WATERLOO, Iowa --- The Waterloo Columbus boys' basketball team's journey through a rugged WaMaC Conference has been filled with plenty adversity.
The challenges of getting a league win were something in which the Sailors' Friday night opponent, Anamosa, could relate.
Yet through four quarters at Oppold Gymnasium, the two teams that entered the evening with a combined 0-32 league record showed they still have plenty of fight. When the dust settled, it was a strong second-half defensive effort that allowed Anamosa to earn a road win over Columbus, 55-45.
The victory snapped a 19-game losing streak for Anamosa (1-18, 1-15) that goes back to Feb. 19 of last season.
"I'm just really impressed with Columbus," Anamosa coach Wayne Lasack said after earning a hard-fought win. "They've got great athletes, great shooters, they brought their game tonight and it took everything we had to prevail."
Columbus (1-20, 0-18), searching for its first win since a Dec. 4 victory over South Tama, survived a barrage of five Anamosa 3-pointers in the second quarter to tie the score at halftime, 30-30, on an Andrew Huff trey. Huff netted another 3-pointer to give the Sailors a brief, 33-32, lead in the first minute of the third quarter, but Anamosa took the lead for good with a 7-0 run.
Trailing 43-41 midway through the second half, Columbus had a potential go-ahead 3-pointer rim out and both teams went scoreless for a over a two-minute stretch until Anamosa's Jordan Wilson converted an acrobatic interior shot. The Sailors cut the deficit to 47-43 with 1:31 remaining, but Anamosa ran 31 seconds off the clock before having to attempt a free throw. The Raiders went on to seal the game at the line.
Following the loss, Columbus head coach John Holmes deferred comment to assistant Jeff Mullenix.
"We showed intensity, we came out ready to play, but all credit goes to them (Anamosa)," Mullenix said. "They played a better game."
Columbus was held to just 15 second-half points as Anamosa limited the Sailors ability to attack the hoop. Columbus settled for 15 3-point attempts in the final half, making just three.
Anamosa's Justin Kaufman finished strong in the paint to lead his team with 14 points, while Columbus was led on Senior Night by senior Jon Heinzman who finished with a game-high 16 points.
Despite the continued struggles, Mullenix still likes the character his team continues to display.
"They've given great effort the full season and they haven't quit," Mullenix said.
For Lasack, it was satisfying to see his team finally get rewarded with a win.
"Our kids have battled hard all year long," the Anamosa coach said. "We're obviously in a very difficult conference, but the kids still believe. I'm extremely proud of them tonight."
ANAMOSA (1-18, 1-15) - Jordan Wilson 4-13 2-2 12, Aaron Krapfl 3-7 6-6 12, Justin Kaufman 7-11 0-0 14, Jacob Maruga 0-2 0-0 0, Josh Schulte 2-8 3-6 8, Spencer Barnes 3-7 0-0 9. Totals 19-48 11-14 55.
COLUMBUS (1-20, 0-18) - Grant Foremann 1-2 0-0 2, Chris Sink 2-3 0-0 4, Adam Squires 1-10 0-1 3, Andrew Huff 3-8 0-0 8, Jon Heinzman 6-15 0-0 16, Jacob Pratt 2-11 0-1 4, Mitch Maiers 0-3 0-0 0, Tyler Roby 2-5 2-2 6. Totals 18-59 2-4 45.
Anamosa 13 17 11 14 - 55
Columbus 11 19 6 9 - 45
3-point goals - Anamosa 6 (Barnes 3, Wilson 2, Schulte); Columbus 7 (Heinzman 4, Huff 2, Squires). Total fouls - Anamosa 11, Columbus 12. Fouled out - none.
ANAMOSA SOPHS 73, COLUMBUS SOPHS 61
ANAMOSA - Bryce Switzer 15, JC Ditch 3, Josh Schulte 20, Michael Maruga 8, Spencer Barnes 20, Robbie Takes 5, Demetrik Brown 2.
COLUMBUS - Jordan Martin 5, Konnor Horan 3, Matt Squires 5, Pat McLaughlin 7, Trayshawn Kroft 30, Mitch Eighme 8, Tylar Beenken 3.