Only one local girls basketball team was still standing entering play Tuesday night as Columbia won its first round regional contest and both Waterloo and Gibault suffered season-ending defeats.
For Waterloo, Monday’s regional loss to Freeburg also marked the end for head coach Matt Lucash, who is stepping down after 11 seasons.
The young Bulldogs squad trailed 26-10 after one quarter at Freeburg and finished with a 69-33 loss. Waterloo (4-21) shot just 29 percent from the floor.
Heather Albers led the ‘Dogs with 12 points.
Waterloo also lost to Freeburg on Saturday, 51-24, in what was Lucash’s final home game as head coach.
The Bulldogs did pull off a 49-42 victory over Triad at home Thursday on senior night, giving Lucash one last positive memory.
Senior Sydney Luedeman poured in a season-high 29 points in the win. She led the team in scoring this season at 10.3 points per game.
“I was very proud of my team pulling together that night,” Lucash said. “We showed a lot of effort and character.”
Waterloo started a lineup of four inexperienced players this season plus a bench consisting of six players with no prior varsity experience.
“We worked hard to come together as a team to try to win games,” he said.
Lucash said he has young children of his own that are entering the period of life when they want their parents more involved.
“I plan on taking some time to do that,” he said. “We will see what the future holds for me. Until then, I will cherish the memories all my former players have helped create.”
Columbia closed out its regular season in style, blasting Centralia, 53-23, at home on senior night. Senior Whitney Edwards led the way with 21 points, 10 rebounds and five steals.
The Eagles (17-10) opened Class 3A Freeburg Regional play Monday night with a 50-41 win over Mascoutah.
The game was tied 16-16 at halftime, but Columbia put together a strong second half to emerge victorious.
Edwards again led the way with 16 points and 16 rebounds. Sophia Bonaldi and Aryn Henke each scored 10 points.
Columbia battled top seed Breese Central on Tuesday for a berth in Thursday’s regional title game. The result was not known at press time.
In other girls hoops action, Gibault (13-11) ended its season with a 54-19 loss last Wednesday night to Christ Our Rock at the Class 1A Okawville Regional.
The Hawks trailed 27-6 at halftime and couldn’t muster enough offense for a comeback.
Gibault returns multiple key players next season, including freshman Maddie Davis and sophomore Ashlyn Wightman.
Davis averaged 11 points, nearly five rebounds and 2.6 steals per game from the point guard position.
Wightman, a 6-foot-tall center, had a monster season for the Hawks, averaging 12.3 points, 10 rebounds and nearly six blocked shots per game.