By Kenneth Schott
COLUMBIA — Columbia Academy got it done at the free throw line Tuesday against visiting Battle Ground Academy.
The Bulldogs continually drove to the basket and drew fouls, and converted 24 of 31 from the charity stripe in a 73-55 Division II-A District 3 victory.
Columbia Academy had almost twice as many free throw opportunities as BGA, which had 16 (and made 10).
“That was going to be the key, because they play physical,” said Columbia Academy coach Marty DeJarnette. “We had to keep our heads. They got us out of what we wanted to do at times, but our guys reeled it back in and made enough plays throughout the night.”
Tanner Ham was a perfect 10-of-10 from the line, finishing with a game-high 19 points.
“That’s why he’s in there a lot of the time, there at the end especially,” said Dejarnette. ”We sat him down, he had four fouls, and I said, ‘You’re going to finish this thing at the free throw line,’ and sure enough he came in and did a good job hitting all of them.”
Two of Ham’s free throws came after BGA coach Jared Street protested an over-and-back call against his team and he was issued a technical foul.
An 8-0 run in the second quarter allowed Columbia Academy to break open a close game and take control. BGA led 15-14, then the Bulldogs’ run gave them a 23-14 lead they never relinquished.
The Bulldogs improved to 5-0. They hadn’t played for a week, after having a game canceled last Thursday because of COVID.
“We have some young players,” said DeJarnette. “We’re still trying to find out who we are. It’s going to take some time.”
Seay tough matchup for hosts: Columbia Academy’s girls couldn’t match up with BGA’s Kearstyn Seay.
She scored a game-high 23 points, most of her points coming in the paint, to boost BGA past Columbia Academy 66-43.
Graci Semptimphelter had 19 points for BGA, including three 3-pointers.
After a close first quarter, the Lady Wildcats took control with a 10-0 run in the second quarter, giving them a lead they never lost.
Jaelyn Hickerson scored 14 points, hitting three of her team’s seven 3-pointers, to lead the way offensively.
Next up: Columbia Academy travels Friday for a district doubleheader at Zion Christian, then continues league play Saturday against visiting Christ Presbyterian Academy.
Columbia Acad. boys 73, Battle Ground Acad. 55
B 17 12 15 11 — 55
C 15 23 15 20 — 73
Battle Ground Acad. (55) — Sean Williams 17, Kavien Jones 10, Cole Matthews 8, Xavier Shaw 6, Jackson Brown 5, Alex Krause 4, Braden Iverson 3, De’Montae Frierson 2
Columbia Acad. (73) — Tanner Ham 19, Will Jackson 11, Hayden Morgan 10, Griffin Cooper 10, Drew Butt 8, Chase Duncan 8, Collins Malone 7
3-pointers — Battle Ground Acad. 3 (Matthews 2, Iverson), Columbia Acad. 3 (Ham, Morgan, Jackson)
Battle Ground Acad. girls 66, Columbia Acad. 43
B 13 19 20 14 — 66
C 11 10 11 11 — 43
Battle Ground Acad. (66) — Kearstyn Seay 23, Graci Semptimphelter 19, Lindsey Summarell 14, Phoebe Proctor 7, Bella Bugg 2, Ella McLay 1.
Columbia Acad. (43) — Madi Lewis 9, Karli Quillin 8, Jaelyn Hickerson 14, Hallie Butterfield 6, Averi Slaughter 6.
3-pointers — Battle Ground Acad. 5 (Semptimphelter 3, Summarell, Proctor), Columbia Acad. 7 (Hickerson 3, Butterfield 2, Slaughter 2).