For the first time since 1995, the Columbus Titan basketball team has won their second Class 4A Sub State Tournament game. Coming in as the underdog number 6 seed, the Titans knocked off the number 2 seed Golden Tornados from Field Kindley High School in Coffeyville 61 – 56 in Parsons on Thursday.
Titan Senior Taylor Spear matched the first quarter total of Coffeyville with 11 points as Columbus stunned the ‘Nados with a 25 – 11 lead after just one quarter. The second quarter was not as productive for the Titans. Coffeyville started the second quarter with 7 unanswered points, 18 – 25, before Spear picked up the Titan’s first 2 points at the charity stripe with 4:11 left to go in the half. That started an 8 point run for the Titans as Senior Owen Jordan scored a 2 point bucket in the paint, Senior Joel Holeman hit a timely 3 pointer, and Spear added another free throw to give the Titans a 33 – 18 lead at halftime.
Coffeyville started the third quarter the same way as the second quarter with a string of unanswered points. Spear jump started the Titans sinking a 2 point layup with 6:15 left in the quarter. Senior Joe Tillman picked up 5 third quarter points and Senior Montana Grant scored a 3 point shot to help hold off a charging ‘Nado offense. Coffeyville won the quarter 18 – 10, but Columbus still held the lead after 3 quarters, 43 – 36.
With 3:41 left on the game clock, Coffeyville narrowed the gap to 3 points, 45 – 48. Freshman Aaron Bigando got his 2 points of the game at the 2:42 putting the Titans up 52 – 47. Columbus’ free throws, 5 of 11, in the fourth quarter, were once again the final margin of the game. For the second game in a row, the Titan opponent was forced to foul in the waning minutes of the game to try and regain possession of the ball as they struggled to come from behind. Both teams scored 5 points in the last 57 seconds, all of Columbus’ points were free throws. Taylor Spear led all scorers for Columbus with 18 points, Joe Tillman and Joel Holeman each had 13 points, Junior Colten Stanley had 10 points, Montana Grant finished with 3 points, and Owen Jordan and Aaron Bigando had to points each in the 61 – 56 win.
The host team, number 1 seed Parsons Vikings, needed overtime to beat the number 4 seed Independence Bulldogs 59 – 49 to advance to the Class 4A Sub State Championship game against the number 6 seed Columbus Titans on Saturday at 7:30 in Parsons.