Columbus boys continue to win: Girls split two conference games
By Hub City Times staff
MARSHFIELD – The Columbus Dons boys basketball team continued winning as the first week of February came to a close.
On Feb. 8, the Dons won a makeup game with Owen-Withee, beating the Blackhawks at Columbus Catholic High School 68-45. The Dons grabbed a 35-18 halftime lead. Columbus was led in scoring by Bryce Fuerlinger with 22. Noah Taylor had 16. Ethan Meece scored 12. Jadon Neinast added 10.
Columbus followed that game up with a win versus Granton on Saturday, Feb. 9, beating the Bulldogs 99-42.
Meanwhile, the Columbus girls split a pair of Eastern Cloverbelt Conference road games. On Feb. 4, the Dons beat Greenwood 56-37 at Greenwood High School. Hailey Roehl led the Dons with 11 points. Annika Brown had 10 and Addie Baierl added nine. Head Coach Ron Wilczek thought his team started strong, but missed some easy shots.
“You know, the first half I thought we again came out to a really strong start,” he said. “We were focused, playing with energy; we were knocking down shots, built up a pretty nice lead early. But, give Greenwood credit. They battled back, and were really the more aggressive team I thought towards the latter part of the first half.
“Second half, we talked about how we can’t have lulls if we’re going to be successful from this point forward. I was really proud of the girls. I thought we played with even more energy second half, got our hands on some loose balls and, perhaps more importantly, we finished shots. Early in the first half, we had several easy baskets–some were even uncontested layups–that we missed, and we knocked those down in the second half. And, it’s been a challenge of ours all year long. We work on it in practice. I don’t know how bad it would be if we didn’t work on it in practice.”
Coming off the Greenwood win, the Dons lost a hard-fought battle with Loyal on Feb. 8 at Loyal High School. The Greyhounds won that contest 44-43 in overtime. The Dons held a one-point lead at halftime, and let an eight-point second half lead slip away, allowing the Greyhounds to tie the game at the end of regulation, then win it in overtime, outscoring the Dons in the extra frame 8-7.
Baierl led the Dons with 17 points, but she and Emmalee Jicinsky had two key turnovers late in the game. Roehl added 13 points for the Dons, who have earned a No. 5 seed in Division 5, and will host No. 12 Tigerton at Columbus Catholic High School in Marshfield in a D-5 Regional quarterfinal match-up Feb. 19 at 7 p.m.