Columbia girls win second straight regional title

The Columbia High School girls basketball team poses with its regional title Thursday night in Cahokia after defeating Althoff. Pictured, front row, from left, are seniors Olivia Brower, Danielle Sellers and Samantha Floarke; second row: Regan Rippelmeyer, Kalli Farmer, Taryn Pena and Kaylee Bastien; back row: head coach Scott Germain, Jackie Baskett, Madelyne Juenger, Cheyanne Newland, Breanna Thoma, Catherine Barton, Claire Foster, Rachel Garcia, Claire Long, asst. coach Jason Buatte, and asst. coach Taylor Nickerson. (submitted photo)

The Columbia High School girls basketball team won its second straight regional title Thursday night, defeating Althoff to propel the Eagles into the Carbondale sectional.

Columbia faced sectional host Carbondale on Tuesday night. Carbondale won 58-46.

The Eagles (16-10) took a two-game winning streak into the Cahokia regionals last week and kept that momentum rolling all the way to the title.

Following a bye, Columbia battled Cahokia last Tuesday in the regional semifinals at Cahokia. It was a tight game right up to the final buzzer.

Cahokia jumped out to a three-point lead after one period, but Columbia cut the Comanches’ lead to just one at halftime, 27-26.

Trailing by three going into the final period, the Eagles stepped up their game. Kalli Farmer scored the most crucial point of the night on a free throw with 5.2 seconds on the clock to give the Eagles a one-point lead.

Cahokia tried to get down court and set up a possible winning shot, but Columbia’s Olivia Brower picked off a pass as time expired and the Eagles held on for the 49-48 win.

Three players scored 10 points each for the Eagles: Kaylee Bastien, Danielle Sellers and Cheyanne Newland.

Columbia faced off against Althoff in the championship game Thursday night with a trip to sectionals on the line.

Columbia slowly pulled away from the Crusaders through three periods, but Althoff would not go away quietly.

The Eagles held a 10-point lead late in the third, but Althoff climbed back into the game and eventually tied the score at 34 with just seven minutes to go.

Columbia gathered itself and went on a 7-0 run, then hit 12 of 14 free throws in the last two minutes to pull away, 56-40.

Columbia won the game at the free throw line, going 26-for-34.

Newland led the Eagles with 20 points on the night. Farmer added 9 points.

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