Three local high school hoops teams were fighting for playoff survival as March Madness took full effect on Tuesday night.
In the Class 3A Columbia Regional, the host team Eagles got the best of cross-county rival Waterloo for the third time this season in a 57-34 contest.
Columbia stormed out to a 9-0 lead at the start and took a 17-3 advantage into the second quarter. The Bulldogs just could not recover from the large deficit, as Columbia’s signature strong defense carried them again.
Jonny Holmes scored 17 points to lead the Eagles, followed by fellow seniors Korbin Farmer and Ryan Gudeman with 13 points apiece. Waterloo (8-22) was led by junior Ben Huels with 16 points. The Bulldogs advanced to Tuesday’s semifinal by topping Freeburg on Monday night behind 22 points from Huels.
Columbia (21-6) will face Mater Dei (21-7) in the regional final on Friday night. For those wishing to buy advance tickets for the game, tickets will be available Friday morning in the high school office for $4. The game is expected to be a sell-out, so advance tickets by 5:30 p.m. are recommended.
In the Class 1A North Greene Sectional at White Hall, Gibault dominated in a 54-35 win over Carrollton.
A key play in the game was when junior Trevor Davis was fouled while attempting a long three-pointer just before the halftime buzzer. He sank all three free throws to give the Hawks a 24-14 halftime edge. Davis finished with 21 points and 14 rebounds.
Brian Deterding added 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Hawks, who advanced to Friday’s sectional final against Okawville. Gibault (23-9) split two prior matchups against the Rockets this season.
Read more local hoops action in the March 2 edition of the Republic-Times newspaper.