Columbus boys rebound to win 2 in a row Lady Cougars go 1-1

Lady Cougars go 1-1
Doreen Stockdale
Thursday, February 6, 2020
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       Cougar Reece Hogstad on the way to his dunk shot.

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       Cougar Payton West.

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                Cougar Ricky Preece.

The Columbus Cougars rebounded from a tough few games last week to rack up two more wins at home, improving the squad’s overall record to 10-4 and its conference record to 7-1.

First was a non-conference battle the against the Big Timber Sheepherders. Both teams had a well-matched, high scoring first quarter with Columbus netting 15 points and the Herders tallying 19. Neither team slowed down in the second quarter, with Big Timber in the lead going into halftime with a score of 31-28.

The Cougars came out slow in the third quarter, only adding eight points to the Herders 16. Columbus pulled it together and rallied in the fourth quarter, holding Big Timber to only two points and grabbing the win with a final score of 52-49.

Senior Reece Hogstad had a run-away slam dunk that made it on the Q2 top five Montana High School Basketball plays of the week.

Senior Trey Stampfel led the team with 15 points, eight rebounds, one assist and six steals.

“Big Timber proved to be a great game,” said Cougar coach Mark Crago. “While we struggled at times, we found ways to keep ourselves in it. We played a really good last four minutes of the game. Being down 11 in the fourth quarter and winning is huge, but our defense rose to the occasion and held Big Timber to only two points.”

Columbus next faced Joliet for a conference match-up. The Cougars started well scoring 16 points in the first quarter, three more than the J-Hawks. Each team scored 10 points in the second quarter and Columbus carried the lead into halftime with a score of 26-23. The Cougars did not back down in the third quarter, adding another 17 points, to Joliet’s 10. Columbus once again held its opponent to only two points in the fourth quarter and pulled away for a nice victory of 59-35.

Stampfel and sophomore Colby Martinez each scored 15 points, while senior Ricki Preece added another 12 points to support with the Cougar win.

“Due to Reece Hogstad’s dunk in the Big Timber game, it was Hawaiian shirt night on Friday against Joliet,” said Crago, who wore a Hawaiian shirt to coach in against Joliet. “The first half was a lot of back and forth, before we finally got into a rhythm and played some solid defense. Some good passing and shot selection allowed us to pull away and get another great conference win.”

The Lady Cougars spilt with week starting with a close game against the undefeated Big Timber Lady Sheepherders. Big Timber dominated the Cougars in the first quarter, racking up 15 points to Columbus’ 5. The Cougars matched the Herders in the second quarter but were unable to gain any ground and went into halftime behind 27-16. Both teams had a slow third quarter with Big Timber scoring only nine points and the Cougars adding seven points. In the fourth quarter, Columbus was able to cut the lead to just two points, but the Herders rallied and finished the game on top with a final score of 49-40.

Junior Brooklyn Wyllie led the Lady Cougars with 15 points.

“It just took us a little too long to get going in the Big Timber game,” said Lady Cougars coach Jeromey Burke. “I was really proud that the girls stuck together and fought back but without Liz Lorash (sick) Sawyer Wiggs (injury) out and Kodi Obert (injury) working her way back, we just kind of ran out of gas I think. Molly Hamilton and Hannah Obert continue to look more and more comfortable on the floor which is a great thing for our depth.”

The Lady Cougars dominated the game against the Joliet Lady J-Hawks. Columbus held Joliet to single-digit scores in every quarter, outscoring them 10-6 in the first, 15-5 in the second, 11-4 in the third and 13-2 in the fourth quarter. The final score was 49-17. The Lady Cougars now have a 9-5 overall record and are 7-0 in conference games.

Senior Brenna Rouane had a solid game with nine points and five steals, and Molly Hamilton scored nine points, all on 3-point shots and had three steals.

“We rebounded well from the Big Timber game and played very hard against Joliet,” said Burke. “I was happy to see some girls step up. We finally started to work Sawyer Wiggs back into the flow of things.”