Washington Evening Journal
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COLUMBUS JUNCTION — The Columbus girls basketball team played WACO fairly even through the final three quarters on Tuesday night, but a hot Warrior start was too much for the Wildcats to handle as WACO took a Southeast Iowa Super Conference crossover game 55-38.
WACO leading scorer Ellah Kissell scored eight of her 27 points in the first period as the Warriors rushed out to an 18-5 lead before the first break.
“I think they started the game with good momentum,” said WACO head coach Lisa Graber. “That carried us through some patches where we went dry.”
Columbus outscored WACO 16-14 in the second quarter, but WACO still held a 32-21 halftime lead. They would go on to lead the game 46-29 after three quarters and eventually get out with an 18-point victory.
“They did better tonight than they've done so far at running the offense, working together and finding other people that can get open,” said Graber. “Grace (Coble) stepped up tonight, and Avery (Waterhouse) had some good hustle moves.”
Kissell’s 27 and was just under six more than an impressive 21.3 points per game average coming into Tuesday night. Coble finished the night with 14 points.
Katie Leichty added six points for WACO. Waterhouse scored five, and Natalie West had three.
Despite the loss, Columbus head coach Kasey Keltner says he saw great strides from his group.
“That's the first four quarters where we've competed all the way through,” Keitner said. “It was great to see our kids make some corrections, get some effort going and compete with the other team.”
Sera Vela put up 14 points for Columbus, nine of which came in the first half. Lily Coil flirted with a double-double, posting 10 points and eight rebounds.
Llibby white scored six points for the Wildcats. Ariana Vergara had five points. Aracely Garza scored two points and pulled down eight rebounds, and Frannie Sosa added one point.
WACO is now 2-2 on the year. Columbus fell to 1-5.