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WATERLOO — Members of the Waterloo Columbus girls’ basketball team didn’t flinch when Waterloo East’s Amanee Clark hit a runner in the lane at the buzzer to force overtime Saturday night inside Oppold Gymnasium.

During a season filled with adversity, the Sailors regrouped and persevered.

Lily Christensen knocked down a go-ahead 3-pointer off Hanna Clasen’s offensive rebound and kickout, before converting a late free throw to negate another Clark 3-pointer at the horn as Columbus secured a 70-69 win over its metro rival.

In the nightcap, East’s boys jumped on Columbus early with four players combining to knock down six 3-pointers in the first half of a 70-31 blowout.

For the Columbus’ girls (3-10), Saturday’s victory snapped an eight-game losing streak, and came one night removed from a conference contest with Wapsie Valley that slipped away.

“We keep working hard in practice and we’ve been waiting for us all to click together,” said Columbus’ senior guard Olivia Fain, who finished with a team-high 17 points and 15 rebounds. “Tonight was the night that we came together. I’m really proud of our team.”

Each team refused to give an inch throughout this physical battle. Two starters apiece from Columbus and East fouled out and the teams combined to shoot 62 free throws.

East (4-12) had players knock down shots prior to the buzzer at the end of all five periods, and demonstrated plenty of toughness after key facilitator Kerris Roberts fouled out with 12 points on a controversial charge call late in the third quarter.

Clark picked up the slack with 13 of her game-high 24 points coming in the fourth quarter and overtime. East’s Nia Crowley dropped in 19 points of her own, but Columbus used a variety of players to overcome a deficit as large as seven in the second quarter.

The Sailors went on a 10-0 run to take a 59-48 lead midway through the third quarter, and never trailed from that point forward.

“We’ve had a rough season this year as far as wins and losses go, but we keep practicing hard and kids keep believing in what we’re doing,” Columbus coach Cory O’Brien said.

While Columbus’ girls snapped a lengthy losing streak, East’s boys have now won three consecutive games for the first time this season.

The Trojans hit their first six shots of the third quarter to jump out to a 53-18 lead. By night’s end, East finished with eight 3-pointers and 10 Trojans reached the scoring column.

Columbus was held to two first quarter points with Cannon Butler’s 11 points pacing the Sailors. Tyrese Nickelson led East with 16 points, while TreyShawn LaBeaux and Jacee Clark added 11 apiece off the bench.

“We played well,” East coach Steve McGraw said. “I thought it was a good carryover from last night (a 60-53 win over Dubuque Wahlert). We got to play a lot of kids.

“We’ve got a better attitude right now and that helps a lot. When you play hard and have a good attitude, you’re going to win your share of games. We’re playing the best basketball we’ve played all year, and hopefully we’ll continue it.”

Boxscores

Girls

COLUMBUS 70, EAST 69, OT

EAST (4-12) — Denae Nash2-6 2-2 6, Kerris Roberts 3-6 5-6 12, Amanee Clark 9-19 2-7 24, Nia Crowley 7-19 4-7 19, Ma’Kaiyla Johnson 1-3 0-2 2, Jaida Blair 1-13 0-2 3, Shamya Jenkins 0-4 2-2 2, Erion Gafeney 0-1 0-0 0, Charnika Cherry 0-0 0-0 0, Aaliyah Franklin 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-72 15-30 69.

COLUMBUS (3-10) — Olivia Fain 7-13 2-2 17, Lily Christensen 4-9 1-2 13, Maliyah Little 2-8 3-7 8, Sydney Schultz 3-4 2-4 8, Ali Vesely 3-7 2-5 8, Reagan Lindsey 1-3 2-3 5, Hanna Clasen 4-8 1-2 9, Chloe Jamason 0-1 0-0 0, Abby Ward 0-1 0-0 0, Kayla Sproul 0-0 1-2 1, Hannah Hewitt 0-0 0-0 0, Emily Surma 0-0 1-2 1. Totals 24-53 15-32 70.

Wat. East 14 19 13 17 6 — 69

Columbus 14 15 18 16 7 — 70

3-point goals — East 8 (Clark 4, Crowley 2, Roberts, Blair), Columbus 7 (Christensen 4, Little, Lindsey, Fain). Total fouls — East 23, Columbus 24. Fouled out — Roberts, Nash (East), Schultz, Vesely (Columbus).

Boys

EAST (6-7) — DaQuavion Walker 3-8 0-0 8, Tyrese Nickelson 5-14 2-2 16, Ramon Harrington 2-5 0-0 6, Tavious Jenkins 1-2 0-2 2, Kendall Robinson 2-3 1-3 5, TreyShawn LaBeaux 5-11 1-2 11, Steven VanArsdale 3-8 0-0 6, Jacee Clark 5-7 0-0 11, Jovahn Holmes 0-2 0-0 0, Larenz Plum 0-1 4-4 4, Tavious Jenkins 0-1 0-0 0, Dylan Reyes 0-0 1-4 1. Totals 26-62 9-15 70.

COLUMBUS (2-11) — Kaden Ludwig 2-6 0-2 4, Robert Porth 1-6 6-8 9, Alexander Zike 0-6 0-0 0, Parker Westhoff 1-3 0-0 3, Cannon Butler 4-7 1-2 11, Benjamin Leibold 0-3 0-2 0, Jaylen Young 1-1 0-2 2, James Mudd 1-2 0-0 2, David Ryan 0-2 0-1 0, Austin Zaputil 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 11-36 7-15 31.

Wat. East 24 15 21 10 — 70

Columbus 2 10 15 4 — 31

3-point goals — East 8 (Nickelson 3, Walker 2, Harrington 2, Clark), Columbus 2 (Porth, Westhoff). Total fouls — East 12, Columbus 11. Fouled out — Butler (Columbus).

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Sports Reporter

Sports reporter for The Courier

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