Washington Evening Journal
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Washington, IA 52353
NEW LONDON — Columbus secured its first win of the season in a Monday night matchup with New London, 48-42.
After not having a varsity team last year, the Wildcats are excited to get their first win.
“It feels really good,” senior Libby White said. “None of us have played any varsity really. There’s only been three of us that have played varsity, and that was in the final minutes of the game. Being able to go out there with a freshmen team and compete against teams that have played varsity is a big accomplishment.”
Columbus controlled the majority of the first half in the Southeast Iowa Super Conference match-up.
It was a defensive battle over the course of the first two quarters, as the Wildcats held just a two-point lead after the first quarter, 10-8. By the halftime horn, Columbus had extended its lead to eight points, 23-15.
Both team’s were neck and neck throughout the third quarter with each scoring nine points. Columbus still held on to its eight point lead, 32-24.
The fourth was by far the best for both teams on the offensive end, especially for New London.
The Tigers stormed back midway through the fourth with a slew of steals that turned into easy baskets. A big three from New London’s Emma Nye brought the Tigers to within three with just under a minute to play.
Despite the Tigers comeback, a few defensive breakdowns turned into easy layups for Columbus’ Lily Coil, who had a game high 17 points, and Sera Vela, sealing their fate.
For New London, it’s about improving each and every week.
“We’re a very young team,” New London head coach Terri Hester-Mathews said. “We’ve got seven freshmen that are giving us a 110% day in and day out. We’ve go one senior that’s coming off an injury that wont play until January. All I’m asking for is 110% and they give me that every day. My motivation is to keep building, that’s what we’re working toward.”
Coil, along with her leading point total also grabbed 6 rebounds and 7 steals. Libby White finished with 10 points and 7 rebounds. Sera Vela rounded out the Wildcats with 7 points and 6 steals.
Aracely Garza added 6 points with 8 rebounds. Frannie Sosa had 5 points. Victoria Howell ended with 3.
For New London, Emma Nye had the hot hand leading the way with 13 points along with 6 rebounds. Natalie Burden ended the contest with 12 points and 5 assists.
Mylee Miller chipped in 6 points. Camryn Lair added 4. Morgan Jones and Olivia Hester scored 3 points a piece, and Sophie Malott had 2 points.
For Columbus, the win is a step in the right direction for a team that is working to build up a new girl basketball program.
“I tell the girls we need to celebrate success when it happens,” Columbus head coach Kasey Keltner said. “Life’s too short not to celebrate that kind of thing. The girls have really worked, and for us to not have a varsity team last year and starting a brand-new program, I think it helps them buy into it a bit more.”