Freeburg downs Columbia 59-53 in OT

Columbia’s Michael Hunsaker (34) Drives to the bucket with a host of Freeburg defenders clustered around him. (Alan Dooley photos)

The Columbia Eagles (15-14) and Freeburg Midgets (10-18) boys basketball teams played to a second regulation tie game in 10 days on Monday night. This time, the outcome was different, as Columbia fell 59-53 to Freeburg.

Both teams got off to slow starts in the regional game played at Waterloo High School, with the first quarter coming to an end with Freeburg up by three points, 10-7.

Columbia combined a stingy defense and a potent scoring punch in the second quarter to take a commanding 28-16 heading into the locker room at halftime.

But the fortunes completely reversed in the third quarter, as Freeburg scored 12 points while Columbia could only add two points, clinging to a 30-28 lead at quarter’s end.

Both teams battled hard in a physical contest to reach the end of regulation play with the score knotted at 44-44.

Freeburg came out hot in the four-minute overtime and quickly notched five points to take a 49-44 lead.  Columbia closed the gap a couple of times, but was never able to match Freeburg in overtime before finally going down, 59-53.

Columbia played shorthanded all night, with the absence of 6-foot-7 center Jacob Wessel, who reportedly was too ill to attend school Monday. Cole Foster took it upon himself to relieve the absence of Wessel. He had a double-double against the Midgets, putting up 16 points and crashing the boards for 12 rebounds. Eagles guard Michael Hunsaker stepped it up in the final game of his high school career, sinking 24 points with two steals.

Mark Sandstrom’s Columbia Eagles end their season at 15-14.

Freeburg now faces top-seeded Cahokia in Tuesday’s semifinal match at 6 p.m., which will be followed by Waterloo vs. Althoff Catholic at 7:30 p.m. in a No. 2 and 3 seed match up.

To view and purchase more photos from the game, visit the Republic-Times Media Store.

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