Columbia Defeats Mighty Marquette To Win 3A Regional Title

Columbia Defeats Mighty Marquette To Win 3A Regional Title

In one of the more thrilling local high school games in recent memory, underdog Columbia defeated previously undefeated Alton Marquette (29-1) in overtime 55-53 in the title game of the Class 3A Waterloo Regional.

Columbia (20-11) advances to the Centralia Sectional. Their first round game is against Marion on Tuesday, March 5, at 7 p.m.

The WHS gym was a sea of blue and white as the Eagles’ and the Explorers’ fans packed the house. The game was evenly matched throughout with the teams trading quality shots with steals and turnovers hard to come by. Columbia held the edge at halftime with a slim 29-24 lead. But the Explores kept nipping at the Eagles’ tail feathers as the game wore on.

Just like the throughout the season, Columbia’s Jordan Holmes chose the game’s tempo and matched the Explorers’ offense nearing shot for shot. Also keeping the Eagles in the game was their clutch free throws –going 8-10 in the game.

With Marquette holding a 53-52 with 5 seconds to play, a foul sent Columbia’s Riley Hubler to the free-point line. Despite Marquette’s fans making substantial noise, the junior sank the shot to tie the game – sending the match to overtime.

Scoring was few and far between in the extra frame as both teams played it cautiously. Defense was tight and both offenses didn’t attempt any low-risk shots.

Mid-way through OT, Columbia junior Cole Khoury was fouled sending him to the charity stripe. An Eagles player again showed his poise as Khoury sank both his shots giving CHS a 55-53 lead.

Columbia’s defense then went to work as they shut down the mighty Explorers the remainder of the game. Neither team successfully made a shot and the game with the underdog Eagles celebrating a hard-fought 55-53 Regional Title victory.

Once again Jordan Holmes led the scoring for Columbia with a game high 31 points, tying his career high. The Illini-bound senior also had 10 rebounds and three steals. He put in an amazing 5-6 shots from beyond the three-point line. He also connected on 68 percent of his two-pointers.

Rounding out the Eagles scoring are Jon Peterson (10), Riley Hubler (7), Cole Khoury (4) and Brennen van Breusegen (3).

Alton Marquette’s top scorers were Jake Hall (14), Isaiah Ervin (13) and Reagan Snider (13).