Dons girls earn trip to Division 5 regional, boys head into regional quarterfinal
By Hub City Times staff
MARSHFIELD – The Columbus Dons girls basketball team scored a big postseason win at Rosholt on Feb. 22, beating the Hornets 53-37 in a Division 5 regional semifinal contest at Rosholt High School. Columbus grabbed a 32-15 halftime lead to withstand a 22-21 Rosholt run in the second half.
After the game, Columbus Catholic Coach Ron Wilczek said, “That’s what it’s about this time of year; finding a way to win, and we did that. The last three games we’ve been focused and doing our jobs and executing and building leads, and then it’s human nature–the opposing team not quitting, it’s us losing a little bit of focus, and we started turning the ball over too many times on offense, so we stopped doing our jobs like closing out or allowing baseline drives and they ended up getting some easy baskets. I ended up calling a timeout and kind of reminding them the importance of being focused and doing those things, and we were able to stem the tide and bring that margin of victory to what it was to end the game.”
Addie Baierl led Columbus with 12 points. Hailey Roehl and Katie Hall each had 11. Coach Wilczek also got 10 key first-half points from Emmalee Jicinsky and Meghan Kibbel off the bench.
“They were huge,” he said. “We had Anni Brown in foul trouble and Addie Baierl in foul trouble, and those two sophomores came in and did just a wonderful job on both ends of the court. I mean, they competed, they defended, they rebounded, they scored; really just a huge contribution from those two young ladies. They really improved a lot during the year. They’ve been buying in and working hard going against seniors and juniors, and you’re going to get better sooner or later, and they’re getting better at the right time of the season.”
Jicinsky and Kibbel each finished the game with six points. Maren Seefluth added six points as well.
The Dons earned a trip to the Division 5 regional championship game played Monday, Feb. 25 against Wausau Newman.
Meanwhile, the Columbus Dons boys’ basketball team entered postseason play coming off just its second loss of the season. The Dons lost to Osseo-Fairchild 80-64 on Feb. 23 in a Cloverbelt Conference Crossover Championship game played at Neillsville High School. The Dons were down by 16 at halftime, and could get no closer in the second half, as both teams scored 36 after the break.
After the game, Columbus Dons Head Coach Joe Konieczny said, “We didn’t play well. I think you give Osseo-Fairchild a lot of credit. We didn’t handle their physical play well at all. It made us stagnant offensively. We stood around a lot. We had trouble getting the ball inside to Bryce (Fuerlinger), ended up taking some quick shots that were contested, and just got beat on both ends. The analogy we used is boxing. I thought they sprinted to the center of the ring and started swinging, and we were back on our heels for at least 4-5 minutes (at the start of the game).”
Noah Taylor led Columbus with 18 points. Jarred Mandel had 14 points, giving him 819 for his Columbus career, placing him 13th in all-time school history. Ethan Meece dropped in 13 points. Fuerlinger added 12 points and grabbed 12 rebounds.
Columbus defeated the Osseo-Fairchild Thunder in the same game a season ago, 72-60. The Dons dropped to 20-2 on the season with the loss, heading into a Feb. 26 matchup with Tri-County in a Division 5 regional quarterfinal game played at Columbus Catholic High School in Marshfield.