A 7-point closing run in the third quarter propelled Columbia High to a 56-45 1A Trico League girls basketball win over visiting Seton Prep last Thursday.
“The Bruins started strong and finished strong and showed a lot of grit in between,” Bruins Coach Don Struck said.
Sydney Aman led the way with 22 points and 12 re-bounds. Maggie Bryan had 10 points and 9 rebounds.
Mya Aman keyed the defense with 3 steals and 6 re-bounds, to go with 7 points. Keri Hylton contributed 8 re-bounds and 5 points.
The Bruins were down 31-30 with 2:23 left in the third quarter when they went on their game-changing run.
CHS made it 39-31 in the first half minute of the final period, then weathered the visitors’ comeback attempt.
The Cougars closed within 39-37 with 5:32 left but the Bruins kept attacking, too.
Columbia (1-1 in Trico, 8-4 overall) conserved a 3- to 5- point lead over the next 3 minutes, then pulled away by making its free throws.
The Bruins converted 11-of-26 free throws overall. The Cougars were 18 for 29 from the line.
CHS held Seton Prep’s top player, Jazmine Morgan, to one field goal but couldn’t keep her off the foul line: she sank 16 free throws.
“We had a defense plan for limiting her points off drives but we didn’t anticipate her on the free-throw line 25 times,” said Struck.
The Bruins jumped out to an 8-0 lead in the first 1:40 of play. The Cougars got on the scoreboard with a free throw at the 5:48 mark and it was game on after that.
Seton rallied to even the score at 13-13 with 1:13 left in the opening quarter. CHS got a late 3-pointer to retake the lead at 16-15.
The Cougars’ offense star-ted to click in the second period. Seton took the a 19-18 lead at 4:48 and pushed it to 23-18 with 54 second to go.
Turnovers slowed the Bruins in the second quarter. Not so in the third.
CHS scored 6 in a row at the outset of the second half to regain the lead at 26-23. Its advantage lasted 1:12. Seton tied things up at 26-26 with a 3-pointer at the 3:24 mark.
One more tie and two lead changes later the Bruins took charge.
The Cougars led 31-30 on a 3-pointer with 2:23 on the clock. The Bruins countered with a 7-point run that left them holding a 37-31 going into the last quarter.
CHS went up 39-31 in the first half minute but could not add on. Seton kept attacking and put together a 6-0 run to pull within 39-37 with 5:32 remaining.
The Bruins kept their composure against the Cougars’ full-court pressure defense and finished the job they started with their 8-0 opening run and 7-0 closing run in the third quarter.
At Stevenson 56, Columbia 43: The Bruins trailed at every quarter break on Jan. 7 in losing their Trico opener.
The host Bulldogs led 15-10 at the end of the first quarter and doubled that to 30-20 by halftime. They added on in the third quarter and led 47-30 going into the last 8 minutes of regulation.
The Bruins pulled within 6 midway through the fourth quarter but got no closer.
Struck said Stevenson’s “height advantage proved to be the difference.”
Stevenson outscored CHS 14-4 from the foul line on 11 more attempts and 12-9 from 3-point range.
Sydney Aman was the only Bruin to hit double-figures in scoring. She scored 13 to go with 4 rebounds.
Keri Hylton had 7 points and a team-best 13 rebounds. Maggie Bryan chipped in 6 points and 5 rebounds for Columbia, which lost for just the fourth time in 11 starts.