Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Brady Exner chases down a ball.Kade Osborne goes in for a lay-up.Brady Exner pulls down a rebound.The Lady Cougars and other fans cheer on the boys.Kade OsborneKiefer McKay.Kiefer McKay .Ryland Stampfel.Tanner Osborne reaches for lay-up.Trey Ostrum.

Cougar boys grab 4th place at state

No state title. No trophy case hardware - although the Columbus Cougar boys came within a whisker of a 3rd place finish.
Just a great state tournament effort by a well-coached Paul Barta team as the high school basketball season wound down in Great Falls over the weekend.
The boys won 22 games under Barta, who, combined with the Cougar girls 19 wins, led his teams to a remarkable 41 victories this season. The Columbus boys dropped their Thursday opener then fought their way through the loser bracket to compete for 3rd place on Saturday night against an explosive Rocky Boy team. And what a game it was.
The start could not have gone worse for Columbus. Kade Osborne picked up three first quarter fouls and the Cougars were staring at a 30-16 deficit early in the 2nd against a Northern Star team that could do no wrong. When Tanner Osborne joined his brother on the bench with three fouls in the second quarter, things looked rather bleak.
But Kade Osborne returned in the third and nailed a jumper and the Cougars launched an 18-3 third quarter run fueled by Osborne, Kiefer McKay and Trey Ostrum baskets, and the inside work of Tanner Osborne. Junior Ryland Stampfel hit two free throws then sank a three and the Cougars had their first lead at 45-43 early in the fourth. Tanner Osborne, who had the unenviable job of guarding 6-foot-6-inch Northern Star leviathan Cecil LeFromboise in the paint all night, scored the last of his game-high 19 points at the two-minute mark to pull the Cougars within 54-55 with 90 seconds left, but committed his fifth foul and went to the bench.
Senior Brady Exner promptly took in the slack, hitting a jumper, then blowing past LeFromboise for a layup to put Columbus up 58-57. But Rocky Boy hit a free throw and the game went into overtime.
Stampfel scored to tie the game at 60, but the Stars always seemed to answer, sticking mid-range jump shots in response. Ostrum scored the Cougars final seven points of the first overtime on driving layups and foul shots for a 67-67 tie and when Mckay - who had a larcenous 19 steals in the tournament - swiped the ball with four seconds left and streaked downcourt it looked like he might deliver the coup de grace. But - judging there was not enough time to get to the rim - McKay pulled up and his 16-foot jumper bounced off.
Rocky Boy quickly grabbed a 71-67 lead in the second overtime but Stampfel’s offensive rebound cut it to 71-69. The deficit was again two when Exner hit another jumper with 43 seconds left, and Ostrum’s offensive rebound tied it at 76 with 18 seconds left.
With time expiring, the Cougars forced a Rocky Boy jumper to miss but LeFromboise was there to stick it back in with two seconds left. It was the second game winner of the tournament for the massive Northern Star who tossed in old-school hook shots with uncanny accuracy throughout the tournament. LeFromboise’s other game-winner was a half-court heave on Friday that tore the hearts out of the Big Timber Herders 53-52.
But the Cougars were not quite finished. Following a timeout, a well-executed long pass from the baseline found Ostrum deep in the left corner but the senior point guard - who led the team in scoring and assists in the tournament - could not sink the hurried game tying shot and Columbus fell short 78-76.
The tourney opener was a rematch of the 2014 state championship game against Big Fork and the score was knotted at 24 when McKay opened the second half by converting an alley-oop from Kade Osborne. But the Vikings scored the game’s next 10 points and, despite forging a tie at 37 all late in the third, Columbus could not get a lead. Ostrum’s three with 45 seconds remaining cut the Big Fork lead to 52-50 and brothers Kade and Tanner Osborne both had great looks in the last ten seconds, but the Vikings prevailed 53-50.
The boys recovered Friday morning by vaulting out to a 23-9 first quarter lead against St. Labre on their way to an 85-57 laugher.
Saturday morning Columbus faced old nemesis Huntley Project to get into the consolation game.
Exner sank a jumper, and Tanner Osborne scored inside for a quick 4-0 Cougar lead but the Devils held narrow leads for much of the second half. But McKay’s constant harassment of Huntley point guard Kaleb Reynolds began to bear fruit and his steal late in the 4th led to a three-point play by Ostrum and a 39-37 lead. After two Project free throws, Ostrum hit two with 48 seconds left for a 41-39 lead and Tanner Osborne forced a jump ball. The Cougars owned the possession and Osborne threw a homerun ball from the baseline to a streaking McKay who laid in the game clincher as Columbus prevailed 44-39.
Ostrum’s 17.5 points and 4.2 assists per game were complemented by Tanner Osborne’s team-leading 8.0 rebounds per game.

Bigfork  11  13  16  13 —  53
Columbus 13  9  16  12 —  50
B:  Adam Jordt 3-5 1-2 7, Joseph Potkonjak 1-2 0-1 2, Isaac Martel 5-9 0-0 11, Tyler Piazzola 3-4 1-2 7, Jonathan Landon 2-5 2-2 8, Josh Sandry 5-14 3-8 13, Ryder Trent 2-5 0-1 5. Totals: 21-44 7-16 53. 3-point goals: 4-13 (Jordt 0-1, Potkonjak 0-1, Martel 1-3, Landon 2-3, Sandry 0-2, Trent 1-3). Rebounds 30 (Landon 10). Assists 14 (Martel 5). Steals 8 (Martel 3). Blocks 1 (Piazzola). Total fouls: 18. Fouled out: none.
C:  Kade Osborne 1-8 2-5 4, Kiefer McKay 9-13 0-0 19, Trey Ostrum 4-10 2-2 11, Tanner Osborne 5-14 2-3 12, Ryland Stampfel 0-4 2-2 2, Brady Exner 1-1 0-0 2. Totals: 20-50 8-12 50. 3-point goals: 2-12 (K. Osborne 0-3, McKay 1-1, Ostrum 1-5, T. Osborne 0-1, Stampfel 0-2). Rebounds 27 (Stampfel, T. Osborne 9). Assists 13 (Ostrum 5). Steals 10 (McKay 8). Blocks 1 (T. Osborne). Total fouls: 18. Fouled out: none. 

Columbus  28  15  20  22 —  85
St. Labre  10  11  16  20 — 57 
C:  Kade Osborne 6-11 0-0 12, Kiefer McKay 8-11 7-8 23, Trey Ostrum 8-11 6-8 25, Braden Marjerison 2-2 0-0 4, Tanner Osborne 7-10 0-0 15, Ryland Stampel 1-1 0-1 2, Andrew Wells 1-2 1-3 3, Jackson Booth 0-4 0-0 0, Jace Aumueller 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 33-57 15-21 85.3-point goals: 4-9 (Kade Osborne 0-1, Ostrum 3-6, Tanner Osborne 1-1, Jackson Booth 0-1). Rebounds 35 (Tanner Osborne 12). Total fouls: 14. Fouled out: none. 
SL:  Virgil McCormick 2-11 0-1 4, Micah Frasier 0-1 1-2 1, Wally Three Irons 0-3 0-0 0, Brett Pretty On Top 2-3 0-0 5, Dallen Barlett 2-7 0-0 5, Patrick Frasier 1-2 0-0 2, Xavier Little Head 3-6 1-2 7, Jomiah Black Eagle 1-2 0-0 2, Victor Yarlott 8-15 1-2 18, Levi Haugen 0-0 1-2 1, Cyle Black Eagle 0-1 0-0 0, Jediah Plain Bull 6-9 0-0 12. Totals: 25-60 4-9 57. 3-point goals: 3-17 (McCormick 0-5, Pretty On Top 1-2, Barlett 1-2, Frasier 0-1, Little Head 0-3, Yarlott 1-4). Rebounds 24 (Little Head 6). Total fouls: 14. Fouled out: none. 

Columbus  8 12  8  16  — 44 
Huntley Project  12  7  13  7 —  39
C:  Kade Osborne 1-6 1-2 3, Kiefer McKay 2-6 0-0 4, Trey Ostrum 4-9 9-11 17, Braden Marjerison 0-0 0-0 0, Tanner Osborne 4-10 2-6 10, Mason Johnston 0-0 0-0 0, Ryland Stampfel 0-0 0-0 0, Andrew Wells 0-0 0-0 0, Brady Exner 4-9 2-2 10. Totals: 15-40 14-21 44. 3-point: 0-8 (K. Osborne 0-2, McKay 0-3, Ostrum 0-3).  Rebounds 20 (T. Osborne 7). Assists 12 (McKay 4). Steals 9 (McKay, T. Osborne 3). Blocks 1 (K. Osborne). Turnovers 8. Total fouls: 14. Fouled out: none. 
HP:  Breyden Rose 0-2 0-0 0, Dallas Mack 1-1 2-2 4, Kaleb Reynolds 2-8 3-4 7, Yancey Fitch 1-4 0-0 3, Dustin Oblender 2-5 0-0 4, Michael Jobman 2-7 0-0 4, Quincey Wittman 7-12 3-5 17. Totals: 15-39 8-11 39. 3-point goals: 1-6 (Reynolds 0-2, Fitch 1-3, Oblender 0-1). Rebounds 30 (Wittman 7). Assists 12 (Reynolds 4). Steals 3 (Mack, Reynolds, Wittman). Blocks 1 (Fitch). Turnovers 15. Total fouls: 17. Fouled out: none. 

Rocky Boy  23  13  7  15  9  11 — 78
Columbus  13  12  15  18  9 9 —76 
RB:  Bubby Gopher 3-7 2-4 11, Isiah Murie 0-2 0-0 0, Skylar Parisian 1-5 1-3 3, Jr. DayChild 4-7 2-2 10, Shadow Laforge 3-5 1-2 8, Jarrell Gopher 1-1 0-0 3, Lance Parker 1-2 1-2 3, Lonnie Plain Bull Jr. 11-14 2-2 27, Colen Shane 0-1 0-0 0, Cecil Lafromboise 7-9 0-1 14. Totals: 31-53 9-16 78. 3-point goals: 7-12 (B. Gopher 3-5, LaForge 1-2, Plain Bull 3-5). Rebounds 37 (Lafromboise 9). Assists 25 (Parisian 9). Steals 7 (Parisian, Laforge 2). Blocks 10 (Shane 5). Turnovers 24. Total fouls: 21. Fouled out: none. 
C:  Kade Osborne 3-6 1-2 9, Kiefer McKay 4-13 4-4 12, Trey Ostrum 5-14 6-10 17, Tanner Osborne 6-18 7-10 19, Ryland Stampfel 4-7 2-2 11, Andrew Wells 0-1 0-0 0, Jackson Booth 0-0 0-0 0, Brady Exner 3-7 0-0 6, Jack Fray 1-3 0-0 2. Totals: 26-69 20-28 76. 3-point goals: 4-15 (K. Osborne 2-2, McKay 0-2, Ostrum 1-4, T. Osborne 0-3, Stampfel 1-3, Exner 0-1). Rebounds 29 (T. Osborne 7). Assists 12 (McKay 4). Steals 16 (Ostrum 6). Blocks 2 (K. Osborne, T. Osborne). Turnovers 13. Total fouls: 17. Fouled out: T. Osborne).