The second annual “Pack the Place” event held at Columbia High School gave its fans two close games between rivals Waterloo and Columbia on Tuesday night.
The girls basketball teams took the floor first, producing a close one-point game.
The Lady Eagles (15-4) led the Bulldogs (6-8) the entire game, but let Waterloo get close in the final seconds. Columbia pulled through for the win, 49-48.
The Eagles’ ability to crash the boards and capitalize on open looks and lanes was the difference in the game. Columbia out-rebounded Waterloo 32-19, with the Eagles’ Savannah Wittenbrink coming up with a double-double on the night. The senior had 20 points, 14 rebounds, three blocks and three assists. Teammate Kaylee Bastien had 12 points and eight assists, while Erika Varel put up eight points and a team high-four steals.
Hope Elliot led the Bulldogs with 17 points, three assists and three steals. Erica Nevois had 16 points on 6-for-9 shooting on the night for Waterloo, while Mia Reed had eight points and a team-high seven rebounds.
Waterloo and Columbia met previously this season in the Gibault Candy Cane Classic, and Columbia came out on top, 41-26.Columbia’s Michael Hunsaker goes up for a jumper over Waterloo defender Rick Wiegand. (Teryn Schaefer photo)
The Columbia boys basketball team (9-6) started its game off against Waterloo (9-6) with a lead. Michael Hunsaker hit a wide open three-pointer to make it 9-4 with 3:50 to go in the first. The Eagles never looked back from there.
At the close of the first quarter, Hunsaker, who finished the contest with eight points and two steals, drained a shot with hands in his face as time expired. The Bulldogs would then be outscored 17-7 in the second quarter, going several minutes without making a basket.
Waterloo began to press Columbia hard in the second quarter once they began to get shots to drop, but the Eagles’ zone defense was just too much for the ‘Dogs to overcome.
A steal by Waterloo’s Daniel Gardner and an assist to Zack Schaab (six points) on a layup helped the Bulldogs gain momentum going into the final quarter, 34-27.
Just when it seemed the game was out of reach, Waterloo’s Justin Kretchmer (six points) made a short bucket with 45 seconds remaining, putting his team within four points.
But that wouldn’t be enough, and the Eagles would get the ‘W’, winning, 46-40.
Point guard Adam Babb led Columbia with 11 points, while teammate Jacob Wessel had 10 points and nine rebounds. Meanwhile, Waterloo’s Shane Lenhardt led his team with 15 points, followed by Jared Lengacher’s seven points.
Columbia and Waterloo met just two weeks ago in the Freeburg/Columbia Holiday Tournament, with Waterloo going home with a 33-28 victory. Last year, Waterloo won the first “Pack the Place” event held at WHS.
Click here, to view more photos from the game.Columbia fans, along with basketball player Calli Germain, cheer on their team. (Teryn Schaefer photos) Waterloo fans show their spirit by painting their favorite player’s number on themselves.