Dons boys end rare losing streak
By Hub City Times staff
OWEN-WITHEE – The Columbus Dons boys basketball team lost three games in each of the last three seasons. On Dec. 20, at Owen-Withee High School, Columbus ended a three-game losing streak, by beating the Blackhawks, 73-58, for just their third win so far this season.
“I thought our boys played pretty well,” Head Coach Joe Konieczny said of his Dons afterward. “I thought our pressure got to them mid first half through the rest of the game. They’re very well coached, and played that 1-2-2 (zone defense), and it bothered us at times. Aaron Ovyn got loose for four open ‘threes’, which really kept them within 10-15 points. We’re really happy to come here and get a win. Any time you come to Owen-Withee and win, it’s something to be proud of.”
Columbus led 31-19 at halftime, but the Blackhawks cut into that lead after Ovyn scored 11 points in the first 3:30 of the second half, including nine off a trio of three-point shots.
“Two of those were really deep. Tip your hat. He hit some really nice shots,” Konieczny added. “We did lose him a few times, and we gave him too many second chances, but overall we stayed out of foul trouble for the most part. A few guys got two in the first half. Eden Jacobson was able to stay on the floor, which was huge for us from a rebounding standpoint. I thought we had some really nice efforts out of Gage Stratman defensively, and some other guys who played a little bit more physical and got on loose balls and did some little things that maybe we’ve lacked in some of these close losses.”
Tom Nystrom led the Dons with 23 points – 15 of those coming off of five three-pointers. Jadon Nienast added 18 points, including eight-for-eight from the foul line. Jacobson had 10 for Columbus, which improved to 3-4 overall and 2-1 in the Eastern Cloverbelt Conference.
The win was the 12th in a row by Columbus over Owen-Withee, dating back to 2014. The Dons lead the overall series with the Blackhawks, 23-3, going back to 1988.
Columbus will host Gilman on Jan. 7, followed by a game at Greenwood with the Indians on Jan. 10.