CHS boys grab southern B divisional title
Each Spring the swallows return to San Juan Capistrano.
Each Spring the Columbus Cougars return to the state tournament.
The swallows travel 6,000 miles from Argentina, guided by pure instinct. The Cougars negotiate the minefields of high school tournament basketball, guided by veteran Coach Paul Barta and his defense-first philosophy.
It was withering defense that led to the Cougars 56-41 win over Huntley Project in the southern B divisional title game, turning the tables on the Red Devils who had beaten Columbus 50-39 in the 4B title game two weeks prior.
Defense, and a timely game from junior Ryland Stampfel who hustled his way to a season-high 11 points including a first quarter 3-pointer and put-back that knotted the score at eight. The Cougars would never trail again, building a 22-14 halftime lead that grew to 39-21 after three quarters when Trey Ostrum converted a three-point play. The Devils cut the lead to
41-33 halfway through the fourth quarter but Columbus responded with a 12-0 run as Ostrum, Kade Osborne, Brady Exner and Jackson Booth combined to make 8-of-10 free throws down the stretch.
It was reserve guard Andrew Wells that provided the early spark in Friday’s 38-32 semifinal win against Big Timber, tying the game at 10 with a three at the end of the first quarter. Columbus held a small lead through the end of the third quarter, but Big Timber tied it at 26 to start the fourth. Stampfel’s hoop on a feed from Kade Osborne restored the Cougar lead at 28-26, and Osborne and brother Tanner took it from there, accounting for the Cougar’s final 10 points to secure the win.
The Osborne brothers provided the steady scoring throughout the tournament as Kade averaged 12.0 and Tanner 13.3. Junior Kiefer McKay scored only eight points in the final two games, but his 22 points against Colstrip, including 10 of the Cougars 11 third quarter points, led to a Columbus 60-49 win in the tournament opener.
The Colts pulled within six at 49-43 with three minutes remaining but the Cougars scored the next seven points to secure the win.
Columbus (20-4) opens the state tournament against Big Fork (22-2) who defeated the Cougars 71-62 in last year’s state championship game.
Colstrip 10 14 8 17 — 49
Columbus 15 15 11 19 — 60
Cols: Peyton Nansel 14, Vallen Spang 5, JC Lawrence 6, Rodney Studiner 2, Bryan Harris 5, Tritan Aberle 7, Zach Hull 10.
Colu: Kade Osborne 10, Kiefer McKay 22, Trey Ostrum 4, Tanner Osborne 16, Jackson Booth 3, Brady Exner 5.
Big Timber 10 6 8 8 — 32
Columbus 10 9 7 12 — 38
BT: Walker LaVoy 2, Brent Finn 12, Cody Hathaway 1, Ryan Morgan 5, Luke Rech 5, Drew Pike 7.
C: K. Osborne 15, McKay 4, T. Osborne 13, Ryland Stampfel 2, Andrew Wells 3, Exner 1.
Columbus 8 14 17 17 — 56
Huntley Project 8 6 7 20 — 41
C: K. Osborne 11, McKay 4, Trey Ostrum 8, Braden Marjerison 2, T. Osborne 11, Stampfel 11, Jackson Booth 2, Brady Exner 7.
HP: Dallas Mack 5, Matt Wurnig 1, Daylon Richard 3, Kaleb Reynolds 7, Yancey Fitch 4, Dustin Oblender 5, Michael Jobman 8, Bryce Peterson 2, Quincy Wittman 4, Kennan Reynolds 2.