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Tide Softballers Battle Playoff Bound Squads May 15, 2017

There's at least one more week in the 2016-17 athletic season at Columbia High School as several Crimson Tide athletes will participate in this week's District Three track and field championships at Shippensburg University.

While the track athletes are still in contention for a trip to the state championships, the bats and gloves were officially put away for another year in baseball and softball.

SOFTBALL

The Tide girls finished the regular season last week with Section 4 games against the top two teams in the section, Pequea Valley and Annville-Cleona.

With both of those teams headed to the Lancaster-Lebanon League playoffs, Columbia, despite losing both games, was competitive.

Monday, the Tide girls lost to Pequea Valley, the Section 4 champions, 7-1.

The difference in this one was the fourth inning. After the Tide scored their lone run in the top of the fourth to break open a scoreless game, the Valley Braves erupted for six runs in the bottom of the fourth to take control. PV added a single run in the fifth.

Columbia had just three hits in the game as PV hurlers Sabrina Ryan and Sarah Moore combined to strike out 14 Tide hitters.

The next day, coach Matt Phillips' team closed out its schedule with their final home game of the year against Annville-Cleona. Despite the lop sided nature of the final score, a 10-2 A-C win, this one was a lot closer than it appeared.

The game was scoreless through three innings, which was quite different than the first game between the two schools when A-C won 15-0 in just three innings. A-C didn't get on the scoreboard until the fourth on a two out single. In fact, there was just one base runner for both teams for the first three innings.

Columbia got their first base runner in their half of the fourth on a walk by Tiffany Hoffmaster and a double off the bat of Cameron West as the Tide plated two runs to take a 2-1 lead.

However the wheels came off for the Tide over the last two innings as A-C scored nine of their 10 runs, including three in the fifth, with one ball out of the infield.

The future is bright for the Columbia girls as they fielded a team with just one senior on their roster of 17 players in outfielder Paige Schmitt. With eight of the team's nine starters, including pitcher Hoffmaster coming back, the Tide should easily improve on their 2-14 Section 4 and 3-17 overall record next season.

Other key players coming back are Jenna Eckman, Emily Sumpman, Serenity Faus and West, who all started in the infield and catcher/outfielder Hallie McCoy.

Columbia lost nine of their 17 games via the 10-run mercy rule this season and out of their 17 losses, six were to teams that qualified for the District Three playoffs.

BASEBALL

The Tide '9' in baseball, under second-year coach Jordan Higgins, are probably wishing they were still playing. They played some of their best baseball over the final two weeks, going 1-1 in the final two games and 2-2 over the final four games.

Last week, the Tide split games with Pequea Valley and Annville-Cleona to finish the season with a 4-16 overall record. They were 3-13 in Section 4.

After going nine straight games scoring just three runs, over the last four games, Columbia scored 16 runs and allowed 19.

Monday, in a pitcher's duel, the Tide scored twice in the bottom of the fifth and held on for a 4-3 win over the Braves.

Columbia scored single runs in the first two innings of the game before PV tied things up with a two spot in the third and then took a 3-2 lead with a run in their half of the fifth.

Senior pitcher Bailey Sollenberger allowed just four hits in five plus innings of work. Two of the three PV runs were earned. He struck out four and walked five before being relieved by Brandon Ziegler, who struck out one and walked six in just one third of an inning. Andrew Sheckard picked up the save for the Tide.

At the dish, Sollenberger, Tyreese Musser, Dorian Grimes and Sheckard scored for the Tide. Columbia had six hits for the game as Sollenberger helped himself with three of them. Nathan Houseal drove in Columbia's lone earned run, while Sheckard contributed a double and two stolen bases in the win.

The Tide closed out its regular season last Wednesday losing to Annville-Cleona by a 10-2 score. The big inning for the Little Dutchmen was the fourth when they scored half of their runs.

A-C had just seven hits in the game off four Tide pitchers - Zac Nikolaus, Ryan Redding, Sheckard and Ziegler. The four Tide hurlers combined for two strikeouts and six walks. Nikolaus, the starter, gave up nine of the 10 runs, but only four were earned.

At the plate, Dorian Grimes and Sheckard scored both of Columbia's runs, while Sheckard, a senior, also contributed with two of the Tide's six hits. Also getting hits were Matt Gambler, a freshman, Musser, Grimes and Ziegler, who drove in one run.

Redding was credited with a sacrifice and Sollenberger picked up the Tide's lone walk.

Columbia, like the Tide in softball, is in good shape for the future. There are just four seniors on the team - Sheckard, Sollenberger, Musser and Nikolaus. Three players - Sheckard (15), Sollenberger (12) and Redding (11) reached double figures in hits for the season.

Sheckard led the team in runs scored (11), runs batted in (7) and doubles (6), while Redding drove in five runs. Musser scored eight times and led the team in walks (13).

On the mound, Columbia pitchers struck out 80 opposing batters this year, while walking126. Sollenberger led the pitching staff in strikeout with 23.

TRACK

Columbia completed its dual meet season last Monday by traveling to Elco where they were swept, 117-39 in the boys' meet and 100-45 in the girls' meet.

Scoring first place finishes for the boys' were Yamil Rodriquez in the 100; Ishmel Wright in the 800 and Ahmad Kamara in the triple jump. The Tide's 400-meter relay team of Rodriquez, Wright, Kamara and Xaiver Jackson also won that relay.

On the girls' side, Tierre Jordan won both the 100 and 200 meter sprints along with the long jump. Jordan Haberstroh finished the dual meet season strong by winning the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 meter runs and Joelleen Wakefield chipped in with a first place finish in the javelin.

Friday and Saturday, the Crimson Tide participated in the annual Lancaster-Lebanon League championships at Hempfield High School.

The Tide, despite being the smallest school at the championships, did well.

On the girls' side, Haberstroh and Wakefield reached the medal stand. Haberstroh's best finish was in the 3,200 where she placed third in 11:17.8, behind McCaskey's Liuanna Tirado (11:06.4) and Katie Dickow of Warwick (11:18.2). Tirado won the race in the last 600 meters when she passed Haberstroh to pull out the win. In the 1,600, Haberstroh finished in eighth place finish.

Wakefield did not medal in her two hurdle events but was able to grab a fifth place finish in the javelin with a toss of 110-1.

Also competing but not receiving a medal were sprinter Jordan and thrower Kylah Farley.

On the boys' side, Rodriquez, who was eighth in the 100, and Kamara, with an eighth place finish in the triple jump, both received medals. Rodriquez also participated in the 200 and anchored the 400-meter relay team. Kamra, along with the triple jump and relay also jumped in the long jump. Other Tide athletes participating were Wright (relay and 800), Jonathan Hinkle (800), Xaiver Jackson (relay), Mitchel Lutz (shot put), Luis Delgado (discus) and Colin Dietz (javelin).

A number of the Tide athletes have qualified for this week's District Three championships, which begin Friday.

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Columbia Track Looks Forward to the Post-Season May 8, 2017

The regular season of sports concludes this week at Columbia High School with some athletes moving onto the post-season.

Last week was a busy one for Coach David Farley and his team with a dual meet and an invitational, both on the road and within eye shot of Columbia High School.

Monday in their next-to-last dual meet of the season, the Crimson Tide traveled over Kinderhook Road to battle red hot rival Donegal, whose boys and girls teams were looking for a sweep of the Section 3 titles in the Lancaster-Lebanon League. The undermanned Crimson Tide proved to be no match for the Indians, who won the boys' meet 137-12 and the girls' meet 123-26.

Donegal was so dominate on the boy's side that the Tide failed to record a single first place. For the girls', Columbia had three first place finishes, two from Jordan Haberstroh and the third from Joelleen Wakefield.

Haberstroh continued her domination of the distance events, winning both the 1,600 (5:41.7) and the 3,200 (11:56.7), while Wakefield earned the longest toss of the javelin, 115-1.

Friday, the Tide ventured across the Susquehanna River to compete in the battle for the Bridge at Eastern High School. In addition to the Tide and Golden Knights, teams competing in the "Battle" were Donegal, Solanco and Lancaster Catholic from the Lancaster-Lebanon League and York Suburban, Kennard-Dale and New Oxford from the York-Adams League.

One of the highlights of the "Battle" was the girls' distance races between two of the best in District 3, the Tide's Haberstroh and Eastern's Madi McLain. The two had just recently battled at the Shippensburg Invitational and will likely square off again in two weeks at the District 3 Class AA championships, also back at Shippensburg.

Friday night, it was Haberstroh who won the battle. With a 5:24, she finished 14 seconds ahead of McLain in the 1,600. She ran even faster in the 3200, topping the Eastern runner by 36 seconds with her 11:41.

The Tide's success at the "Battle" was not limited to Haberstroh. On the girls' side, Wakefield had a strong afternoon/evening as she placed in three events. She was second in the javelin with a toss of 99-2, finished sixth in the 300 hurdles in a time of 51.22 and was seventh in the 100 meter hurdles (18:18).

The third Columbia girl competing was Kylah Farley, who was eighth in the shot put and settled for 11th place in the discus.

On the boys' side, senior Yamil Rodriquez had an outstanding showing. He was second in the 100 with a time of 11.34, finishing behind Donnell Williams of Kennard-Dale. In the 200, Rodriquez was fourth with a 23.57. Xaiver Jackson also competed in the 200 and was 10th.

In his third event, Rodriquez ran the anchor leg of the 4x100 relay team that placed third. Other members of that team included Jackson, Ishmel Wright and Ahmad Kamara.

Kamara also had a good showing, placing third in both the triple jump and long jump.

Other Columbia athletes competing at the "Battle" and their place finishes were: Jonathan Hinkle, 11th in the 400; Wright, 10th in the 800; Luis DeJesus and Mitchel Lutz, 14th and 17th respectively in the shot put; DeJesus, 12th and Lutz, 17th in the discus; Colin Dietz, 17th in the javelin; John Carlos Rodriquez and Gabriel Davila, who did not place in the high jump and Davilla, 12th in the long jump.

BASEBALL

The Crimson Tide had a pretty good week last week in their games against Lebanon Catholic and Lancaster Catholic, playing perhaps their best two games of the season.

Monday on the road on Assumption Hill, the Tide won for the first time in 13 games, beating Lebanon Catholic for the second time this season, 9-4.

Zac Nikolaus pitched the complete game for the Tide, allowing the Beavers just four hits and two earned runs in striking out six and walking five in throwing 98 pitches.

At the dish, Columbia led 4-1 after two innings and scored five runs over the final four innings of the game. Columbia had just seven hits for the game, two each from senior Andrew Sheckard and freshman Ryan Redding. Sheckard and Mason Sheetz each scored two runs in the win.

Others getting hits for the Tide were Matt Derr, Dorian Grimes and Brendon Ziegler. Of the seven hits, four were doubles, two off the bat of Sheckard and one each from Grimes and Redding, who was also credited with two RBIs. In addition to his two hits, Sheetz also reached base two other times with walks. Tyreese Musser reached base three times by walking.

Two days later, the Tide and Lancaster Catholic hooked up in a pitcher's duel with the Crusaders scoring a 2-1 win.

Catholic scored both of their runs in the first two innings of the game, while the Tide's Ziegler scored his team's lone run on an RBI hit by Redding. Those two had the Tide's lone hits of the game.

Columbia pitcher Bailey Sollenberger, who pitched the first 5.2 innings, allowed both Catholic runs while allowing four hits and striking out five and walking three. He threw 102 pitches and was relieved in the sixth by Ziegler, who needed just three pitches to get out of the sixth inning.

Catholic pitchers, Dylan Atkinson and Bryan Downing combined to strike out four and walk four. Reaching base for the Tide via walks were Austin Cramer, Grimes, Sollenberger and Ziegler, while Musser was hit by a pitch and Nikolaus was credited with a sacrifice.

The Tide is now 3-14.

SOFTBALL

Although the regular season ends this week for the Tide in softball, there are still some hopes coach Matt Phillips and his team could qualify for the District Three Class AA playoffs.

Entering the final two games of the regular season, the softballers are fifth in the Class AA power rankings and trail fourth seeded Camp Hill by .22 points. The top four teams qualify for the Class AA playoffs. Columbia, at 3-15, would need at least one win in their final two games to qualify for the playoffs for the second time in three years.

Last week was a wild week for the Tide with games against Lebanon Catholic and Lancaster Catholic.

Monday, the girls broke a 10-game losing streak in a big way against the winless Beavers. Not only did they score a 15-0 win, but pitcher Tiffany Hoffmaster brought her 'A' game. She fired a three-inning no-hitter, striking out nine of the 16 batters she faced. The lone blemish on her day was a walk. For one of the rare times this year, Columbia was flawless in the field.

At the dish, this one was over early as Columbia scored 11 of their 15 runs in the first inning. The girls had just seven hits for the game that ended after three innings because of the mercy rule, but were the benefactors of eight walks from Beaver hurler Faith Kostow and four Lebanon Catholic errors in the field.

Columbia scored three in the second and ended the game with a single run in the third.

Wednesday, the Tide and Lancaster Catholic were involved in a wild one. The final totals were 25 runs (11 in the first inning), 20 hits, four errors, seven strikeouts and eight walks. It added up to a 19-6 win over the Tide by the Crusaders.

Lancaster Catholic scored eight runs in the first and the Tide countered with three in the bottom half and pulled within 8-4 after two innings. Catholic then scored 11 runs over the next three innings to break the game wide open and end it after just five innings because of the 10-run rule.

Schedule

The baseball and softball teams play their final two regular season games on Monday and Tuesday against Pequea Valley (baseball is home) and Annville-Cleona (softball is home).

In track, Columbia travels to Elco for their final Section 3 meet of the year. Friday and Saturday, they will compete in the annual Lancaster-Lebanon League championships at Hempfield High School.

Next week, right now, Columbia has seven athletes who have qualified for the District Three championships at Shippensburg University.

According to Coach Farley, three Tide girls will compete in eight events in the post-season, while four Tide boys will compete in nine events. Those figures could change this week with the dual meet against Elco and qualifying performances at the league championships.

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Tide Softball Wraps Up Crossover Games May 1, 2017

As the 2016-17 athletic season winds down at Columbia High School, despite the lack of success in terms of wins and losses, there has been some individual success.

SOFTBALL

The softball team struggled last week, falling short against Northern Lebanon, L-L power house Donegal and Lancaster Mennonite.

Coach Matt Phillips' team ended the week losing to Mennonite by a 7-1 score. The game was tied at 1-1 entering the bottom of the fifth inning when the Blazers broke things open with three runs. They extended the advantage with three runs in their half of the sixth.

Wednesday, the Tide made the short trip up Kinderhook Road for their final crossover game of the season. Donegal, one of the top teams in the Lancaster-Lebanon League, buried the Tide by a score of 18-1. This one went three innings because of the 15 run mercy rule.

The Indians scored 10 runs in the first and eight in the second. They had 15 hits for the game, while the Tide committed six errors in the field.

Columbia opened the week with a 15-3, five-inning loss against Northern Lebanon.

Schedule

This is the last full week of the 2017 season with baseball and softball taking on Lebanon Catholic, Lancaster Catholic (Wednesday) and Annville-Cleona (Friday). The regular season concludes May 8 with games against Pequea Valley.

In track, the Tide closes its regular season Friday with a trip across the Susquehanna River for the Battle of the Bridges at Eastern York High School.

TRACK

It was a pretty impressive week for the Crimson Tide in track, despite getting swept by Northern Lebanon. The Tide's six member team almost pulled off a major upset, falling to the Vikings by one point, 59-58, last Monday.

So how did the Tide girls with just six athletes almost pull off the dual meet win? Three of their six girls won three events each and they finished with ten wins on the day.

Joeleen Wakefield won both hurdle events (the high hurdles and 300 hurdles) and added a third first place by winning the javelin. Jordan Haberstroh, as she has done all year, won the two distance events (1,600 and 3,200) and for the first time this season, competed in the 800 and won that as well. Tierre Jordan dominated the sprints, winning the 100 and 200 and then jumped into the field events and leaped to a first place finish in the long jump.

Adding to the run of first place finishers was Kylah Farley, who won the shot put.

The other eight points came when Wakefield was second in the 200 and Jordan finished second in the high jump. Third place finishes from Farley in the javelin and discus added to the point total.

The Tide boys had a tougher time against Northern Lebanon as they were beaten, 102-43.

Ahmad Kamara and Yamil Rodriquez won two events each. Kamara was brilliant in the field, winning the long and triple jumps, while the speedy Rodriquez won the100 and 200. The other first place finish for the Tide came from Luis DeJesus in the discus.

Placing second for the Tide were Kamara in the 100, Colin Dietz in the javelin and DeJesus in the shot put. Third place winners included Jonathan Hinkle in the 400, Dietz in the discus and Mitchel Lutz in the shot put.

Friday, four Crimson Tide athletes hit the big time, traveling to the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia, to participate with thousands of other athletes from across the United States in the prestigious Penn Relays at the historic Franklin Field, which is in its 91st year.

Columbia competed with about 200 other high schools in the 4 by 100 relay. The team running was Kamara, Ishmel Wright, Hinkle and Rodriquez. They placed eighth in their heat in a time of 46.92.

BASEBALL

Coach Jordan Higgins and his Crimson Tide baseball team enter the final four games of the regular season looking to snap a 12-game losing streak. Last week, the Tide lost to Northern Lebanon, Lebanon and Lancaster Mennonite and fell to 2-14 on the season.

Since scoring 11 runs in their last win in early April, the Tide has scored just 10 runs in 12 games and have been shutout seven times, including last week's games against Northern Lebanon and Lebanon.

Columbia opened the week losing to Northern Lebanon by a 14-0 score in a game that lasted five inning because of the 10 run rule.

The Crimson Tide had just three hits off the bats of Matt Gambler, Andrew Sheckard and Bailey Sollenberger. Chandler Gibson, Dorian Grimes and Tyreese Musser reached base with walks.

The Vikings scored a combined seven runs in second and third innings.

Wednesday, the Tide may have played its best game since beating Lebanon Catholic in early April, losing to Lebanon by a 3-0 score.

The Cedars scored all their runs off Sollenberger in the third inning.

At the dish, the Tide had their chances but could not dent the plate. They banged out eight hits for the game, including two from Gambler while Musser, Sheckard, Sollenberger, Grimes and Brendon Ziegler all added one hit each. Ryan Redding also reached when he was hit by a pitch.

Columbia closed the week, losing for a second time this season, against Lancaster Mennonite, 13-3 in another game that lasted just five innings.

The Blazers blazed their way to a 7-0 lead after two innings then picked up three more in the top of the fourth before Columbia scored three in the bottom half. Mennonite ended the game with a three run fifth inning.

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Tide Softballers Fourth in AA Power Ratings April 24, 2017

There are just two full weeks left in the final sports season of the 2016-17 school year and there is a possibility that Columbia High School will have representatives heading to the post-season in two sports, softball and track.

Despite a 2-8 overall record, the Crimson Tide softball team is in the running for a District Three Class AA playoff spot and the track teams will have athletes competing in the Lancaster-Lebanon League and District 3 championships, starting in about three weeks.

SOFTBALL

Despite going 0-3 last week, the Tide girls are fourth in the Class AA power ratings, ahead of one win Camp Hill and two win Newport. The top three teams in the Class AA field are Upper Dauphin (2-8), Airfield (4-4) and York Catholic (4-5). The Tide girls were last in the District 3 playoffs two years ago when they were beaten by Millersburg, 10-0.

Probably the best game of the week was Wednesday's game at Manheim Central. The combined numbers for the game were 23 runs, 17 hits, 11 errors, 12 strikeouts and seven walks.

Those crazy numbers added up to a 13-10 win for the Lady Barons.

Central looked strong early and led 9-0 after three innings, but they were unable to close out the Tide. Coach Matt Phillips' team got back into the game over the middle three innings when they scored nine of their 10 runs, but got no closer.

Tide hurler Tiffany Hoffmaster struck out seven and walked one but gave up 10 hits.

That was it for runs for the Tide girls for the rest of the week.

Wednesday, on the road at Cocalico, the Eagles scored runs in every inning of the game and defeated the Tide 16-0 in four innings.

Columbia was limited to five hits but also committed five errors in the loss.

The week ended with the Tide getting no-hit for the second time this season.

Pioneer hurler Delaney Baker struck out nine as L-S scored a 10-0, five inning win.

L-S led 3-0 entering the bottom of the fourth when they erupted for six runs to break the game open. They ended the game with a solo run in the bottom of the fifth.

BASEBALL

Columbia had an extremely busy week last week. After playing four games in four days the week before, coach Jordan Higgins' team topped that last week by playing five games in five days and the results were not good for a small team that lacks pitching depth.

The Tide '9' went 0-5 for the week and were outscored 72-7.

The most competitive of the five games was a Thursday non-league game in Berks County against Antietam, which the Tide lost 11-3.

Take away a seven-run second inning and this one would have been much closer. Antietam had just nine hits off Tide pitchers Ryan Redding and Nathan Resch, who combined to strikeout seven but also walked seven.

Columbia scored single runs in the first, fifth and sixth innings but were held to just four hits in the game.

The full week of games got off to an unfortunate start for the Tide as they were blanked by Manheim Central, 15-0, in a game that lasted three innings.

The Barons scored 12 of those runs in the first inning.

Andrew Sheckard, with a single and double, had two of the Tide's three hits in the game. The other hit was off the bat of Redding.

Tuesday, the Tide hosted Lancaster Catholic in a make-up game and lost 16-1, in another three inning outing.

Joe Besecker limited the Tide to just one hit.

Catholic took a 3-0 lead in the first and scored nine runs in the second inning after Columbia got the first two batters out. The Crimson Tide scored their only run of the game in the second inning when Tyreese Musser walked and later scored on the Tide's lone hit of the game by Mason Sheetz.

The Tide committed five errors and walked eight batters, according to Coach Higgins.

Wednesday was a road trip to Cocalico and a 16-1 loss to the Eagles.

In a four inning outing, the Eagles scored crooked numbers in all four innings, while pitcher Nathaniel Martin allowed just two hits, while striking out nine and walking four.

The Tide scored their lone run in the third inning when Sheckard singled and scored on a double off the bat of Bailey Schoenberg.

In their fifth and final game of the week, a tired Tide hosted Garden Spot and lost 13-0 in a game called after five innings because of the ten run rule.

The Tide had just two hits and struggled in the field, committing seven errors.

TRACK

Columbia got its first taste of the post-season Saturday when they participated in the 91st John Roddick Invitational at Shippensburg University, home of the upcoming District Three and PIAA championships.

The Tide took four girls to Shippensburg and three of them came back to Columbia with medals. Jordan Haberstroh, Joeleen Wakefield and Tierre Jordan all earned hardware.

Haberstroh, a junior and one of the best distance runners in the L-L League, placed third in her two signature events, the 1,600-meter run and 3,200-meter runs.

Haberstroh battled Eastern's distance ace Maddie McLain, who won the 1,600, but settled for third in the 3,200. Tina Coryell, of Marian Catholic, finished second in the 1,600 while Christina Falcon of Pine Grove won the 3,200.

McLain and Haberstroh will meet again next week at the Battle of the Bridges at Eastern and two weeks later at the district championships.

In the sprints, Jordan placed fifth in the 100 and just missed her second medal in 200 when she placed ninth, .5 seconds behind the eighth place finisher.

Wakefield, who competed in both hurdle events along with the discus, also brought home two medals. She placed eighth in the 300 hurdles and she was a seventh place finisher in the discus. She also competed in the 100-meter hurdles.

As a team, the Tide girls placed 15th out of 30 teams.

On the boys' side, Columbia brought home one meal and that was in the 4x100-meter relay as the team of Yamil Rodriquez, Ishmel Wright, Ahmad Kamara and Xaiver Jackson placed fifth.

While the Tide will enjoy success in invitationals and the post-season, a lack of numbers prevents Columbia from experiencing that same success in dual meets.

In Section 3 action last week, the boys dropped a 120-24 final against Lancaster Mennonite while the girls fell 83-49.

On the boys' side, Columbia won just two events. Wright won the 800, while Kamara won the long jump.

For the girls', Jordan and Wakefield each won three events. Jordan won both the 100 and 200 meter sprints and added a victory in the high jump. Wakefield, as she has done most of the season, won both hurdle events and then added a first place finish in the discus. Adding to the first place surge was Haberstroh, who won two distance events yet again.

Schedule

There are, weather permitting, two full weeks of activity before the post-season begins.

In baseball and softball, crossover games end this week with Monday games against Northern Lebanon (softball is home) and Wednesday against Lebanon in baseball and Donegal in softball. The Tide returns to Section 4 play on Friday with games against Lancaster Mennonite, with baseball on the hill.

The track teams have completed their run of home meets and travel to Northern Lebanon this week.

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Tide Hardballers Battle Annville-Cleona April 17, 2017

The Easter week at Columbia High School, athletically, was a busy one. The baseball and softball teams played four games in four days and the track teams were again home.

The week also featured somewhat of a high school rarity. Both the Tide baseball team and softball teams were no-hit on the same day by the same school. That was last Monday when the Tide faced Annville-Cleona.

On the road, the Tide girls were blanked by a 15-0 score, in a game that ended after three innings.

The story of the game was A-C pitcher Zoey Garis, who fired a no-hitter, while striking out four and walking one, just missing a perfect game.

A-C scored seven runs in the first, added two more in the second and ended the game with a six-run third inning.

Meanwhile on the hill in Columbia, there was another gem being pitched in baseball. Little Dutchmen pitcher, Andrew Long, was anything but long in the 9-0 A-C win. Like Garis, Long was tantalizing as he struck out 12 and walked just one.

Columbia not only got no hit but their pitchers walked a combined eight batters and also committed eight errors in the field.

BASEBALL

In baseball pitching in a big part of the game. When you are a small school dealing with the new PIAA pitch count rules and face a four games in four day week, you need a lot of arms.

In the two games after being no hit by Annville-Cleona, the Tide was dominated by York Vo-Tech in a non-league game and Pequea Valley in a Section 4 contest.

Tuesday the Tide banged out eight hits and scored twice against the Spartans. Unfortunately, Columbia suffered a 16-2 loss.

YVT touched three Tide pitchers for 16 hits. The staff also walked nine batters and defensively, Columbia committed four errors in the field and also allowed seven stolen bases.

YVT scored three runs in the first and added a single run in the third. Over the middle three innings of the game, the Spartans scored six more times. The visitors broke the game wide open with a six spot in the seventh.

Columbia's two runs were scored by Matt Gambler and Dorian Grimes. Mason Sheetz had two of the eight hits for the Tide. Others with hits were Ryan Redding, Tyreese Musser, Nathan Nikolaus, Bailey Sollenberger, Brendon Ziegler and Grimes.

There were also a combined 18 runners left on base. For the Spartans, every starter but one had at least one hit.

A day later, at Pequea Valley, the Tide was blanked, 10-0. Columbia got one hit in the game, a lead off first inning single off the bat of Redding. Five other Tide hitters reached on walks, but they could not dent the dish.

The Valley Braves scored five runs in the first and four in the second to break the game open.

Columbia's bats remained silent in their fourth and final game of the week against Elco in a 10-0 loss to the Raiders.

For the second straight game, and the third time during the week, the Tide was shutout in a game that lasted just six innings because of the 10-run rule. The game also marked the second straight day Columbia got just one hit, a single off the bat of catcher Matt Gambler. Columbia had two other base runners, Andrew Sheckard and Musser, who walked.

The Raiders scored in every inning of the shortened game but the first and banged out 12 hits off two Columbia hurlers, including Nikolaus, who took the loss.

Elco pitchers Cole Miller and Travis Weaver struck out 12.

SOFTBALL

While the baseball team struggled, the Tide girls provided some spring drama by scoring their second win of the season, a 9-8 thriller over York Vo-Tech in eight innings.

The Tide rallied most of the game to beat the Spartans, early and late.

Vo-Tech scored three runs in the first inning and easily looked in control of the game. However in their half of the first, the Tide girls quickly tied the game. Hits by Hallie McCoy, Jenna Eckman and Cameron West produced three runs. Two Vo-Tech errors also helped the cause.

The Tide took their first lead of the game in the second on a run producing single by West with two outs. That lead didn't last long. Vo-Tech used two walks, two Tide errors, and a single to score four runs for a 7-4 lead in the third.

That's when the game calmed down a little until the sixth when the Tide scored twice to trail 7-6. Vo-Tech took an 8-6 lead in the top of the seventh. Again, the Tide rallied to tie the game at 8-8, having the winning run cut down at the plate in the bottom of the seventh.

Columbia pulled out the win in the home half of the eighth. They needed just three batters to win. Serenity Faus started the inning with a single and stole second. West then reached base bringing the Tide's Tiffany Hoffmaster to the dish. She crushed a pitch off the left field fence at Glatfelter Field easily plating Faus with the winning run.

Wednesday, the Tide girls struggled against Pequea Valley, suffering a 17-1 score in a game that lasted just five innings.

This one was close through two innings as the Lady Braves led just 2-0. But the Braves scored six in the third to go up 8-0, added three more in the fourth and added another six run inning in the fifth. Although the Braves banged out 15 hits for the game, they were also aided by nine CHS errors in the field.

Columbia had just one hit in the game and scored their lone run in the fourth inning.

Thursday, again at home, against Elco, the Tide came out on the short end of an 11-5 loss.

The game was tied at 2-2 after the first inning, but the Raiders, with single runs in the second and third innings, took a 4-2 lead before breaking the game open with a five spot in the fourth.

In that first inning for Columbia, the Tide played "small ball" as a sacrifice fly off the bat of Faus scored McCoy, who led off the inning with a single. An infield hit by Hoffmaster plated West, who singled to right and stole a base.

Columbia also got two base runners on in the second but failed to score. They did pick up a single run in the fourth and two in the sixth.

The two teams combined for 19 hits and 11 errors in the field.

Another downer for the Tide happened in the second inning when second basemen Emily Sumpman left the game with a finger injury on her throwing hand.

Hoffmaster, despite giving up 12 hits, was solid in the circle as she struck out nine and walked two.

TRACK

Like the baseball and softball teams last Monday, Annville-Cleona day continued on the CHS track with the visitors from Lebanon County scoring a sweep - 123-48 in the boys' meet and 96-33 in the girls meet.

On the boys' side, Columbia got two first place finishes. Ishmel Wright won the 800-meter run in 2:25.1 while Ahmed Kamara leaped 38-6.75 to win the triple jump.

The girls had five first place finishes, all by two athletes. Joeleen Wakefield won the 100 meter high hurdles (18.4) and the 300-meter intermediate hurdles (51.9) along with tossing the javelin 99-11. Jordan Haberstroh continued her domination of the distance events, winning the 1,600-meter run (5:35.8) and the 3,200-meter run (11:49).

Wakefield and Haberstroh, both juniors, are two of six girls on the girls' team. Other members include juniors Ciara Arroyo and Kylah Farley, sophomore Tierra Jordan and freshman Angelica Torrey.

The boys' team is made up of seniors James Griffith, Nathaniel Houseal, Xaiver Jackson and Michael Vega. Juniors are Isaiah Acosta, Colin Dietz, Luis DeJesus, Jonathan Hinkle, Kamara, Shawn Kemmerer and Ishmel Wright. Sophomore members include Mitchel Lutz and Damien Sweigart, while Gabe Davilla, Alvin Davis, Daneil Moreta and Jan Cords-Rodriquez, are freshmen.

Schedule

It is a little bit of a different look to the CHS sports schedule for the upcoming week.

In track, it is not a Monday meet for the Tide, but the final home meet of the season on Tuesday against Lancaster Mennonite.

In baseball, the Tide has another four game week with games against Manheim Central (home, Monday), Lancaster Catholic (Tuesday, also home), Wednesday at Cocalico and Friday home against Garden Spot. The softball team has games at Manheim Central (Monday), Cocalico (home, Wednesday) and at Lampeter-Strasburg (Friday).

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Tide Track Teams Take on Lancaster Catholic April 9, 2017

The first full week of Lancaster-Lebanon League play brought positive results for the Columbia High School spring sports teams.

The track teams, coached by David Farley, opened their Section 3 season on the home track last week opposite Lancaster Catholic.

As stated last week, a lack of numbers will hurt the Tide's chances of winning a meet. Such was the case against the Crusaders, who won the boys' meet, 119-22 and the girls' meet, 97-35.

Despite the lopsided nature of the scores, there were a number of superior performances from the Crimson and Gold. On the boys' side, Ahmad Kamara won both the long and triple jumps with leaps of 19-4 in the long jump and 38-8 in the triple jump.

On the girls' side, Jordan Haberstroh, one of the dominate distance runners in the L-L League and Tierra Jordan, both won two events. Haberstroh won the 1,600-meter run in 5:29 and the 3,200-meter run in 11:44.8. Jordan won the sprint events - the 100 in 13.3 and the 200 in 27.1.

The only other first place finisher for the Crimson Tide girls was Joeleen Wakefield, who won the javelin with a toss of 96-4.

SOFTBALL

The Tide girls, softball team picked up their first win of the season in a mid-week contest with Lebanon Catholic.

In a battle of the two smallest teams in the Lancaster-Lebanon League, the Tide girls whipped the Beavers 16-1 in a game that lasted just four innings because of the mercy rule.

The Tide, who had just seven total hits, scored in each of the game's four innings. Coach Matt Phillips' squad pushed across four runs in the first inning and a combined nine runs in the second and third innings. Columbia scored their final three runs in the top of the fourth.

Lebanon Catholic scored its lone run in the bottom of the fourth to avert the shutout.

The Beavers had a lot of issues in the game. They committed five errors in the field, which led to a number of unearned runs, and their two pitchers combined to walk 12 Columbia batters.

CHS pitcher Tiffany Hoffmaster allowed the Beavers just one hit while striking out seven and walking one.

The Tide opened the week losing to Lancaster Mennonite by a competitive 6-1 score.

The game was scoreless entering the fifth inning when the visiting Blazers scored the game's first run and they extended that advantage to 3-0 with two runs in the sixth. Columbia scored its lone run of the game in the bottom of the sixth but got no closer as Mennonite scored three more in the top of the seventh.

Columbia had four hits in the game while Tide hurler Hoffmaster struck out a season-high eight batters, walking two and allowing 10 hits.

Friday, the girls closed out the week with a hard-fought 6-3 loss to Lancaster Catholic.

The Crusaders scored single runs in the second and fourth innings. Leading just 2-0, Catholic broke the game open with a four spot in the fourth. Down but not out, Columbia tried to make a game of it when they erupted for three runs in the top of the seventh but got no closer than 6-3.

BASEBALL

Coach Jordan Higgins' squad opened last week with its lone night game of the season on the road at Lancaster Mennonite.

The home standing Blazers scored a 9-2 win over the Crimson Tide.

"In every baseball game it comes down to throwing strikes and making plays defensively. My belief is that fundamental, defensive baseball works wonders and we just didn't do that tonight," said Higgins.

Columbia had their chances in this one. They scored two of their runs in the top of the fourth but still trailed 5-2. Crossing the plate with runs were Brendon Ziegler and Joseph Pizzaro.

Mennonite broke the game open with a three spot in the home half of the fourth.

The Tide left the bases loaded in the first. Mennonite prevented any damage by striking out six straight hitters in the first two innings of the game.

For the game, Columbia hitters struck out 13 times, their pitchers walked 12 and they committed six errors in the field.

Ziegler was the starting pitcher for Columbia and was relieved by Chandler Gibson.

"On a positive note, the swings are looking better and we are starting to knock on the door. Now we just need a few guys to give us that extra push and bust through," Higgins stated. "The guys didn't quit and I commend them for that, but now we are on to the next one."

In their second game of the week, the Tide '9' had a lot of fun in an 11-1, five inning win over Lebanon Catholic.

This one was over from the start. The Beavers touched Tide freshman hurler Ryan Redding for their only run in the top of the first. He settled down from that point and had a stellar outing in his first varsity start, allowing just one inning the rest of the way.

"With all of our pitchers, our focus is throwing strikes," Higgins said. "We are getting better defensively. It's putting that trust in one another."

Columbia took the lead when Dorian Grimes sliced a two-run single to right, followed by Andrew Sheckard's run-scoring triple. Sheckard scored on Redding's single.

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Austin Cramer, who singled to lead off the third inning, advanced to second on an error and one out later scored when Pizarro's infield single was thrown away for another error, one of five committed by the Beavers.

The Tide scored twice more in the third to go up 7-1, and, aided by five walks and two more Lebanon Catholic miscues, added two runs in both the fourth and fifth innings.

"We are really trying to teach these guys to be good fundamental ballplayers, and to be good men, too," Higgins said.

Redding struck out six and walked two batters as the Tide picked up their second win of the season.

Columbia's third game of the week, a Friday home game with Lancaster Catholic, was postponed until later this month by poor field conditions on the hill.

Schedule

The Easter holiday week will be a busy one for the Tide in baseball and softball. The two teams will be playing four games in four days. The teams have league game with Annville-Cleona (Monday), Pequea Valley (Wednesday) and Elco (Thursday). They also have a non-league game on Tuesday, with both teams home against York Tech. The baseball team is home on Monday, while the softball team is home Wednesday and Thursday.

In track, the Tide athletes host Annville-Cleona.

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Tide Baseball Opens 2017 With Mixed Results April 3, 2017

The final sports season at Columbia High School is under way with the three spring teams - baseball, softball and track looking to end the 2016-17 athletic year on a high note.

In the fall and winter sports, Crimson Tide athletes represented the school with good results at the district and state levels. What team or athletes wearing the Crimson and Gold will represent the school at those levels in the spring? That will be decided over the next month or so, weather permitting.

Here is the first spring sports round of the season.

BASEBALL

Coach Jordan Higgins and his team heading into league play, which starts this week, is 1-1 after two non-league games with Hanover and Mount Calvary.

The Tide opened its season with a 5-1 loss at Hanover. The Nighthawks scored all of their runs in the middle three innings. Of the five runs Hanover scored, only one came as the result of a hit. The Tide made three errors that allowed Hanover to win.

Columbia scored its lone run of the game in the second when a leadoff walk to Dorian Grimes led to a run on a sacrifice off the bat of Andrew Sheckard.

"We got a really nice effort on the mound from Bailey Sollenberger and a nice relief appearance from freshmen Zac Nikolaus," Higgins said.

"I truly feel we were the better team, but weather conditions have made it tough to get swings and get live action and it showed in our season opener. We are excited to get back on the field and to get a win under our belt," he added.

Getting back on the field came a few days later when the Tide got their first win of the season, 16-6, on the hill against Mount Calvary.

"We came out of the gate hard and built ourselves a nice lead early," Higgins said.

A big lead, how about a huge lead. Columbia scored 13 runs in the first inning and sent 18 batters to the plate. Last year, it was Columbia who was on the receiving ends of those type innings, this is year is a sign of improvement.

"We have to clean up the walks and errors, but overall a win is a win and it was nice to win our home opener," Higgins said.

"Andrew Sheckard and Zac Nikolaus both had bright spots on the mound and Ryan Redding collected his first career hit. Joe Pizarro ended the game with a walk-off RBI single to put us up 10 and that's always a good feeling," Higgins said.

Redding, a freshman, and Tyreese Musser, a senior, scored three runs each, while Sheckard and Brendan Ziegler scored two runs each.

Columbia had just seven hits to go with those 16 runs. Mount Calvary committed eight errors in the field. No Columbia player had more than one hit in the game. Getting hits were Redding, Sheckard, Pizzaro, Brandon Derr, Musser and Zeigler.

Mount Calvary scored three runs in the fifth and three more in the sixth.

For the first time in a number of years, the Tide will field a junior varsity team. There are 17 players on the varsity squad including four seniors - Sheckard, Sollenberger, Musser and Gabe Grove. The team also features eight juniors, two sophomores and three freshmen.

SOFTBALL

Like the baseball team, the Tide softball team completed two non-league games last week, against Greenwood and Hanover, both of whom beat the Crimson Tide.

Coach Matt Phillips' team opened the season with their longest bus ride of the season with a game at Greenwood from the Tri-Valley League and the defending District Three Class A champion.

This one was all Greenwood, who scored an 11-0, five inning win over the Tide.

Greenwood pitcher Courtney Fleister was a one person wrecking crew. On the bump, she allowed the Tide girls just two hits while striking out seven. At the dish, she had three RBIs.

The game was scoreless heading into the bottom of the second inning when Greenwood scored twice and they added two more in the third. Greenwood turned the game into a rout with a four spot in the bottom of the fourth.

A few days later, in the home opener, the Tide was paired with Hanover, another small school in District 3 and on a cold, brisk day, the two put on an entertaining game by combining for 28 runs. Unfortunately for the Tide, the visiting Nighthawks scored 17 of those runs in a 17-11 win.

The Tide girls have a number of players back from last year's team including pitcher Tiffany Hoffmaster. Other key players around the infield are Jenna Eckman, Emily Sumpman, Sorenity Faus and Erika West. The others are Paige Schmidt, Kylie Lachapelle and Halie McCoy.

The varsity team features 17 girls for the start of the season.

Results of the first two games were not provided for this report.

TRACK

One again, numbers will be a key concern in track for the Tide on both the boys and girls side. Despite the low numbers, coach David Farley's team does have some talented athletes that should do well at invitationals and the post-season such as the district level.

Columbia has had a couple of non-league meets. They opened the season with a quad meet known as the Out of the Blocks Invitational at the York County School of Technology. The other teams were York Catholic and York Country Day.

In their first home meet of the season, the Tide hosted the Christian School of York.

Individual results of both meets were unavailable at press time.

Schedule

Baseball and softball games are scheduled this week with Lancaster Mennonite (Monday), Lebanon Catholic (Wednesday) and Lancaster Catholic (Friday). The baseball team is home Wednesday and Friday. On the track, the Tide hosts Lancaster Catholic.

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Hoop Teams End Seasons in State Playoffs March 12, 2017

It's time to get the baseballs, softballs and track equipment out as Columbia's magical winter sports season ended Friday night in the opening round of the state basketball playoffs. Faced with the pressure of needing to win to keep their seasons going and taking their longest road trips of the season, both the Tide girls and boys basketball teams came up short in their quests for state gold. The basketball seasons ended in different parts of the state, hours away from the friendly confines of the cozy Columbia gym.

GIRLS' BASKETBALL

The Tide girls hadn't been to the state playoffs in 17 years. It's also been about that long since they won 10 games. This year, thanks to a coaching change, the girls started to get back to their past glory. After winning just one game two years ago, the Tide won 10 games this season and played in the District 3 finals for the first time since 2000.

But a second place finish in District 3 sent them on the season's longest road trip against West Catholic Prep School, a team coming off their third straight District 12 title and playing less than two miles from their home court.

It was the Burrs who ended the Tide's comeback season with a 75-41 win.

The Tide finishes its season with a 10-13 record and took a big step toward past glory from the mid-1980s thru 2000 when they were among the best teams in the area year in and year out.

The future is bright for coach Karl Kreiser and his team as they lose just two starters and returning four of its top six players.

Speaking of the future, that is exactly where the Crimson Tide played Friday night, the School of the Future in Philadelphia. After a two hour bus ride, Columbia took to the court against the less traveled Burrs.

There were a combined 49 points scored in the first quarter, unfortunately, the Burrs scored 29 of them and led by nine. For West, freshman Tamiah Robinson, who scored a game-high 27 points, scored 13 in the first eight minutes of the game. For Columbia, Shanel and Jeneah Neal scored a combined 13 points.

It was still a game until the second quarter. Robinson stayed hot but the Tide scored just four points -- two each by Jeneah Neal and Savannah Walton and trailed 42-24 at the half.

Robinson scored seven more points in the third quarter but like most good teams another player picked up the slack. Morgan Kennedy, who was held to three points in the first half, erupted for 19 of her 22 in the second half and the Burrs easily advanced.

Columbia was led in scoring by Jeneah Neal with 15 points and Shanel Neal with 10.

As for the future, the Tide graduates two senior starters in Shanel Neal and forward Jordan Herchelroath, one of the top rebounders on the team. Three starters return - Jeneak Neal, Walton and Christina Jones, who started all but three games as a freshman, along with the top reserve Nevah Neal. Two other seniors, Delma DeJesus and Elena Young, also graduate. The rest of the varsity roster will come from junior varsity and junior high teams that did well this year.

Give coach Kreiser, who coached the Tide girls from 1984 through 1993, a full off-season and a strong core of players coming back, and the future is indeed bright.

While the Columbia girls were in the Eastern half of the state playoffs, coach Kerry Glover and the Tide boys, thanks to a fourth place finish in the District Three playoffs, had to go west, specifically Johnstown for their PIAA Class AAA opener.

At Richland High School, the boys faced Central Cambria, the surprise District 6 champs and the Red Devils, winners of nine straight entering Friday's game, proved too much in a 90-76 win.

One issue for the Tide, who finished the season with a 17-9 record, was the Red Devils' size. Center Matt Holsinger, who stood 6-6, scored a season high 34 points, while Evan Bopp added 25 and Matt Gillen 22. Holsinger grabbed 14 rebounds in the game and used his size to go 15-of-17 from the foul line.

The Red Devils, behind their big three, dominated early and led 25-19 after one quarter and 40-31 at the half.

But like they had done all season, Columbia found a way to get back into the game. Trailing by eight after three quarters, they were able to cut the lead to 64-58 with six minutes left. That would be as close as they could get as Central Cambria hit 21-of-22 foul shots in the final six minutes to easily win the game.

Columbia had four players in double figures led by senior Tyler Harmon with 19 points followed by Elijah Swanigan with 17, Jaden Neal with 15 and Meleik Crenshaw with 11, all in the second half.

"Our season came to an end after a tough game. We would like to thank our wonderful fans who supported us all year," said first-year head coach Glover said. "This has been an amazing year and we enjoyed the ride.

"We have restored the pride back on the hill and will be back," he added.

Like the Tide girls, the future is bright for the boys as well. Starters Neal, Crenshaw and Swanigan are back. Harmon and Tyreese Musser are the two graduating seniors. There are good numbers at the junior varsity and junior high levels that will make the Tide strong for years to come.

Both teams will be honored at a banquet later this month at the high school.

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Columbia Hoop Teams Qualify For States March 6, 2017

It's the dream of every basketball player in Pennsylvania to get a chance to play in Hershey in late March for a state championship. Both the Columbia girls and boys basketball teams, with top four finishes in the District Three tournament, will get that chance starting on Friday night.

The Tide girls, coached by Karl Kreiser, placed second in the Class AA bracket, while the boys were fourth in the Class AAA bracket.

And there is some history on the side of the Tide teams as they enter the state tournament. Back in 1986, when Kreiser was also the Tide girls coach, they lost to Camp Hill in the District Three finals and advanced to the state finals where they lost to Linesville. A year later, the Tide boys struggled with back-to-back losses in the District playoffs to place fourth. Not much was expected of the Tide once the state playoffs opened but somehow they wound up in the state finals where they won the program's only state title.

Will history repeat itself in 2017? Time will tell.

It is also the first time this season that either team will face the pressure of having to win to keep their seasons alive. If they win, they advance to the next round, where both teams will play again on Tuesday. A loss means its wait till next year.

Last Wednesday's game at the Giant Center, where the Tide girls were playing for the first time, was also a rematch, not 30 years in the making but three months. In the second game of the season, the consolation game of the Camp Hill Tournament, the Lions destroyed the Tide, 72-45.

Both teams have improved since then, particularly the Tide, who made the District Three tournament for the first time in about a decade and recorded double digit wins for the first time in 16 years.

Once again, it was the Lions who were too much, beating the Tide 59-38 for their third straight District Three title.

"I'm very proud. We never thought we'd be in a district final, so I told them to keep their heads up. We'd love to be back here again next year, but we want gold," Kreiser said after the game.

Like the second game of the season, the girls had trouble containing Lion junior Diamond Bragg. In game two of the season, she exploded for a season-high 39 points. Wednesday night, the Division I recruit recorded a rare triple-double, scoring 20 points, grabbing 11 rebounds and dishing out 11 assists. To add to the equation, Bragg had four blocked shots and a couple of steals at the defensive end of the floor.

"We have my heart," Kreiser said of his squad. "I came in as a new coach and I've been pretty hard on them. They bought in 100 percent. So it's nothing but upward from here."

The Lions got off to a hot start on Wednesday, netting five first-quarter 3-pointers, two by Katy Hollingsworth, to grab an 18-10 lead. Then Bragg dominated, scoring 10 second-quarter points to spark a 16-7 run, giving the Lions a commanding 34-17 lead at the half.

Camp Hill built on its lead in the third quarter behind Passion Bragg, Diamond's younger sister, who had a pair of transition buckets, and Sheridan Reid, who had a post hoop and three rebounds. Reid finished with 10 points and five rebounds and Passion Bragg had 11 points and 12 rebounds, as the Lions out-rebounded the Tide 38-31 and turned Columbia over 17 times.

"We'll keep working. I'm not disappointed at all," Kreiser said

Shanel Neal nailed three 3-pointers and scored a team-high 14 points and Janeah Neal added 10 points and a team-best 11 rebounds for the Tide.

Next up for the Crimson Tide girls is a return to the PIAA playoffs after a 17 year absence. Columbia will face West Catholic High School on Friday night at the School of the Future in Philadelphia with a 7:30 tip. The Burrs won their third straight District 12 Class AA title with a 74-9 win over the Maritime Academy.

Coach Beulah Osueke's team brings a 15-10 record into the game. They were 5-7 in the Philadelphia Catholic League, which was good enough for eighth place in a league which features three of the top teams in the state in Neumann Gorretti, Archbishop Wood and Archbishop Carroll. All three easily beat the Burrs. The Burrs' schedule isn't as nearly as tough as what Columbia played with teams such as Lancaster Catholic, Northern Lebanon, Camp Hill, Halifax, Lebanon Catholic and Linden Hall, who are some of the top teams in the state.

The Burrs average about 60 points a game on offense and are led in scoring by freshman Tamiah Robinson, who is averaging 17 points a game and put up back-to-back 30 point games earlier in the season. Other key players are 5-2 sophomore Destiny Epps; 5-10 sophomore Kylia Singletary; 5-7 junior Jaelynn Durrett and 5-10 senior Morgan Kennedy, who is the team's second leading scorer followed by Singletary.

Should the Tide girls win their PIAA opener, they would probably face unbeaten Minersville, who has been the top ranked team in Class AA for most of the season.

BOYS' BASKETBALL

The Tide boys are also bound for states and because of their fourth place finish, they will be trying to reach Hershey through the Western part of the bracket.

Coach Kerry Glover's team will play District 6 champion Central Cambria on Friday night at 7:30 at Richland High School in Johnstown.

Last Monday night, the Tide faced York Catholic at Milton Hershey High School in the third place game in the Class AAA field. The Fighting Irish, who were the second seed in Class AA, were coming off a tough overtime loss to Lancaster Mennonite, while the Tide was blown out by Trinity.

And it was York Catholic winning in a big way 81-62.

It was a seven point game after the first quarter with the Fighting Irish leading 25-18. They extended their advantage to 48-33 at the half. Columbia made a little bit of a comeback in the second half but were outscored 33-29.

For the game, Columbia had seven more field goals than the Tide but York Catholic was 17-of-28 from the foul line.

Elijah Swanigan led Columbia with 22 points, hitting 10-of-14 free throws, while key reserve Andrew Sheckard finished with 17 points including a team-high three 3-pointers, while Jaden Neal had 15.

For the Fighting Irish, D'Andre Davis and Melik Martin both scored 22 points.

Columbia will bring a 17-7 record into Friday's game. This was their third loss in the last five games and first time all season they have lost back-to-back games.

The Red Devils, coached by Adam Stephen, bring a 20-6 record and played in Division I of the Laurel Highlands Conference. They are playing some of the best basketball of the season, winning nine straight games including Saturday's 54-43 win over top seeded Richland in the District 6 finals. The Red Devils were the fifth seed in Class AAA. They were 10-5 in their league and are led in scoring by Evan Bopp, who is averaging 18.4 points a game, and 6-6 Matt Holsinger, who averages 16.6 a game. Nate Gillen, who averages 13.9 ppg, has 40 three-point baskets on the season.

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Tide Hoop Teams Qualify For State Tourney February 27, 2017

The dream of playing for a state basketball championship in late March in Hershey is still alive for the Columbia girls and boys basketball teams. For the Tide girls it is a return to a place where they haven't been in 17 years. For the boys, a trip to the District Three finals was thwarted by one of the best teams in the state.

Here is your March Madness weekly Columbia winter sports report.

GIRLS' BASKETBALL

How long has it been since the Columbia girls' basketball team was among the elite teams not only in the Lancaster-Lebanon League but District Three as well? The answer to that question is 17 years.

The 2000 season was the last time Columbia won a district playoff game and also appeared in the district championship game and PIAA playoffs. That year, the Tide won their fourth district championship in six years, beating Trinity, 58-50.

So with that little history lesson, the Tide girls, the second seed in the Class AA field, returned to the post-season for the first time in almost a decade. Last Wednesday at Hershey High School, they face Antietam, a team they have a little history against.

You may remember that the Tide and Mountaineers were supposed to play a non-league game back on Dec. 23, but it was canceled because Antietam scheduled another game that day. So instead of a rematch, it was a game with the winner going to the District Three Class AA championship and loser going home.

And it was Columbia, following a big 50-27 win over the Mounts, moving onto the district finals and also qualifying for the PIAA playoffs, which begin Friday, March 10.

Before we can talk about the big win over the Mounts, there is more history with the girls' program to look at first. Two years ago they went 1-21 and last year they had just five wins in 21 games. This year, the Tide reached double figures in wins for the first time since 2000.

There is also some history between the Tide and Camp Hill, Wednesday's opponent in the Class AA championship at 4:30 at the Giant Center in Hershey. Turning back the clock even farther, Columbia and Camp Hill played in the District Three Class A finals in 1986 when the Lions scored a 50-45 win. Columbia got some revenge two weeks later, beating the Lions 47-45 in the Eastern finals to advance to the program's lone state final.

The coach of that team is current girls' coach Karl Kreiser, who coached the Tide girls from 1984 through 1993.

This year, the Tide and Lions played in the second game of the season with the Lions scoring an easy 72-45 win. In that one, the Lions' Diamond Bragg torched the Tide for 39 points. She is easily the best player the Tide has played against this year. Kreiser said his team has improved since that game and they won't be playing man-to-man defense against the Lions on Wednesday.

So after not playing for two weeks, Columbia got off to a quick start against the Mounts. Savannah Walton and Shanel Neal scored the first five points of the game as the Tide led 9-4 after eight minutes.

If there was any doubt as to the outcome of the game, it ended in the second quarter. Columbia took control of the game, outscoring the Mounts 14-2 to take a 23-6 lead at the half. In that second quarter, Antietam turned the ball over seven times and 18 in the first half. They were held without a field goal until 1:22 left in the first half.

Despite an attempt by Antietam in the third quarter to comeback, they never got closer than 10 points.

Jeneah Neal led the Tide with 19 points, followed by Shanel Neal with 14 (including four three-pointers) and Walton with 12. Kreiser was able to clear the bench with more than two minutes left in the game.

"Who would have thought this?" said Kreiser. "It's been 17 years since we've won the district. But now we're going to play for a district title. And who would have thought that at the start of this season? We've improved over the year. The girls have really hung in there."

The win not only put the Tide in the district finals, but also the PIAA playoffs which open Friday, March 10 against either a team from District 6 or District 12.

BOYS' BASKETBALL

The Engle Publishing history lesson also continues with the Columbia boys' basketball team, who also qualified for the state playoffs by reaching the District Three Class AAA playoffs. Coach Kerry Glover's team did that last week with a split of games against Camp Hill and Trinity.

The first history lesson deals with Camp Hill. The Lions hammered the Tide in the district playoffs a year ago, 71-45. The rematch was last Monday night on the hill as Columbia hosted a District Three playoff game for the fourth time.

In their previous three home games, the Tide was a winner. This time, it looked like an easy one for the home team, who scored a 71-70 win over the Lions, to advance to the semifinals against Trinity.

This was the tale of two games. Columbia could do nothing wrong in the first quarter. Hitting shots at a torrid pace, Columbia jumped on the shell shocked Lions and led 24-6 after eight minutes. Elijah Swanigan scored nine of his 16 points in that frame, Tyler Harmon (22 points) scored seven and Meleik Crenshaw added four.

Down but not out, the Lions started their comeback in the second quarter. Casey Caruso scored nine of his game-high 27 points but the Tide still led 37-28 at the break. Camp Hill closed the first half on a 14-3 run and continued that run in the second half.

The Tide kept the Lions at bay until Camp Hill's Casey Caruso drove for a reverse layup that cut the deficit to 62-60 with 2:48 to play.

After hitting one-of-two from the free-throw line on five straight possessions, Columbia led 68-63, but Caruso hit two free throws and the Lions forced a five-second call on an inbounds play. However, the Tide forced a turnover with 18 seconds.

The two teams exchanged free throws, with the Tide leading when Swanigan hit his huge shot from the stripe that was made even bigger. The Lions made a "Hail Mary" three at the buzzer to make it a one point final.

That win put the Tide into the semifinals against District 3 power Trinity. Columbia has only beaten Trinity twice since 1987 (the Eastern finals that year and in 1994) and again this year. The Shamrocks are the best team in the Class AAA field

With a lot of size, good shooting and defense, the Shamrocks rocked the Tide 80-45 to advance to Wednesday's championship game against Lancaster Mennonite.

And this one was close after eight minutes with Trinity leading just 14-10. Columbia led 3-0 on a three-point basket from Harmon before Trinity got hot.

The gap between the two teams widened in the second quarter and Trinity led 34-19 at the half.

Any chances of the Tide winning the game ended in the third quarter when the Shamrocks outscored the Tide 31-7 putting the mercy rule in effect early in the fourth quarter.

Jaden Neal led the Tide with 17 points.

Next up for the Tide is a third place consolation game against York Catholic, who is the number two seed in the Class AA field. The Tide has beaten the Fighting Irish twice in the last five years.

Win or lose, the Tide has qualified for the PIAA Class AAA playoffs. The first game will also be Friday, March 10 against either a team from District 12 or District 6.

WRESTLING

Columbia's wrestling season ended Saturday at the District Three Class AA wrestling championships at the Giant Center in Hershey, a match short of reaching this weekend's Class AA regional championships.

Tide junior Marcus Falcon placed eighth at 152 pounds when he was pinned by Colton Shriver of Fairfield in 2:33. The top seven wrestlers in each weight class advanced to the regional tournament this weekend at Wilson High School.

Falcon, who ended his junior season with a 15-17 record, opened the district tournament with a big 4-2 win over Taevon Miller of Susquenita before getting pinned in the quarterfinals by Ashton West of Bermudian Springs, who went onto place second in 4:36.

Now in the consolation bracket needing a win to possibly qualify for regionals, Falcon earned a tough 7-6 decision over Troy Staats of Eastern York. That win was a nice bit of revenge for Falcon, who was pinned by Staats earlier this month in a dual meet. Next up was a chance to place at least fifth in a bout with Joel Orlando of Schuylkill Valley. Orlando dominated Falcon, scoring a 10-1 major decision. That loss placed Falcon into the seventh place match.

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Falcon Qualifies for District Wrestling February 20, 2017

The post-season is underway for winter sports at Columbia High School following this weekend's Class AA sectional wrestling tournament at Central Dauphin East and it will continue another week for one Crimson Tide wrestler.

Junior Marcus Falcon qualified for this week's District Three Class AA championships at its new location, the Giant Center in Hershey. The District Three Class AA championships begin Friday.

Wrestling at 152 pounds, Falcon, who came into the tournament with a 10-13 record, opened the tournament with a 9-5 win over Middletown freshman Abel Butterbusch. Now in the semifinals, Falcon was pinned in 1:52 by Susquehanna Township's Ed Ruth.

With his back to the wall and needing two wins to advance, Falcon got the first one against Malkum Lawrence of Lancaster Catholic with a fall in 1:24. He then scored a 13-3 major decision for the second time over Butterbusch to punch his ticket to Hershey.

Falcon was almost joined in Hershey by teammate Michelangelo Stewart.

Stewart, a freshman, placed fourth at 220 pounds when Julian Gray of Susquehanna Township scored a 13-0 major decision in the consolation finals. Just the top three wrestlers from each weight class advanced to the District Three championships.

Stewart, who entered sectionals with a 5-14 record, after getting a first round bye, lost in the semifinals when he was pinned by Eric Wilson of Boiling Springs in 4:46.

Nicholas Garrido, a senior, came close to wrestling for third place at 138 pounds. He was pinned in the consolation semifinals by Wyatt Smith of Middletown in 1:55. Garrido, 4-12 entering the tournament, was pinned in the second period of his opening match by Tyler Speraw of Annville-Cleona. Garrido, after receiving a consolation round bye, saw his season end when he was pinned by Jack Coulston of Boiling Springs in 4:08.

At 132 pounds, senior Isaiah Hunter (6-14) was pinned in his first bout by Annville-Cleona's Zach Renninger in 2:54. In the consolation round, Hunter kept his season alive with a 7-2 win over Andrew Neally of Lancaster Catholic before seeing his season end when he was pinned in 39 seconds by Farhan Musial of Susquehanna Township.

The final Columbia wrestler to compete at the sectional tournament was senior Mina Metias, who lost his opening bout by a tech fall (16-0, 1:37) to Nick Kostyak of Boiling Springs. In the consolation round, Metias stayed alive with an 8-4 win over Quincy Clark before seeing his wrestling career end when he was pinned by Wyatt Smith of Middletown in 1:55.

With the wrestling season extended for at least a week, the focus of attention this week will be on the Crimson Tide boys and girls' basketball teams as they begin their quest in the District Three playoffs.

The Tide boys open action against Camp Hill. If they win that one, they move into the semifinal round of the Class AAA field against top seeded Trinity on Thursday night, February 23, at Red Land High School at 8 p.m. A loss to Camp Hill ends their season. If the Tide does beat Trinity, they would play for a district title, Wednesday, March 1 at the Giant Center. A loss to Trinity puts them in the third place consolation game on Monday, Feb. 27 at Milton Hershey High School.

On Wednesday, February 22, the Tide girls' basketball team returns to the District Three Class AA playoffs for the first time in 10 years. As the second seed in the Class AA field, Columbia will play Antietam at 6:30 at Hershey High School. A loss ends the season but a win will put the Tide girls in the District Three Class AA finals against the winner of the Camp Hill-Steel-High game on Wednesday, March 1, also at the Giant Center, and qualify them for the PIAA playoffs for the first time in 17 years.

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Tide Girls Beat PV, Lock Up No. 2 Seed in AA February 12, 2017

The goal of every boy and girl across Pennsylvania is to play for or wrestle for a chance to end their season in Hershey at the state basketball or wrestling finals. Starting Saturday and extending into next week, three Columbia teams will get that chance.

With the regular season over, the Tide basketball and wrestling teams now face the pressure of having to win to extend their seasons. Welcome to the post-season.

Here is your weekly rundown of the winter sports teams at Columbia High School.

GIRLS' BASKETBALL

It has been a while, like almost a decade, since the Tide girls were last in the District Three playoffs. It has been even longer than that since Columbia won a post-season game, like 17 years.

In their only game last week, coach Karl Kreiser's team locked up the second seed in the Class AA field with a 45-34 win at Pequea Valley.

The win was the Tide's ninth of the season against 11 losses and completed a season sweep of the Braves.

In the win, the Tide girls hit seven three-point baskets, including four by Shanel Neal, who finished with 12 points. Janeah Neal led the Tide with 17 points.

Columbia led the game 11-10 after eight minutes and 23-17 at the half.

The Tide's other game last week, a non-league encounter with the Mount Calvary Christian School, was canceled by the weather and will not be rescheduled.

The Tide girls with their 9-11 record are the second seed in the Class AA field of four teams. The higher seed earned the Tide a home game on Thursday, Feb. 23 in an interesting twist against Antietam from Division 3 of the Berks County League.

That interesting twist is that these two schools were scheduled to play a non-league game at Columbia on Dec. 23, but that game was never played because Antietam had another game scheduled that day.

The Mounts will bring a 13-10 record into the game and have two players averaging in double figures. The only score comparison is that Antietam beat Pequea Valley earlier in the season by a 57-30 score.

Should the Tide win that one, it is onto the District 3 championship game on March 1 at the Giant Center against most likely top seeded Camp Hill, who scored a 72-46 win over the Tide in the second game of the season, the consolation game of the Camp Hill Tournament.

Camp Hill, who won the Capital Division of the Mid Penn Conference plays league rival Steel-High in the first round.

A win over Antietam would also qualify the Tide for the state playoffs for the first time in 18 years.

BOYS' BASKETBALL

Before we can talk about the district playoffs, the Tide boys had a couple of things to take care of last week such as finishing the Section 3 season and playing in the Lancaster-Lebanon League playoffs.

First that play-in game in the league tournament. The site was Conestoga Valley High School, a gym the Tide hadn't played in since 2008, and the opponent was Ephrata, a team Columbia hadn't played since the 1990s.

The goal was to beat Ephrata and earn a quarterfinal game opposite Section 1 champion Lebanon. When the Tide scored the first seven points of the game, it looked very good. Unfortunately, the momentum didn't hold and the Tide ended up on the short end of a 43-39 decision.

In a game where the Mounts controlled the tempo from start to finish, there were just 11 total points scored in the first quarter as the Tide led 7-4.

The offense Columbia showed in the first quarter dwindled over the middle two frames as Ephrata took control of the game. The Mounts led 21-17 at halftime and increased their advantage to nine entering the final eight minutes.

On this night, there was no quit in the Tide. They were able to get some turnovers off their half-court trap and some shots started to fall. Columbia stormed back to take a 39-38 lead in the final minute before the Mounts drained a three-point basket to go ahead 41-39. The Tide had a chance to tie the game or win it the final two seconds of regulation, but turned the ball over, allowing the Mounts an easy basket at the buzzer.

Jaden Neal was the only Tide player in double figures with 13 points.

With a league playoff berth locked up, coach Kerry Glover's team closed out Section 3 play on the home court last Tuesday night against Pequea Valley. Substituting freely for the first time all season as 14 of the 15 players dressed for the game played, Columbia scored a shaky 63-56 win over the Braves.

Pequea Valley led the game 32-29 at the half, but the Tide dominated the third quarter, allowing the Braves just four points and scoring 21 of their own. Columbia was back in control of the game and looked like they would coast to their 16th win of the season.

Not so fast, Pequea Valley mounted a huge comeback. Four clutch foul shots from Andrew Sheckard and two more from Elijah Swanigan iced the win for the Tide.

Sheckard, who started the game, finished with a game-high 19 points, followed by Tyler Harmon, who has been the Tide's most consistent player all season with 13.

Columbia's regular season finale with Susquehannock was canceled by weather and will not be made up.

Next up for the Tide boys is the District Three Class AAA playoffs, which open on Monday, Feb. 20. With their fourth seed, the Tide has a home game with Camp Hill.

The game is a rematch of last year's District Three Class AA quarterfinal game won by the Lions at Camp Hill, 71-55.

The Lions, who went 11-11 this season are the fifth seed and return a number players. The lone exception is 6-8 center Zach Kuntz, a Penn State football recruit, who is out for the season with a broken wrist.

If Columbia is successful against Camp Hill, they would earn a trip to the semifinals against top-seeded Trinity on Thursday, Feb. 23. A win over Camp Hill also guarantees the Tide at least two more games. Columbia would qualify for the PIAA tournament with a win over Camp Hill and no matter the outcome against Trinity, would either play for a district title on March 1 in Hershey or a consolation game for third place on Monday, Feb. 27.

WRESTLING

Coach Kent Lutz' team finished their dual meet season with a 51-12 loss at Brandywine Heights last Wednesday. Once again the lack of a full team derailed the Tide as they forfeited four weight classes and two other weight classes that were not contested.

The only winners for the Tide were Brandon Derr and Michaelangelo Stewart. At 126, Derr won his match over Jacob Coskie by injury default. Stewart, wrestling at heavyweight, won his match by forfeit.

The only Tide wrestler not to get pinned was Marcus Falcon (152), who lost his match to Dylan Miller by a 4-0 score.

On the mats, the Tide will begin the mythical "Road to Hershey" on Saturday by participating in a Class AA sectional tournament at Central Dauphin East. In addition to Columbia, other teams competing are Northern Lebanon, Annville-Cleona and Lancaster Catholic from Section 3 of the Lancaster-Lebanon League and Boiling Springs, Middletown and Susquehanna Township from the Mid-Penn Conference.

The top three finishers in each weight class advance to next week's District Three championships in Hershey. Northern Lebanon, who finished second at the PIAA team championships along with Boiling Springs, a District 3 team championship qualifier, are expected to have the top individuals and teams at the sectional tournament

BOWLING

The Crimson Tide bowlers finished the season with a 5-8 overall record following a split of non-league matches with Garden Spot and the York County School of Technology at the home lanes, East Lincoln Lanes in Hellam.

Against Garden Spot, Columbia scored a 7-0 win with Chris Reigel scoring a 544 series. Against York County Technology, Columbia was beaten 5-2 with Shane Kinser scoring a 577 series with a high game in game two of 222.

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Tide Boys Qualify For League, District Playoffs February 6, 2017

Remember when former Indianapolis Colts coach Jim Mora uttered those words, "playoffs, playoffs, we're talking playoffs here." Well, that is exactly what everyone is talking about as the winter sports season at Columbia High School wraps up its regular season this week.

BOYS' BASKETBALL

Just how good has Kerry Glover's first year as Crimson Tide coach been? Let's just say very good. The Tide boys have qualified for the District 3 Class AAA playoffs, but a dramatic win 58-57 win over Elco clinched third place in Section 3 and set up a play-in game for the Lancaster-Lebanon League playoffs.

That third place finish, (the Tide boys are 9-4 in league play and 14-5 overall), put Columbia into the league play-in game where they will meet the third place team from Section 2 on probably Friday night. Who that opponent will be won't be determined until perhaps Tuesday night or a playoff game later in the week. That's because there is a three-way tie for first place in Section 2 between Manheim Central, Ephrata and Lampeter-Strasburg.

And then there are the District Three Class AAA playoffs. Trinity and York Catholic are the two best teams in the bracket followed by Lancaster Mennonite. The Tide boys are currently fourth and would host the fifth seeded team, either Delone Catholic or Steel-High on the hill on Monday, February 20.

But back to last week's games, which started with an easy win over Lebanon Catholic and ended with a flair with that win over Elco.

Tuesday night on the hill, Columbia dominated Lebanon Catholic for an easy 81-21 win. The Beavers, who dressed just eight players for the game, with two them being seniors, did not score a point in the third quarter and just one field goal in the fourth quarter.

Glover dressed 13 players for the game and 11 of them scored. Three of the team's five starters were in double figures led by Jaden Neal, who had 18 points including three rim rattling dunks, Meleik Crenshaw added 11 and Tyler Harmon had 10.

The Tide outscored the Beavers 24-0 in the third quarter when the mercy rule kicked in with four minutes left. Lebanon Catholic scored their only field goal in the second half with seven minutes left in the game.

Friday's league playoff clinching win went back-and-forth. The game wasn't decided until the end when the Raiders turned the ball over and Crenshaw hit a layup to give Columbia the win.

GIRLS' BASKETBALL

There's no doubt that bringing in a former CHS boys and girls' basketball coach was the right thing for the program. With two games left in the regular season,, the Tide girls have already improved their win total by three games over last season and have a chance to get their first double figure win total in about 15 years.

To have that chance for double figures in wins, all the Tide, who entered the game with four straight losses, all to District 3 powers (Northern Lebanon, Lancaster Catholic, Lebanon Catholic and Linden Hall) had to do was beat the visiting Raiders from Elco. That turned out to be a huge task. They were left for dead in the first half and through the third quarter, until their shots started to drop and ended with an amazing comeback and a 62-60 win.

Prior to the game, Tide coach Karl Kreiser said the Senior Night game on the hill was one they needed to win for a number of reasons. One was to break their four-game losing streak, second was for team morale, and third, to improve their chances to made the District 3 playoffs for the first time in 10 years. After his team came back from 14 points down to win the game, Kreiser joked he was "getting too old" for something like this.

So just how did this big win, probably the biggest in years in girls' basketball happen? Well, it was a combination of not giving up, some shots dropping, (particularly in the fourth quarter) and finally finding a defense that slowed the Raiders outside shooting.

Elco drained eight three-point baskets for the game, five of them coming from very long distance from guard Taylor Bossert, who hit three of them in the first half. Elco led the game 16-13 after eight minutes and extended their advantage to 30-23 at the half. It got bleaker in the third quarter as Elco drained four more treys and went up 14 in the third. But while Elco was draining three balls at one end of the court, the Tide's Janeah Neal was battling to keep her team into the game, scoring 11 of her game-high 26 points in the third quarter. After three, Columbia trailed, 47-38.

Then it happened. Like magic, the Tide righted its ship, shifting from man-to-man to a zone and finally to a box-in-one with Savannah Walton and Nevah Neal shutting down Bossert at one end. At the other end, Columbia dialed up long distance and the three-point shots found nothing but net. Janeah Neal (2), Walton, Shanel Neal and Christina Jones, all drained three balls. Janeah Neal added a couple of two point baskets and hit three-of-four from the line and the comeback and big win, probably the biggest one in the last 15 years, was complete.

Janeah Neal led all scorers with 26 points, followed by Shanel Neal with 13. Others with big buckets were Walton (8), Jones (7) and Jordan Herchelroth (6).

Bossert, who finished with 22 points, had seven in the fourth quarter, five of them from the foul line. In the fourth quarter, Elco scored just two field goals.

The first part of the week was not as exciting for the Tide girls as they squared off against the top two District Three Class A teams in Linden Hall (top seed) and Lebanon Catholic (second seed), both on the road.

At Linden Hall, Columbia suffered a 56-37 loss. The Tide scored just 18 points in the second half. Walton was the only Columbia player in double figures with 17 points.

To open the week, Columbia traveled to Lebanon Catholic, a team that will also compete in the Lancaster-Lebanon League tournament. This one belonged to the Beavers who cruised to a 58-37 win. Shanel Neal topped the Tide in scoring with 13 points.

Despite four losses in their last five games, the girls enter this week in a good position to qualify for the District Three playoffs for the first time in ten years. At 8-11 and playing the toughest schedule in the Class AA field, Columbia is among three teams battling for the final three spots in the playoffs. Camp Hill, the current top rated team, can't be caught in the power ratings. The Tide, Steel-High and Antietam, are in a close battle for the final three spots, separated by percentage points. The top two seeds get home playoff games on Thursday, February 23.

WRESTLING

With Section 3 play behind them, the Tide wrestlers started getting ready for the post-season with a trip across the Susquehanna River for a match with Eastern York. And the Golden Knights scored a 72-0 win over the Tide. It was the second time this season that the undermanned wrestlers were shut out. The first was in the opening match of the season by District 3 power Northern Lebanon.

The lopsided nature of the score had more to do with the Tide's lack of wrestles than anything else. Columbia was forced to forfeit six weight classes and there was one weight class (113) where neither team had a wrestler.

Of the six bouts that were wrestled, three of those resulted in pins for the Golden Knights. In the three bouts not won by a pin by Eastern York, one of those was by a technical fall. The two most competitive bouts came at 132 pounds where EY's Justin Manganello beat the Tide's Isiah Hunter by a 6-2 decision. The other match that had plenty of excitement was at 160 pounds where EY's Beshoy Santama rallied to score an 8-6 overtime win over the Tide's Nina Metias.

BOWLING

It was a 0-2 week for Columbia as they completed Section 4 play with losses to the top two teams in the section, Northern Lebanon and Lancaster Catholic, by 5-2 scores. Columbia was 3-6 in Section 4 and heading into its final two matches of the year are a respectable 4-7 overall.

Schedule

This is the last week of the regular season for the Tide roundballers. Both teams finish Section 3 play Tuesday with games against Pequea Valley, with the boys on the famed home court on the hill. Thursday, both teams will play non-league games. The boys will entertain Susquehannock from the York-Adams League, while the girls' travel to Elizabethtown for a game with the Mount Calvary Christian School.

On the mats, the Tide closes its regular season with its longest road trip of the season to Berks County for a match with Brandywine Heights on Wednesday.

After that, the Tide wrestlers will sit idle until Saturday, February 18 when they compete in a Class AA sectional tournament with the following teams - Central Dauphin East (host), Susquehanna Township, Boiling Springs and Middletown from the Mid-Penn Conference and Lancaster Catholic, Northern Lebanon and Annville-Cleona from Section 3 of the Lancaster-Lebanon League.

Bowling wise, the Tide has two non-league home matches with Garden Spot and York Tech.

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Tide Matmen Top Crusaders in League Finale January 29, 2017

Those involved with the wrestling and girls' basketball programs at Columbia High School will agree that turning to some former coaches in those sports have helped the two programs gain some success this year.

Here is your weekly Columbia High School sports report.

WRESTLING

Former Columbia wrestling coaches Kent Lutz and Bob Herman returned to the program after a 10-year absence and were given the charge of rebuilding the once proud program.

With just eight wrestlers on the varsity roster and the return of the junior high program for the first time in a number of years, the rebuild was going to be tough. The inability to field a full team would be a major problem in terms of getting wins and losses. So the goal was individual success in matches. And with only a handful of teams in Section 3 fielding full teams, that success was limited.

Fast forward to last Wednesday night on the hill in the final Section 3 match of the year with Lancaster Catholic. The rebuild and individual success for Columbia took a major step forward with a 36-33 win over the Crusaders.

Neither team fielded a full lineup and the Tide grapplers took advantage of their ability to get pins instead of decisions in the win to finish the league season with a 1-5 record.

And in this one, the Tide survived despite giving the Crusaders, who were also winless on the season, 24 points in forfeits.

Two forfeits and a pin helped the Crusaders take an early 18-0 lead in the match. The only non-forfeit points for Catholic came in the first bout of the night when Jake Hank decked Columbia's Michaelangelo Stewart in 1:49.

Columbia then got back into the match winning three of the next four bouts by pins to take a 24-18 lead. Scoring falls during that run were Brandon Derr (126) in 3:37, Isiah Hunter in 31 seconds at 132 and Nick Garrido in 5:12 at 136. The other Columbia points were picked up by Joelleen Wakefield at 120 with a forfeit.

Catholic tied the match with their third forfeit before Marcus Falcon (152) gave the lead back to Columbia, 30-24, with a huge pin of Catholic's Daniel MxTarmey-Prexta.

There were three individual bouts left and one of those was going Catholic's way due to a forfeit at 170 pounds. Perhaps the biggest individual bout that determined the outcome of the match, other than the final one, came at 160 pounds between Catholic's Quincy Clark and the Tide's Mina Metias. Catholic needed a pin not only to tie the match but be in a position to win. They didn't get it as Clark was only able to score a 12-6 decision to pull Catholic within 30-27.

With the forfeit giving Catholic a 33-30 lead entering the final match, the mission of Columbia wrestler Mason Sheetz was easy. A pin and the Tide wins the match and even with a decision, Columbia could win based on the number of individual bout wins. Sheetz got the Tide the pin over Catholic's Ryan Kemmerly and it was win, set and match for the Tide.

Despite the limited numbers, Columbia enjoyed some success at the Lancaster-Lebanon League individual championships at Garden Spot High School.

The most successful Tide wrestler at leagues was sophomore Derr at 126 pounds, who won his opening round match with a pin of Allen Swofford in 3:16 before losing in the second round with a tough 11-9 decision to Seth Martin of Conestoga Valley. He advanced in the consolation round with a pin in 2:35 of Shawn Stafford of Warwick before seeing his tournament end with an 11-6 loss at the hands of Chase Charles of Solanco.

At 120, Wakefield went 0-2, losing both of her matches via pins to Alan Perez of Garden Spot (:46) and Trevor Espenshade of Warwick (1:31).

At 132, Hunter also went 0-2, losing his two matches by pins to Christian Scholling of Garden Spot (1:24) and Alex Laughlin of Penn Manor (2:13).

Garrido wrestled the tournament at 136 for Columbia and lost via a pin to Luke Grambois of Hempfield (1:54) and then lost a 10-2 decision to Nick Baker of Penn Manor.

At 152, Falcon had some success. After losing his first match to Luke Hirtzel of Warwick via a pin in 1:34, Falcon rebounded in the consolation round pinning Elco's Cody Onisain 4:43 before seeing his tournament end with a 10-0 loss to Dallin Ocasio of Lebanon.

At 160, Metias lost his two matches as did Stewart at 285 pounds.

BOYS' BASKETBALL

There are plenty of good things happening with the boys' program on the hill. Despite a 1-1 record last week in games with Northern Lebanon and Lancaster Catholic, coach Kerry Glover's team remains as one of the top four teams in the Class AAA classification in District Three and have a firmer hold on third place in Section 3 of the Lancaster-Lebanon League.

But before we look into the post-season future of the Tide boys, we will look back at last week's game.

Columbia is 13-5 overall and 7-4 in Section 3 and those four losses have been to the top two teams in the section, Lancaster Mennonite and Lancaster Catholic.

Friday night Section 3 loss number four came at the hands of the Crusaders, 54-39.

Some of the differences in this one were bench scoring for Catholic, who got 16 key points from their reserves and at the foul line where Catholic was 16 of 20 and the Tide just 4 of 11.

Catholic's bench scored 12 of their 16 points during a run late in the first half and into the third quarter and then hit 10 of 11 foul shots in the fourth quarter to ice the game. Catholic also scored 10 straight fourth quarter points after the Tide pulled within six.

Elijah Swanigan was the only Columbia player in double figures for the game.

Tuesday night Columbia had one of their longest road trip of the year to Northern Lebanon and came home with an 80-49 win. The visitors led the game 44-29 at the half and had four players in double figures led by Tyler Harmon and Jaden Neal with 19 each, Meleik Crenshaw with 16 and Swanigan with 10.

Now let's look down the road to the post-season. The Tide remains fourth in the Class AAA power ratings. Six teams make the district tournament and if the tournament would begin this week, Columbia would play fifth seeded Steel-High, with the winner getting Trinity, the current top seed. Trinity is the top seed right now followed by York Catholic, then Mennonite.

The news is also good when it comes to the L-L playoffs. Columbia is in third place in Section 3 and if they stay there, they qualify for a play-in game to reach the L-L League playoffs, where they would play the second place team out of Section Two, which right now is Lampeter-Strasburg.

GIRLS' BASKETBALL

The mark of a rebuilding program is how they do against the top teams in their section. Last week coach Karl Kreiser's team played not only the top two teams in Section 3 but also the state in Northern Lebanon and Lancaster Catholic.

And despite losing both games to the league powers, the Tide is headed in the right direction when one of the opposing coaches tells people after the game that the game was much better than the first time the two teams played.

Those were comments made after Friday's game with Lancaster Catholic, which the Crusaders won, 66-37.

Savannah Walton scored a team-high 16 points for Columbia including a couple of big three point plays in the first half.

The Crusaders knew they were in a game in this one. The first quarter was a great one, tied 19-19 in the first quarter, and had a bigger than normal crowd for a girls' game on the hill.

Columbia needed the firepower that was in the stands watching over the next two quarters as they were held to just seven points in the middle two frames. That fire power in the stands Friday night included a quartet of Columbia girls' 1,000 point scorers in Kelly McCarty, Midge Sholl, Margie Rhoads and Amita Mehta. Those four back in their days would have lit up the scoreboard and helped the Tide.

Tuesday night, Columbia hosted Northern Lebanon and lost 55-34, trailing by 12 at the half. Jeneah Neal led the Tide with 15.

As for the post-season, Columbia and Steel-High are two and three in the latest District Three Class AA power ratings.

BOWLING

The Crimson Tide bowlers went 1-1 for the week, splitting matches by 7-0 scores with Lebanon Catholic and Cocalico. Columbia beat the Section 4 foe Cedars with Chris Reigel rolling a 579 series with games of 199, 158 and a season-high 222.

Against Cocalico, in a 7-0 loss, Shane Kinser rolled a season-best 227 first game during a 569 series.

SCHEDULE

This is the last full week of basketball action in the Lancaster-Lebanon League and the end of a tough three game Section 3 stretch of games. The Tide girls are a respectable 6-5 in Section 3, with all five losses against the top three teams in the section - Lancaster Catholic, Northern Lebanon and Lebanon Catholic. Columbia also has a tough non-league game on Wednesday at Linden Hall before closing the week with a home game with Elco.

The Columbia boys are home Tuesday for a varsity only (7 p.m. tip) with Lebanon Catholic and a big road game on Friday at Elco.

Wrestling-wise, the Tide travels across the Susquehanna River for a non-league match on Wednesday with Eastern York.

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Columbia Girls Improve to 6-3 in Section Play January 22, 2017

With about two weeks left in the regular season, there's a lot of good coming out of the winter sports teams at Columbia High School. In addition to equaling and improving their win totals of a year ago, both the boys and girls basketball teams appear to be good bets to qualify for the District Three playoffs, which begin next month.

Here is your weekly Columbia sports roundup.

GIRLS' BASKETBALL

Trivia Question? When was the last time a Columbia girls' basketball team was a factor in the Lancaster-Lebanon League? Had a winning record? Been to the District Three playoffs? Won a District Three playoff game?

Well, it has been a while. The Tide girls, hot off their first four game winning streak in more than a decade, are now 6-3 in Section 3 of the Lancaster-Lebanon League and 7-7 overall. The six league wins are two more than last season and the seven overall wins are two more than last year with six (five league and a non-league) games left.

It also means the girls are highly ranked in the District Three power ratings for the first time since the early part of the decade of the 2000's. Coach Karl Kreiser's team is percentage points ahead of Steel-High for second place in the Class AA power ratings behind Camp Hill. The top four Class AA teams advance to the district tournament, which the Tide has not qualified for since the 20007-08 season, which ended a five-year run of first round losses by the girls in the playoffs.

Columbia last won a District Three playoff game in 2002 and were crowned District Three Class AA champions in 2000.

Last week, the girls opened the second half of Section Three play with impressive road wins over Lancaster Mennonite and Annville-Cleona.

Friday night the Tide broke open a close game in the fourth quarter to beat Annville-Cleona, 55-42. The Crimson Tide led 43-38 when they allowed A-C to score just four points in the fourth quarter.

Shanel Neal led the victory with 22 points, hitting four three-point baskets for the game. Jeneah Neal was also in double figures with 15.

Tuesday night the winning continued with a 55-46 final over Mennonite. It was another good game for Shanel Neal, who was tied for team-high honors with Jeneah Neal with 19 points each. Christina Jones added 12.

On January 10, the Tide girls scored an impressive 55-43 win over Elco on the Raiders home floor. It was the first time in a number of years that Columbia had beaten Elco in girls' basketball.

In scoring their fourth win of the season, the Tide led by double digits at halftime and extended their lead to 20 points in the second half. Although the Raiders pulled with 12 at the end, the outcome was never in question.

Jeneah Neal led the Tide with 25 points, rimming home four three-point baskets and hitting 7-of-11 free throws. Freshman Jones, who is quickly developing into one of the top young players in the L-L League, added 13 and senior Shanel Neal contributed10.

Columbia canned a season-high seven three-point baskets for the game.

Prior to that Elco win the Tide equaled their win total from last year and league total with a 71-59 win over Pequea Valley.

Columbia was 4-12 in league play last year and 5-17 overall.

BOYS' BASKETBALL

Last week, the Tide boys split a pair of games with first place Lancaster Mennonite and Annville-Cleona.

Then to close the week, Columbia traveled across the Susquehanna River for a game with rival Eastern York, which took an odd twist at mid-week. The boys ended up facing former coach Mark Wisler, who has been an assistant at Eastern York the last two years. Wisler, who remains a math teacher at Columbia, became the Golden Knights head coach last week when Jon Reicfard was suspended from his coaching duties.

And it was the Golden Knights with a big fourth quarter, who turned back the Crimson Tide, 58-40. Eastern led 40-35 entering the final eight minutes when they outscored the Tide 18-5 to easily win the game.

Friday night, the Tide started slow but rebounded for an easy bench clearing, 65-43 win over Annville-Cleona.

Columbia scored just nine points in the first quarter in their only Friday home game of the season, coach Kerry Glover's team dominated at both ends of the floor the rest of the way.

Four Tide players reached double figures led by Meleik Crenshaw, who had a rim rattling dunk in the third quarter, finished with 21. Tyler Harmon and Andrew Sheckard, both off the bench, added 18 each and Elijah Swanigan posted 12.

Tuesday night, the first place Blazers paid a visit to the hill and survived for a 69-60 win over the Tide.

Harmon and Swanigan combined for 29 points in the loss.

On January 10, the Tide had a dandy of a game on the hill with Elco. In overtime, the Tide boys prevailed 71-70 in a game that went right down to the wire in the extra four minutes. Harmon scored the winning basket for Columbia as Elco threw the ball away at the end keeping the game in the win column for the Tide.

Harmon, who has played well in his senior season, finished with a team-high 25 points. Meleik Crenshaw added 19 points in the winning effort. Elco's Mason Bossert tied Harmon for game high honors with 25 points.

The Raiders kept themselves in the game hitting 10 three-pointers on the night, including five from Bossert.

The visiting Raiders led the game 14-7 after eight minutes but fell behind at halftime, 27-24 and trailed by six going into the fourth quarter. The visitors, who had four players in double figures, outscored the Tide 24-18 in the fourth quarter to force the extra period.

Then, at one of the toughest places in the league to play, coach Kerry Glover's team picked up their 11th win of the season with a win over Pequea Valley, 71-53 on January 13.

Harmon led the Tide with 15, followed by Kobie Wakefield with 14.

The boys sit in third place in Section 3 of the Lancaster-Lebanon League behind unbeaten section leading Mennonite, who is 9-0 and Lancaster Catholic, who is 8-1. The Tide is 6-3 in league play and 12-3 overall.

District Three power ratings continue to be good for Columbia. They are currently fourth in the Class AAA field as six teams make the post-season. The top three are York Catholic, Trinity and Mennonite. York Catholic, who has already beaten Mennonite and Trinity are the "class of the class." There are five teams in the running for the final two entries in the Class AAA field.

WRESTLING

On the mats, the Tide remains winless after dropping their last two non-league decisions to Hanover and Lebanon.

Last week, Columbia lost to Hanover by a 33-13 score in one of the shortest matches of the season. Neither team fielded a full squad as there were five no contests.

Mason Sheetz, wrestling at 182, scored the Tide's lone fall in 2:36. Winning by decisions for Columbia were Brandon Derr (126) and Marcus Falcon (152) via a major decision.

The previous week, the Tide lost a 49-12 decision to Lebanon.

BOWLING

Columbia went 0-2 last week losing to Elco by a 5-2 score as Chris Reigel rolled a 507 series, which was a season high, then falling to Section 3 leading Northern Lebanon, 7-0.

SCHEDULE

On the mats, Columbia concludes Section 3 play with a home match on Wednesday night with Lancaster Catholic, which could be another short one as neither team will field a full squad. This weekend, Columbia will participate in the annual Lancaster-Lebanon League individual championships.

On the hardwoods, the Tide girls begin a three game test of how much they have improved with games against the top three teams in Section 3 - Northern Lebanon (Tuesday), Lancaster Catholic (Friday) and Lebanon Catholic next week. The girls are home for both games this week.

The Tide boys are on the road this week for games with the Vikings and Crusaders.

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Tide Boys Edge Vikings In Overtime January 16, 2017

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Jaden Neal Nets 13 in Loss to Lancaster Catholic January 9, 2017

As the 2016-17 winter sports season at Columbia High School gets underway, the new/old names involve the people running the basketball and wrestling programs.

The new man in charge of the boys' basketball program is the Tide's third head coach in three seasons. While the new coaches in girls' basketball and wrestling are a couple of former coaches looking to restore those programs to past glory.

The new man on the boys' bench is Kerry Glover, a former assistant at both Red Land in the Mid-Penn Conference and at York High and has an extensive AAU background. He has Tide off to a flying start and in a good position to qualify for the District Three playoffs.

In girls' basketball, since it has been close to 15 years since the Tide has been successful in that sport, the school dug back into its past. Karl Kreiser, who coached the Tide girls to the state finals in 1986 and also about ten years later took the Tide boys to the Eastern finals, is back on the bench and has the Tide girls playing at a level above what they have played in the past.

On the mats, the dynamic duo of Kent Lutz and Bob Herman are back in charge. The two had been out of coaching at the varsity level but were recruited by the school district administration to return the program to its former glory. The coaches are dealing with low numbers and not having a junior high program for several years.

Kevin Sollenbeger, a veteran amateur bowler is the Tide's bowling coach.

BOYS BASKETBALL

It has been a great start for the new coaching staff as the Tide boys are 8-2 losing only to L-L League powers in Section 3 Lancaster Mennonite and Lancaster Catholic and winning tournaments at Hanover and Kennard-Dale.

Last week, in their first action after the holidays, the Tide was faced with its biggest home game of the year against unbeaten Lancaster Catholic and then a Friday trip to Lebanon Catholic, and split those games to improve to 9-2.

Against Catholic before a standing room only crowd at the Elmer Kreiser Gym, the game was competitive for about a quarter, with Catholic leading just by a point 13-12. Over the final three quarters, Catholic's defense and depth took over the game in a 62-44 win. Jaden Neal and Meleik Crenshaw were bright spots on the night for the Tide, scoring 13 and 10 points respectively.

Against the Beavers, who only have nine players on their roster, Columbia bounced back in a big way with an 87-33 win.

Coach Glover's team got off to a big start to the season, winning the Hanover Tournament, opening with a big win over the Christian School of York followed by a win over the host Hanover. They also beat Donegal in another non-league game before losing their league opener to Lancaster Mennonite. They bounced back with a big road win over Annville-Cleona and a non-league win over Oley Valley. Over the holidays, Columbia claimed its second tournament title at the Kennard-Dale Tournament.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

With a number of starters and key players back from last year, and a new coaching staff, good things are happening with the Tide despite back to back losses last week to perennial league and district powers Lancaster Catholic and Lebanon Catholic. The two games were part of a wicked schedule the new coaching staff inherited. A number of teams on the Tide's schedule such as Lancaster Catholic, Lebanon Catholic, Northern Lebanon, Camp Hill and Halifax went into the state playoffs last season.

Last Tuesday the Tide traveled to Lancaster Catholic and it was an historic night for the home team. The Crusaders entered the game looking for their 100th straight Section 4 win. There was some irony in this one as well as current Crusader coach Charlie Detz was a star basketball player at Columbia back in the late 1980s and early 90s and began his coaching career as an assistant at Columbia under current Tide girls coach Kreiser.

The Crusaders, led by Division I recruit and sophomore Kiki Jefferson, beat the Tide 72-35. Jefferson finished with 21 points. The Neals, Jeneah and Shanel led the Tide with 16 and 10 points respectively.

Then on Friday night, in another twist, the coaching matchup was another classic between the Tide's Kreiser and Lebanon Catholic's Patti Hower. The two had a number of classic games when Kreiser previously coached the girls back in the mid-1980s into the 1990s. Friday was classic as well. The Tide dominated the first half leading 34-24 at the half. They went cold in the second half, scoring six points in the third quarter and just one in the fourth on a Savannah Walton foul shot and lost 52-42.

The girls are 4-7 overall and have been in every game but two this season.

The girls opened the season by participating in the Camp Hill Tournament, which featured two teams, the host Lions and Halifax that played in the District Three Class A finals a year ago. In the opener, Columbia lost to the Wildcats in overtime, 49-43 with Shanel Neal scoring 13. A night later they were beaten by the Lions, 72-35.

Columbia opened Section 3 play against Donegal, one of the top teams in Section 3, and then won their league opener over Lancaster Mennonite. They moved over the .500 mark in league play for the first time in years by beating Annville-Cleona at 2-1 before losing a game to state power Northern Lebanon.

Over the holidays, Columbia finished second in the Northeastern Tournament falling to Elizabethtown in the finals. In the opener, Columbia crushed the host Bobcats.

Columbia returns a number of players who have played key roles in the past such as Shanel and Jeneah Neal, Jordan Herchelroth, Savannah Walton and freshman newcomer Christina Jones. The girls will definitely be competitive this season and could make a possible return to the District Three playoffs for the first time in more than 15 years.

WRESTLING

Team wins and losses won't be a big deal for the Tide on the mats this year, but improved individual performances in each match will. Two weeks into 2017 and Columbia is almost finished with Section 3 bouts with just two left against Annville-Cleona and Lancaster Catholic.

With the inability to field a full roster this season, the Tide will struggle for team wins, so it will look for individual success. Columbia will forfeit between five and six weight classes per match. Last week those forfeits played a huge part in the Tide's home match with Elco, which they lost 64-13. Columbia gave up 42 points in forfeits but in actual bouts wrestled, the two teams evenly split the bouts 3-3.

Scoring big wins were Brandon Derr (126), Nicholas Garrido (138) and Mason Sheet (182). Sheetz recorded the lone fall, pinning Adam Firestine in 1:25. The match was tied at 2-2 when Sheetz turned Firestine for the fall.

Derr was impressive in his bout with Alex Puglio, scoring a 12-2 major decision. Derr trailed early, 2-0, but was able to reverse Puglio to tie the bout and then recorded five near fall points to close the first period, leading 7-2. After taking a 9-2 lead in the middle period, Derr recorded three near fall points in the third, almost pinning the Elco wrestler.

Garrido earned a 6-4 hard fought win over Hunter Hockley at 138. Garrido led 4-2 after one, 6-3 after two and was able to stave off Hockley's takedown attempts in the third period to secure the victory.

Saturday at the Cedar Duals, the Tide failed to pick up any team wins. Other teams competing at Lebanon High School were the host Cedars, Oley Valley, Harrisburg and Conrad Weiser.

Coach Lutz' team opened its season with three straight Section 3 matches with Northern Lebanon, easily the Class of Section 3, rival Donegal and Pequea Valley. Columbia with a lack of experience on the mats was shutout by the Vikings, 83-0. The results against Donegal and Pequea Valley were much better.

Against the Indians, the Tide lost 66-18 as Sheetz (182), Luke McGinnis (138) and Marcus Falcon (152) recorded pins. In the Pequea Valley match, Columbia fell short 35-18. All three Tide wins were by forfeit - Aldo Popow (120), Mena Metias (170) and Sheetz (182). Neither team fielded a full squad as there were five weight classes that were not contested.

BOWLING

Columbia is off to a good start in bowling with a 3-2 overall record and a 2-1 mark in Section 4 of the Lancaster-Lebanon League following wins over Lancaster Mennonite and Lebanon Catholic last week.

The bowlers beat both Mennonite and Lebanon Catholic by a 7-0 score and Shane Kinser rolled a season-high 572 three-game series against the Beavers.

The Tide split non-league matches with Lampeter-Strasburg and Manheim Central. They were 5-2 winners over L-S but lost to Manheim Central 7-0. Central is the top team in Section 3.

Top bowlers this season have been Kinser and Ryan Ault. Both have rolled games in the 450 range and are averaging about 150 pins per match.

SCHEDULE

On the hardwoods this week the basketball opponents are Elco and Pequea Valley. The boys are home on Tuesday for a big game with the Raiders, who are one of the top teams in Section 3, while the girls will be home on Friday against Pequea Valley.

On the mats, Columbia will be making two trips to Lebanon County. Wednesday the matmen travel to Lebanon for a dual meet with the Cedars and on Saturday will participate in the Little Dutchmen Duals at Annville-Cleona.

Bowling-wise it is an all Lebanon County week for the Tide. Monday at the home lane at East Lincoln Lanes in Hellam, Columbia hosted Elco and will close the week by traveling to Cedar Lanes for a match with Northern Lebanon.

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Tide Beats Kennard-Dale in Season Finale November 7, 2016

The 2016 fall sports season is in the books on the hill and it ended on a high note in the sports of cross country and football.

Here is the final fall sports roundup.

FOOTBALL

It was an interesting season to say the least for the Crimson Tide football team.

They struggled with numbers all season, yet showed up and played each game hard. The Tide's first game of the season, the Battle of the Beach in Wildwood, New Jersey with Philly school Neumann Goretti was postponed by a tropical storm and later rescheduled. That game was forfeited to the Tide's benefit two weeks ago, meaning the Tide wouldn't go winless this season. There was also the constant battle with injuries, which led to one game being called before it was over.

And there was the cancellation of the first home game after a student from another school made a threat against a Columbia student. That game was played the next day at the Tide's opponent.

All in all, Columbia showed up week in and week out, despite a lot of things working against them. There were a couple of games, like York Suburban and Pequea Valley that with some luck and a full squad could have gone either way.

So Friday night, the Tide took the field in their final game of the season playing for pride and against an opponent that wasn't having any luck on the football field. The Kennard-Dale Rams made the long trip to Columbia looking for their first win of the season and first chance to be in a competitive game. K-D was 0-9 and scored just 12 points in their previous three games, losing by an average of 35 points a game.

And on Senior Night, Columbia played a full 48 minutes and easily beat the Rams, 43-14 to finish the season with a 2-8 record and a good start to the off-season.

But this one got off to a slow start for the Crimson Tide. The Rams took the opening kickoff and drove 65 yards in eight plays for an early 6-0 lead.

The Tide came right back. Starting at their own 40, Columbia moved right down field. Quarterback Meleik Crenshaw found Tyreese Musser for a 14-yard gain on the first play from scrimmage and later in the drive, Tyler Harmon rumbled 10 yards for a gain on a second down play. On first down from the Ram 40, Crenshaw rolled out, finding Jovon Sanford wide open for a 40 yard score to tie the game at 6-6. When Edwin Ramos converted the two-point PAT, Columbia had its second lead of the season 8-6.

The big question was would the lead hold up? There was still plenty of time left, so that part of the equation was still up in the air.

The Rams came right back. They moved to midfield and then fumbled the ball back to the Tide. Columbia's offense stalled at the Ram 40 when a fourth down pass fell incomplete.

The Rams were moving the ball on their next possession but fumbled again, giving Columbia new life. That's when the Tide converted their longest play of the year, a 55-yard pass reception from Crenshaw to Musser, giving the Tide the ball at the Ram 20. But Columbia failed to convert, giving K-D another chance. The visitors began a 15 play drive, 14 of them on the ground, to the Tide 13. They were stopped on fourth down in an attempt to re-take the lead.

The half ended with the Tide leading 8-6 and the feeling was good on both sides of the field.

The good mood and momentum continued for Columbia on its first possession of the second half. Starting at their own 46, thanks to a big kickoff return from Luke McGinnis, the Tide needed just two plays to increase their lead. Harmon rumbled 20 yards up the gut for a score to put the Tide in front 14-6 as the two-point conversion failed.

K-D fumbled again on their next possession at midfield. Coach Anthony Sottasante called a timeout and reached into his bag of tricks. Ramos took a handoff from Crenshaw, pulled up and fired a perfect pass to Musser for a 50 yard score and a 20-6 Tide lead, their biggest of the season.

But back came the Rams, who scored on their next possession to pull within six, 20-14.

It got a little interesting on the Tide's next possession. Crenshaw was called for intentional grounding on a pass, forcing the home team to punt from its own end zone. The Rams took over at the Tide 34.

That's when the Columbia defense came up big for the first time all season. They held the Rams to negative yardage on the drive and on fourth down from the Tide 29, stopped Kennard-Dale well short of a first down.

That was the last stand for the Rams as the Tide dominated the rest of the way.

A McGinnis touchdown put the Tide up 28-14 two possessions later and following a Dorian Grimes interception, Columbia went ahead 34-14 on a touchdown pass from Crenshaw to Sanford.

Columbia's final score of the game and season was a 20 yard run by Harmon and the team's first one-point kick by Yasmil Rodriquez.

The win was a good way for Columbia to end the season and give the school some momentum going into the winter sports season where the Tide will have new head coaches in boys and girls basketball and wrestling.

CROSS COUNTRY

The season ended Saturday in Hershey at the PIAA championships for Columbia's running sensation Jordan Haberstroh. And it ended on a high note with Haberstroh gaining some measure of revenge from last week's District Three championships and getting on the medal stand.

The Tide runner placed 13th, running the Hershey course in 19:49, finishing 23 seconds behind state champion Sera Mazza of St. Joseph's Catholic School, who crossed the finish line in 19:17.

As far as the revenge factor, Haberstroh was the second District Three finisher to cross the finish line at the state meet. The junior, who was third in last week's District Three championships got her revenge against Katelyn MacDougall of York Catholic, last week's champion, who finished 21st, far behind the Tide runner.

Haberstroh will be a senior next season and will also be a key component in the spring for the Crimson Tide track team.

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Haberstroh Places Third in District 3 XC October 31, 2016

The fall sports season ends this week at Columbia High School on a high note in both cross country and football.

In cross country, Jordan Haberstroh will make a return trip to the PIAA state championships while in football, the Tide enters the final game of the season knowing they won't go without a win.

Here is your weekly recap of the remaining two fall sports in action on the hill.

CROSS COUNTRY

This past Saturday, the Tide runners returned to Big Spring High School to participate in the District Three championships, looking to qualify runners for this weekend's PIAA championships. It was also the site of some big things for the Tide's junior runner, Haberstroh. She came into Saturday's race as the defending Class A champion. While a repeat was not in the cards for the Tide junior, she did qualify for the state championships with a third place finish in the Class A race.

The talented runner finished 16 seconds behind Nicole Shelton of the Christian School of York. The senior finished the Big Spring course in 19:13, seven seconds ahead of York Catholic junior Katelyn Macdougall (19:20).

Haberstroh was joined at the District Three championships by the entire Tide boys' team, who qualified as a team for the second time in the last three years. Unlike Haberstroh, the five member Tide boys' team saw its season end. They were eighth as a team and individually, none of the runners finished high enough to qualify for states.

Freshman Zac Nikolaus was the first Tide runner to cross the finish line at 35th with a time of 19:24. Other place finishers were freshman Kirklan Hammill-Torres (47th, 20:11), seniors Jimi Griffith (52nd, 20:42) and Xaiver Jackson (61st, 22:03) and sophomore Ryan Ault (64th, 26:33).

With three of its five runners back next season and some runners moving up from the junior high program, the Tide boys could be in a position to be back at the district championships as a team next year.

Haberstroh finished fifth a year ago at states and will look to hopefully improve on that finish this year at the Hershey course, which is run next to the Giant Center.

FOOTBALL

Columbia plays its final game of the regular season this Friday night on the hill with a chance to get its second win of the season over winless Kennard-Dale.

The Kennard-Dale game will also be senior night as football players, band members and cheerleaders will be recognized. Kennard-Dale comes into Friday's game with a 0-9 record having scored just 12 points in their last three games while giving up 118.

Coach Anthony Sottasante's team will not go without a win this season despite some tough times with numbers. Sottasante, who doubles as the school's athletic director, was informed last week that the Neumann-Goretti game, scheduled for next week on the hill, will go into the win column for the Tide. N-G, who like Columbia is in a numbers crunch, decided to forfeit the make-up game, giving the Tide their first win. Goretti several weeks ago had canceled its season because of a lack of numbers. They had agreed to visit Columbia to make up the game that was originally scheduled for Labor Day weekend in Wildwood, New Jersey. The District 12 school from Philadelphia notified Columbia last week they would not make the trip.

Friday night, the Tide completed Section 3 play in the Lancaster-Lebanon League with a trip to Northern Lebanon and came home with a 42-0 loss, dropping their Section Three record to 0-6.

The closest the under-manned Tide came to scoring was on the game's final play when freshman Matt McCleary picked up a lateral and returned it to the Viking 15. Because the game was in the mercy rule, Columbia, shut out for the first time this season, could not stop the clock as it ran out.

Trailing 7-0 in the first quarter, the Tide got its initial first down of the game on an eight-yard pass from Meleik Crenshaw to Edwin Ramos and an eight-yard run by Ramos, but the drive stalled when Crenshaw was sacked and fired an incomplete pass forcing a punt.

Columbia got its second first down of the first half again thanks to the combination of Crenshaw and Ramos. Ramos caught a pass out of the backfield and weaved his way up field for a 31 yard gain, the Tide's biggest gain of the first half.

The visitors trailed 35-0 at half. The Vikings scored on all five of their possessions and completed the scoring with a second half TD.

Columbia had a couple of defensive highlights in the second half. On the Vikings first possession, the Tide held the Vikes on fourth down at the three and late in the game, the Tide held Northern Lebanon at the Tide 26 on fourth down.

Offensively, Columbia had one possession on the Viking side of the field thanks to a pass completion from Crenshaw to Ramos of close to 40 yards. However a fourth down pass from the Viking 30 near the end zone fell incomplete.

The Vikings held the visitors to just 80 yards on the ground and 101 through the air and also blocked a punt toward the end of the first half, which did not result in a score.

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Harriers Compete in League Meet October 23, 2016

The fall sports season is heading toward a rapid conclusion at Columbia, with one team completing its season and another involved in the post-season, which could lead to some good news.

Here is the weekly recap of the Columbia Crimson Tide fall sports with just a few weeks left in the regular season.

CROSS COUNTRY

The post-season began last week for the Crimson Tide runners when they participated in the annual Lancaster-Lebanon League championships at the Ephrata Middle School. All six Columbia runners participated in the event and all six will participate in this week's District Three championships. The district run will be held at Big Spring High School on Saturday, with the top runners advancing to the following week's PIAA championships.

Columbia's Jordan Haberstroh is the defending District Three Class A champion and enters the race coming off a ninth place finish at the league championships. She ran the Ephrata course in 20:28.5, just ahead of Leah Sassaman from Manheim Township, who ran a 20:08.6. Cocalico's Jamie Zamrin won the girls' league title, running a 19:07.6.

On the boys' side, Columbia had all five of its runners participate in the league meet as they will this week. The top finisher was freshman Zac Nikolaus, who placed 150th in a time of 21:25.5. He was followed by Kirkland Hammill-Torres, who was 153rd (22:01.1), Jimi Griffith (159th, 22:51.4), Xaiver Jackson (161st, 23:26.8) and Ryan Ault (168th, 23:55.7).

Haberstroh has enjoyed past success on the Big Spring course. Last year, not only did she win the District Three Class A championship but also the prestigious Ben Blosser Invitational. This year, she was a top five finisher at the Blosser.

Haberstroh, now a junior, will be looking to medal for the third straight year at the district championships, having placed third as a freshman, in addition to her gold medal last year.

Districts will also mark the second time in three seasons that the Tide boys will compete as a team. Three years ago as sophomores, Griffith and Jackson placed 38th and 40th in the Class A championships but did not qualify for states.

At districts, the top two teams qualify for states along with 10 other individuals.

VOLLEYBALL

The season is in the books for the Crimson Tide girls, who finished the season 0-10 in Section Three and 1-10 overall. Last week, coach David Farley's squad suffered Section Three losses to Northern Lebanon and eventual Section 3 champion Cocalico.

The two matches also brought the end to the volleyball careers of seniors Jordan Herchelroath, Paige Schmitt, Kelsey Smith and Aaliyah Torres.

Monday night Columbia had its longest road trip of the season, traveling to Northern Lebanon, and were swept by the Vikings, 25-6, 25-18 and a very competitive third set, 25-21.

Smith paced Columbia with six digs. Other statistical leaders were Herchelroath with a block, junior Jordan Naples with two kills and two service aces, and Schmitt with two assists.

Two nights later, in the final home match of the season, Cocalico came to visit, needing a win to force a playoff for first place in Section 3 and the Lady Eagles got it with a 25-11, 25-10, 25-12 win.

FOOTBALL

Columbia travels to Northern Lebanon for its final Section 3 game Friday night and closes the regular season with a non-league home game with Kennard-Dale the following Friday.

A 10th game, a make-up with Neumann Goretti, is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 12. That game was postponed Labor Day weekend because of bad weather in New Jersey. It's tentative because after playing about half their schedule, N-G forfeited its remaining games, but have told Columbia officials they will still honor the make-up schedule and make the trip from Philadelphia to Columbia.

It's also tentative because of Columbia's numbers issues. The Tide took the field against rival Lancaster Catholic Friday night with just 19 players dressed and the game was stopped with 4:45 left and Catholic leading 43-6. Columbia ran out of skill players, forcing the stoppage of the game.

It was the second time in two years that Columbia has stopped a game because of an injury and number problems.

And despite the lopsided nature of the score, this one might have been one of the Tide's better games of the season. Despite being out-numbered better than two to one in terms of players dressed, coach Anthony Sottasante's team had some success on both sides of the football, but was just overcome by the lack of players.

Catholic scored the first two times they had the football. Quarterback Bryan Downey, who rushed for more than 150 yards and completed 11 of 13 passes for 141 yards, was a big contributor to Catholic's early success.

In a game that featured a number of unusual plays an calls, Downey on a keeper six plays into the game, sprinted 75 yards for a score after a bit of a shaky start. In their final five plays of the game, the Crusaders fumbled once and were hit with three penalties, which backed them up to their own 25. After breaking through the line, the Catholic QB was virtually untouched.

On their second possession of the game, Downey led the Crusaders on a 13-play, 65-yard drive. The drive started after the Tide made a great tackle on a punt by Cameron Melbert, forcing a five yard loss on the return.

Down 14-0, Columbia turned on its magic as in quarterback Meleik Crenshaw, who is one of the better athletes in Section 3 and easily the top player on the Tide roster. He gained 29 yards in three plays before tossing an interception on a second down near midfield.

But instead of going in for their third score of the half, Catholic struggled. They fumbled a third down shotgun snap and on fourth down from the Tide 25 were hit with a penalty for an illegal forward pass, their second of the game and one of three called by the officials, ending the threat.

Starting at their own 15, Columbia picked up their third first down of the half on a 10-yard run by Tyler Harmon, but were forced to punt. On the return, Catholic moved the football to the Tide 45, but on the tackle, the Tide was hit with a 15-yard penalty for a late hit, giving Catholic the ball at the Tide 30. Two plays later, Catholic was in the end zone and led 21-0.

After forcing another Columbia punt, Catholic was going in for another score but fumbled, giving the Tide some life late in the first half.

That's when "Magic" Crenshaw became a highlight reel. After getting sacked for a 10 yard loss despite a wicked scramble on his part, Crenshaw rolled right, then left and found Jovon Sanford on a 50-yard pass completion to the Crusader 25. On the next play, a scrambling Crenshaw found an open receiver for a nice gain but was flagged for an illegal forward pass, negating the play.

But that was not the end of his highlight reel. On the next play, he gained 13 yards on a keeper and on third down, another scramble with Catholic's defense trying to catch him, he found Luke McGinnis wide open for a 13-yard score. On the play, Crenshaw was almost caught with a knee down, but somehow eluded the tackle to find McGinnis.

The two-point PAT was also an adventure, but the Tide was flagged for a penalty, ending the half trailing 21-6.

As competitive as the first half was, the second half was not. Columbia's manpower issues became a big factor and the Crusaders came to play. They limited the Tide to just one first down in the second half and scored on their first three possessions to take a 43-6 lead.

The game ended with 4:45 left when a Columbia wide receiver was injured making an attempt to catch a pass from Crenshaw.

It was during the injury timeout that Sottasante huddled with Crusader boss Bruce Harbach and the two agreed to end the game.

"I just told him we basically ran out of skill kids," Sottasante said. "We had a couple skill kids go down. We were just satisfied with getting out of this game."

It should be noted that the Tide because of sickness and injuries practiced most of the week with just 15 players.

"I couldn't be more proud of these kids. I have never been prouder of a team ever," Sottasante said.

As they had the previous seven weeks, the Tide played hard against the bigger Crusaders.

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