A high flying 5-0 Lady Eagles basketball team was brought back to earth Monday night when they went down, 46-37, to a tough Lady Musketeers squad in Red Bud.
“I am very pleased with (Monday) night’s effort,” Musketeers girls basketball coach Janelle Pfeiffer said. “We were able to contain (Savannah) Wittenbrink and (Erika) Varel, who are their team leaders and big offensive threats.
“I thought we played very good help defense in stretches to get some stops that were a must.
“And we also made some key free throws down the stretch.”
The Musketeers took an early lead, and although Columbia led them a couple of times in the third quarter, they hung tough, pulling away in the fourth to even their season record at 3-3.
“We have got to become more balanced on the offensive end,” Columbia girls basketball coach Scott Germain explained. We have to do a better job of slowing the game down and recognizing what the defense is giving us. We cannot be a one dimensional team and everyone must do their job when on the floor.”
Red Bud guard Ali Ringering was the noticeable leader on the floor for the Musketeers. She scored a game-high 27 points, with five steals and went 9-for-12 from the free throw line.
“(Ringering) is a huge part of our success and I’m glad she is just a junior,” Pfeiffer said. “She was the difference maker in the game, forcing lots of turnovers and always being in the right position in our help defense.”
Grace Richards had eight points on the night for the Musketeers and eight rebounds.
Columbia’s Savannah Wittenbrink had an impressive double-double against Red Bud, scoring 19 points and crashing the boards for 11 rebounds.
Erika Varel was just shy of charting a second Columbia double-double. She had nine points for the Eagles with nine rebounds.
Columbia now must bounce back and face conference rival Breese Central on the road Thursday.
“Central is the four-time defending conference champions and they bring their ‘A’ game every time they step on the floor. Our girls will be ready to play and I expect a great game,” Germain said, adding that Central is also coming off a tough loss to cross-town rival Mater Dei.
Red Bud will play Gibault on Wednesday and will go on the road against Wesclin on Thursday.
In other girls basketball news…
Waterloo (2-4) fell to Mascoutah, 44-30, on Monday night, while Valmeyer (1-3) also suffered a loss to New Athens, 31-15.
Gibault (5-2) faced Okawville on the road Tuesday night. Results were not available by press-time.