Cougar basketball preview
If experience counts for anything, the Columbus Cougar boys and girls basketball teams should have successful seasons. Collectively the teams return eight of 10 starters, and 79 percent of last year’s offensive production.
The girls return all of last year’s starters in seniors Rachael Ault, Courtney Martinez, Madi Sindelar, Hailey Campbell and Kyla Rouane. The team lost Katie Hand and Ciera Johannes to graduation, but the five seniors represent 94 percent of last year’s scoring, including Ault’s 18.3 points per game. Junior Tana House also saw significant time in last year’s 16-12 campaign that culminated in a trip to the State B tournament after a third place finish in the District 4B tournament, and a fourth place finish in the Southern B divisional. Juniors Kenedy Wiggs, Carli Dyba, and Tyona Robbins will also see varsity time.
Last year the Cougar boys won the District 4B championship, took second in the Southern B Divisional, and advanced all the way to the Class B title game, falling to Big Fork 71-62. That 20-6 team graduated Brandon Clouse, Peyton Gross, and second-leading scorer and top rebounder Phil Holten. But three starters return, including seniors Kade Osborne and Trey Ostrum, and junior Tanner Osborne. Junior Kiefer McKay was also in the regular rotation a year ago. Seniors Brady Exner, Braden Marjerison and Andrew Wells, and juniors Jackson Booth and Ryland Stampfel will also be in this year’s mix.
The boys and girls teams will be coached by Paul Barta and assisted by Ron Osborne. Jay Forseth will coach the boys C-squad. Girl’s C-squad will be coached by Kay Faust.