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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.