Columbus Catholic's Grant Olson scores during the second half of the Dons' win at Colby on Tuesday. (Photo by Paul Lecker/Zaleski Sports)
By Paul Lecker
COLBY – Colby stormed back from two big deficits but a 14-2 run to close the game by Columbus Catholic pushed the Dons to an 84-72 win in a Cloverbelt Conference East Division matchup Tuesday night at Colby High School.
Columbus Catholic (12-1, 6-0 Cloverbelt East) shot 55 percent from the field going 29-for-53, and was 15-for-36 from 3-point range in the victory.
The Dons made four 3-pointers in the opening 5½ minutes, two from Blake Jakobi, to take a commanding 18-2 lead.
Colby (8-3, 5-2 Cloverbelt East) was able to stabilize after the slow start, three times cutting Columbus’ lead to 10, and trailed 44-30 at halftime.
The Hornets came out firing after the break, scoring the first 14 points to gain their only lead of the game at 46-44 on a 3-pointer by Kaden Wiese.
Emmitt Konieczny, who scored a game-high 24 points, scored on an offensive rebound to spark a 12-2 run for the Dons.
Columbus pushed the lead back to nine at 68-59 on a hoop by Jakobi before Colby stormed back again, scoring nine straight to tie it.
Colby's Caden Healy scores on a breakaway layup late in the first half of Tuesday's game against Columbus Catholic. (Photo by Paul Lecker/Zaleski Sports)
After Grant Olson for the Dons and Richard Streveler for Colby exchanged hoops, Charlie Moore hit back-to-back 3-pointers to start the 14-2 run over the final 3 minutes.
The Dons made eight-straight free throws in the final 1:07 to polish off the victory.
“Colby is really an athletic team with some nice players, and just hard to beat,” Columbus Catholic coach Joe Konieczny said. “I thought it was a great job by our players, after kind of blowing that lead in the second half and once it was tied, we stayed composed and built it back to 10 and were able to hang on.”
Moore finished 7-for-11 from 3-point range and scored 22 points for Columbus. Olson added 13 points and nine rebounds, going a perfect 6-for-6 from the field.
Streveler had 17 points, and Caden Healy had 16 points and nine rebounds for Colby.
“We always talk about you learn the easy way or you learn the hard way,” Joe Konieczny said. “Today we learned the easy way that free throws are important down the stretch, I think we went 8-for-8. We learned that ball security is important down the stretch. And the hard way, we learned not lose to shooters, we learned to move the ball better against their 2-3 defense.”
Both teams return to Cloverbelt East action Friday. Colby will travel to Owen-Withee and Columbus Catholic hosts Spencer. The Columbus game will be live at zaleskisports.com starting at 7:15 p.m.
Dons 84, Hornets 72
Columbus Catholic 44 40 - 84
Colby 32 40 - 72
COLUMBUS CATHOLIC (84): Emmitt Konieczny 8-14 4-4 24, Sammy Neville 0-0 0-0 0, Cole Noreen 2-6 2-2 7, Charlie Moore 7-11 1-1 22, Sam Wilczek 2-9 4-4 8, Blake Jakobi 3-5 0-1 8, Grant Olson 6-6 0-1 13, Lucas Kreklau 1-2 0-0 2. FG: 29-53. FT: 11-13. 3-pointers: 15-36 (Moore 7-11, Konieczny 4-9, Jakobi 2-4, Olson 1-1, Noreen 1-5, Wilczek 0-6). Rebounds: 35 (Olson 9). Turnovers: 20. Fouls: 12. Fouled out: none. Record: 12-1, 6-0 Cloverbelt Conference East Division.
COLBY (72): Tucker Meyer 1-3 0-0 3, Tevin Rue 3-6 0-0 8, Richard Streveler 7-20 2-2 17, Brandon Voelker 0-1 0-0 0, Brody Decker 4-10 0-2 12, Mateo Lopez 5-11 0-1 10, Caden Healy 8-10 0-0 16, Kaden Wiese 2-13 0-0 6. FG: 30-74. FT: 2-5. 3-pointers: 10-36 (Decker 4-10, Rue 2-4, Wiese 2-10, Meyer 1-1, Streveler 1-9, Lopez 0-2). Rebounds: 34 (Healy 9). Turnovers: 13. Fouls: 17. Fouled out: Decker. Record: 8-3, 5-2 Cloverbelt Conference East Division.