By Marion Wilhoite
Columbia State Community College's Charger basketball teams split a home twin bill Tuesday and now turn their thoughts toward a challenging TCCAA road trip to the East Tennessee cities of Harriman and Morristown.
On Friday, Columbia will collide with Roane State and encounter strong Walters State on Saturday afternoon.
“Roane has been tough at home, and Walters is 11-0 against a tough schedule,” said Winston Neal, Columbia State men’s basketball coach. “We need to put together two really good games.”
Roane State is 4-6 overall, but 3-1 at home losing 61-54 to Walters, who won conference games at Dyersburg State 101-69 and Southwest Tennessee 70-65. The Chargers are 8-1 overall and 3-1 in the league.
The Lady Chargers carry a 3-7, 1-3 mark into Friday’s game with the Lady Raiders (5-5, 1-2). Walters women (6-2, 3-0) were preseason top 10 but dropped a pair of games to nationally ranked Florida teams.
Columbia State 114, T-N-G Academy 82: The Chargers used their depth, quickness and strength to take a 64-34 halftime lead, but in the outset of the second half the visitors when on a 17-2 run in less than four minutes clock run,
“We played 35 good minutes, but the first five minutes of the second half we didn’t play any defense,” Neal said. “Playing good defense makes our offense go.”
Columbia racked up 112 points in the 35 good minutes, lifting their season scoring to 111.1 points per game.
A major plus for the Chargers was their physical size, building a 76-36 rebounding advantage. The Athens (TN) school, who are post graduates from six states, had three less turnovers (22-26).
Fourteen Chargers saw action in each half and 13 scored including six in double figures. All 14 had rebounds including Isaiah Crawley and James Slocum with 11 apiece.
Adrian Hicks floated inside constantly, scoring 16 points. He had two steals. The 6-foot-6 Crawley came off the bench to tally 16, collect a game-high four steals and hand off two assists.
Also scoring in double digits were Donovan Brown (14), K.J. Lesure (11), Jerrick Mitchell (11) and Tavon King (10). Lesure and Slocum led in assists with three apiece.
Guard Antwavon Williams accumulated 25 points, seven rebounds and five assists to pace T-N-G. Matt Randolph and Chris West tallied 17 and 14 points respectfully.
Wallace State 70, Columbia State 36: The defensive work of the Lady Lions halted a two-game win string of the host team, who did not score in double figures in any of the first three 10-minute quarters.
The very deep team from Hanceville, Alabama produced the majority of their points (39) from their non-starters. Their trapping defense slowed down the Lady Chargers who had 24 turnovers compared to nine for the Lady Lions.
After a slow start, Wallace post player Jasmine Hollis finished with a double-double of 12 rebounds and 10 points. Sub guard Sydney Powell led in assists with six, while reserve center Jeraiya Lee had six rebounds to go with a dozen points.
Columbia missed the double digit scoring and rebounding spark from Lasha Scott, who appeared to have an injury on her a hand. She blocked four shots but took only one field goal attempt in limited playing time.
The Lady Chargers had nine points from Leah Tangerstrom plus seven points and team-high seven rebounds from Jada Holden.