Columbia High scored a season-low 24 points and committed 24 turnovers last Thursday in losing a SWW 1A Trico Division girls basketball game at Castle Rock by 19 points.
Lacey Kruse, who received double and triple coverage from Castle Rock’s defense, led the Bruins in scoring with eight points. Michelle McMillen had six and Laurel Huth added five for CHS (2-4 Trico, 9-7 overall).
Action-wise, the defensive-minded game unfolded slowly in the first quarter, with each team putting in six points.
But in the second, the host Rockets (4-2, 9-4) put some distance between them and the Bruins. Castle Rock doubled its first-quarter output and held Columbia to one point to build an 18-7 halftime advantage.
The Rockets added to their lead in the third quarter by outscoring the Bruins, 14-11.
An 11-6 fourth quarter in its favor helped Castle Rock secure its hold on third place in Trico standings and complete its sweep of its season series with Columbia.
Trico-leading Ilwaco (6-0, 11-5) began the second half of conference play last Friday by dispatching Stevenson (0-6, 3-11) in Ilwaco, 68-24.
In other action, second-place La Center (5-1, 10-4) routed Kalama (1-5, 1-12), 78-24.
With four games remaining in the regular season as of Tuesday, Ilwaco, La Center and Castle Rock are the front-runners to take the Trico Division’s three automatic Southwest District Class 1A tournament berths.
The Trico’s fourth-place team must play the SWW 1A Evergreen Division’s fifth-place team for the final spot in the eight-team district field.
Entering Tuesday’s games, Columbia had a tenuous hold on the fourth spot, leading Kalama by just a game in the standings and rival Stevenson by two games.
The Bruins can clinch fourth place (and a berth in the district play-in game) by defeating Kalama here tonight and Stevenson there next Tuesday.
CHS concludes regular-season play on Friday the 13th at Ilwaco.