Columbia, Red Bud advance to postseason championships

Columbia’s Kaylee Bastien pulls up for a shot in Tuesday’s regional semifinal win over Cahokia. (Teryn Schaefer photo)

The Columbia High School girls basketball team is on track to reach its goals this season.

Tuesday night, the Lady Eagles posted their 20th win of the season and advanced to the IHSA Columbia Regional Championships.

The Eagles took down Cahokia, 50-40, in a fairly straight forward contest for Columbia. The night before, Waterloo struggled to keep up with the size and speed of the Comanches. But it seemed to be a welcomed challenge for the Eagles — especially guard Kaylee Bastien — who was driving to the basket every chance she had. The sophomore had a team-high 16 points on the night. Erika Varel scored nine points, while Savannah Wittenbrink led the Eagles with 10 rebounds.

Columbia strengthened its lead on the Comanches in the third quarter, not allowing Cahokia to score for the last several minutes of the quarter. Although they would allow the Comanches to get closer in the final quarter, the Eagles’ ability to force turnovers and capitalize on them made the difference in the game. Columbia had 13 steals on the night.

The Eagles now face Mascoutah Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. for the Columbia Regional Championship.

Also advancing to a postseason championship on Tuesday night were the Red Bud Lady Musketeers, who topped Carterville in a close game, 43-40. Red Bud will play in the Dupo Sectional Championship on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

To read more about local girls basketball postseason play, pick up a copy of this weekโ€™s edition of the Republic-Timesโ€“ out Wednesday. Or subscribe online today!

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