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Southern B girls: Colstrip, Columbus into title game

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Posted at 8:43 AM, Mar 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-05 10:43:43-05

BILLINGS - The title game is set at the Southern B divisional girls basketball tournament in Billings, as Colstrip and Columbus picked up semifinals victories on Friday night inside First Interstate Arena to clinch berths at the State B tournament next weekend in Bozeman.

Colstrip 62, Big Timber 50

Colstrip knocked off the defending State B champions Big Timber, 62-50, behind a 26-point, nine-rebound performance from Bailey Egan, who also eclipsed 1,000 career points in the contest.

Colstrip led by four at halftime, but Big Timber cut it to two entering the fourth quarter. The Fillies, though, opened the fourth quarter with a furious run to essentially put the game out of reach in the final minutes.

Egan was 10 of 15 from the floor and hit all four 3-point attempts. Bailey Finn led Big Timber with 21 points.

Colstrip gets Columbus in Saturday's title game, while Big Timber plays Lodge Grass in loser-out action.

Columbus 39, Jefferson 35

Jefferson led 26-16 at halftime, but Columbus held the Panthers without a point for the first 11 minutes and change of the second half to come from behind and secure a 39-35 win and a berth at the State B tournament.

"It wasn't pretty in the locker room, they'd be the first to tell you that," Columbus head coach Jeromey Burke said. "Luckily I can go in there and I have a group that responds to a talk that lets them know, 'We've got to wake up, or we're done.' They responded and came out and fought. Pretty lucky. If I didn't have a group that could take that type of halftime talk, we wouldn't be here."

Jefferson shot just 4 of 21 in the second half, as the Cougars were able to go on a 16-2 run to take a four-point lead late in the fourth quarter. The Panthers had opportunities to pull closer from the foul line, but they finished 0 for 4 from the charity stripe, while Columbus iced the game from the line shooting 11 of 13.

"As you can see, we're usually out-sized. It just tells you that they're coachable, and they play really hard and they play together," Burke said. "When we figured it out in the second half, we just have a lot of heart. That's what gets us to these spots."

Hannah Obert, who hit 5 of 7 foul shots, finished with a game-high 12 points. Katelyn Hamilton added 11, hitting all six of her attempts from the foul line.

Columbus will face Colstrip in the title game at 8 p.m. on Saturday. Jefferson will play Huntley Project at 9 a.m. in loser-out action.