Columbia sets sights on postseason

Columbia High School’s boys’ basketball team picked up a dominant 81-45 win at McNair High School Feb. 5. Columbia Head Coach Phil McCrary said his team has great postseason potential now that they’re meshing and becoming more disciplined.

“We’re young and inexperienced, but we’re trying to get through this COVID stuff. It was hard to get the kids to mesh when everything is virtual and the only time we see each other is practice or game time,” said McCrary. “Overall, the kids are doing the things we expect them to do. The number one thing is to play hard and with a passion. We just have to share the ball a little more and make some open shots.”

Columbia’s Eagles (15-5, 7-0) also extended their perfect record in region play with the win over the McNair Mustangs (3-12, 3-5).

The first three quarters of Columbia’s win over McNair were dominated by the Eagles’ big man Mason Lockhart, who finished the game with 13 points, seven rebounds, 5 blocks and 4 assists, despite not playing the fourth quarter.

McNair hung with Columbia in the first quarter and trailed the Eagles 18-17 at the start of the second. Malik Jackson led McNair with 18 points and went on several scoring runs by himself, but Columbia had an answer for each run.

Columbia started the second quarter on a 14-0 run and took a 37-24 lead into halftime. The Eagles opened the second half on a 24-2 run and closed the door to a McNair comeback.

Julius Lymon helped lead Columbia High School to a road win over McNair High School Feb. 5. Photo by Jay Phillips

Despite the big win, McCrary said Columbia has a tough road ahead if they want to make a run. McCrary mentioned Pace High School and Lovett High School as two of the best teams in the state, and both schools are in Columbia’s classification.

“I call Pace a mid-major college, and I call Lovett a junior college,” said McCrary. “When we play against teams like that, we have to be in sync with what we’re doing and be a little more disciplined.”

According to McCrary, Columbia has the potential to go on a deep run if they continue working on discipline and playing as a team.

“We have great potential, and we have a chance to make a good run in the playoffs,” said McCrary. “But it depends on how disciplined we are. The key is making sure we maintain our discipline and play with a lot of energy. If we do that and play together as a team, I think we can make a good push at it.”

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