring after teammate Lauren Baker went to the bench with her 14 points and five fouls.
Another factor in the outcome was free-throw shooting. CHS missed 5-of-9 tries from the foul line in the fourth quarter and 13 of 25 overall.
At Columbia High 60, Kalama 27: Ericka Ziegler had 16 points and 18 rebounds to lead the Bruins to a Trico Division victory over the Chinooks last Wednesday.
Columbia blew the game open in the second quarter, outscoring Kalama by a 23-3 margin. The offensive outburst left the Bruins in control at halftime, 35-10.
Lacey Kruse paced CHS at the offensive end in the first half, putting in 10 points before the intermission. She finished with 14 points and eight rebounds.
Adrianne DeLay added eight points, four assists and four steals, and Shannon McNallan chipped in six points, four rebounds and five steals.