It just wouldn’t be the Christmas season without the annual Columbia-Freeburg Holiday Tournament, and the opening round of this year’s event took place Saturday with local boys basketball teams in action at Columbia High School.
In an early afternoon contest, Valmeyer had Waterloo on upset alert with a 32-23 halftime lead before the Bulldogs turned it on in the second half for a 70-54 victory. The Pirates looked inspired early while Waterloo appeared sluggish. But the Bulldogs came out of the locker room fired up to start the third quarter, outscoring Valmeyer 28-9 in that frame to take control.
Ben Huels scored 21 points — 20 in the second half — to pace the Bulldogs. Dylan Hunt added 19 points for Waterloo. Michael Chism scored 20 points to lead Valmeyer. Vaughn Larsen added 16 points for the Pirates.
In an early evening game, host team Columbia wasted no time in dismantling a tired Valmeyer squad in a 61-17 win. The Eagles led 46-7 at halftime and the Pirates went scoreless in the second quarter.
Columbia’s Holmes brothers — Jonathan and Jordan — led the Eagles in scoring with 10 points apiece. Korbin Farmer and Greg Long scored nine points each for Columbia.
The Eagles are now 8-0 on the season and will battle cross-county rival Waterloo in a 7 p.m. showdown on Monday. Columbia won last year’s holiday tourney played at Freeburg.
In other action from the tournament on Saturday, Piasa Southwestern defeated Dupo 84-53, Civic Memorial topped Sparta 70-44, Freeburg won against Dupo 75-43 and Triad blasted Marquette 66-46. The action continues Monday.