The Columbus Central Jr High Titan boy’s basketball teams have been busy in gyms across southeast Kansas the last 2 weeks. Thursday, January 21, they handed Pittsburg Middle School three losses. The 8A team won 51 – 8; 8B won 34 -21; 7A won 33 – 30; 7B lost 24 – 35.

Monday, January 18th, at Iola Middle School, and at home Tuesday, January 19th, versus Coffeyville’s Roosevelt Middle School, the Titan teams picked up one win in seven games. The 8B team beat Iola 29 – 14 while the 7A team got their first and second losses of the season.

A trip to Independence on Thursday, January 21 pitted the Titans against some very physical and athletic Bulldog teams. The 8A team lost 27 – 43. Justin Graham scored 10 points; Aaron Bigando and Cameron Brown each had 7; and Justin Foust 3 points. 8B lost 43 – 8. Ty Spear led with 5 points, Zac Kresyman 2 points, and Chase Bolin 1 point. 7A lost 16 – 42. Nate Bole scored 6 points, Brendan Billesbach 5, Ben Sills 4, Joe Schoech and Tyler Hosier 2 points each. 7B lost 6 – 11. Cody Freeman had 4 points and Dakota Holdahl 2 points.

Another long road trip to Chanute’s Royster Middle School on Monday, January 25 gave the Titans 1 win, a double overtime loss, and 2 regulation losses. The 8A team won their game, 46 – 29. Coach Joby Riker said, “The kids really stepped up finally defensively. We got a lot of easy baskets from defensive pressure.” Cameron Brown led all scorers with 18 points, 6 rebounds, 4 steals. Aaron Bigando scored 4 three point shots for 12 points, 3 rebounds, 6 steals. Justin Graham 9 points, 2 rebounds, 1 steal; Justin Foust 4 points, 3 rebounds, 2 steals; Ty Spear 2 points; Blake Martin 1 point and 1 rebound; Jacob Porter 1 rebound; and Dawson Soper 1 steal.

Free throw shooting in the 8B game cost the Titans a double overtime win. Columbus had 6 chances in the first overtime to get the win but couldn’t convert. Chanute’s 2 made free throws early in the second overtime period put them ahead, and a couple of 2 point baskets sealed the 26 – 24 win. Ty Spear’s 3 point shot was the only overtime points for Columbus. A.J. Box had 7 points, Spear and Jacob Porter 5 points each, Dawson Soper 4 points, and Ben Jones 3 points.

The 7A team lost a close game that wasn’t evident in the 26 – 33 final score. Trading baskets and leads throughout the game, Chanute came up with a 12 – 6 fourth quarter. The Titans were forced to foul in an effort to get the ball back for scoring chances but couldn’t manage to close the gap. “We played them much better and stopped a lot of their inside game, but they still hurt us on some jumpers,” said Coach Riker.

The Titan 7B team also lost a close game 17 – 22. Tyler Hosier led with 6 points, Cody Freeman 5 points; Dakota Holdahl, Keaton Schoech, and Jeremy Mitchell each had 2 points.

On Tuesday, Independence travelled to Columbus for a rematch of the previous week. “Last week, (the 8A team) couldn’t get an offensive set. We ran some good offensive sets tonight, we just had a poor shooting night and we were still in the game at the end,” commented Coach Riker on his teams’ improvement. Cameron Brown led his team in the 28 – 34 loss with 14 points and 6 steals. Justin Graham 6 points, 10 rebounds; Aaron Bigando 5 points, 1 rebound, 4 steals; Dawson Soper 3 points, 1 steal; Justin Foust 8 rebounds, 1 steal; Blake Martin 3 rebounds, 1 steal; Jacob Porter and Ty Spear 1 rebound each.

The Titan 7A team also improved on their performance but lost 27 – 34. “We played pretty good, just couldn’t hit shots at the end,” Coach Riker stated. Nate Bole led all scorers with 20 points, 9 rebounds and 2 steals. Joe Schoech 3 points, 1 steal; Tyler Hosier 2 points, 2 rebounds; Dakota Holdahl 2 points and 2 rebounds; Ben Sills 3 rebounds, 1 steal; Kendall Hale 2 rebounds; Brendan Billesbach 3 rebounds, 2 steals, Keaton Schoech 1 rebound.

8B lost 12 – 39. Dawson Soper 5 points, Ty Spear, Jacob Porter, A.J. Box 2 points each, Zac Kresyman 1 point.

A scoreless third quarter contributed to the 15 – 17 Titan 7B loss. Dakota Holdahl 6 points, Keaton Schoech 5 points, and Tyler Hosier 4 points.

Central’s 8th grade A and B Titan teams and the 7th grade A team will be in Parsons on Tuesday, February 2nd for 3 games against the Middle School Lancers.