Columbia came to Breese on Friday with a shiny 12-0 record that included a 4-0 mark in Cahokia Conference-Mississippi Division play.
The Eagles left town humbled and perhaps more than a bit frustrated after the Central Cougars got 25 points from senior Logan Kohrmann and pounded out a 67-56 conference basketball victory.
“I’m really proud of those guys,” said Central coach Jeremy Shubert, whose 14-2 team (5-0 in league play) was playing without two suspended starters because of disciplinary reasons. “We talked about a (good) team coming in here and getting a big signature win at home. I told the guys this is a great opportunity to get a signature win.
“We’re not at 100 percent strength (and) it’s a team that’s undefeated. I can’t speak enough for my bench.”
Digital Access For Only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Kolby Schulte was 9-for-10 at the free-throw line in the fourth quarter and had 13 points for the Cougars. Central’s Corben Zanger had another strong game with nine points and 6-foot-7 sophomore Tyler Joest had eight, sending the Cougars into their rematch against Okawville on Saturday at the Highland Shootout with a little extra momentum.
Schulte talked about another big night from Kohrmann, who had 30 points Tuesday against Wesclin and scored nine straight points for Central in the first quarter on Friday.
“If he starts out good it just boosts our whole offense,” Schulte said. “He’s good at getting everybody involved once he makes a few shots.”
That’s not the same Columbia team that I saw in the first 12 games. But like I said, a lot of that credit goes to Central. They defended their home court, they were hungrier than us tonight and they got the ‘W.’
Columbia coach Mark Sandstrom
Columbia coach Mark Sandstrom didn’t like much of what he saw on Friday as the Eagles (12-1, 4-1) lost to the state’s third-ranked Class 2A team.
“If you told me before the game that Central had 67 points, I’d tell you you’re lying to me because that’s not us,” said Sandstrom, whose team had three players in double-figure scoring but also committed 23 turnovers and hit only 22-of-52 shots (42 percent). “That’s not the same Columbia team that I saw in the first 12 games. But like I said, a lot of that credit goes to Central. They defended their home court, they were hungrier than us tonight and they got the ‘W.’
Columbia’s Drew Huebner and Kohrmann combined for 18 of their team’s 24-point total in the opening quarter while battling to a 12-12 tie.
Kohrmann scored nine straight points to close out the first quarter for the Cougars, who took their first lead on a 3-pointer by Joest early in the second quarter.
Central closed out the first half on a 10-2 run and led 26-20 at halftime, never trailing again. The game was still tight until late in the third quarter, when Kohrmann’s 3-pointer put the Cougars up 37-30.
Another big blow to the Eagles was a 3-pointer from the corner early in the fourth quarter by Central junior guard Griffin Menkhaus.
If he starts out good it just boosts our whole offense. He’s good at getting everybody involved once he makes a few shots.
Central’s Kolby Schulte on teammate Logan Kohrmann
“They never got it under eight after that,” Shubert said.
Huebner had nine of his team-high 17 points in the opening quarter for Columbia. The Eagles also got 16 points from Jonathan Holmes and 14 from Korbin Farmer, with all but four of Farmer’s points coming in the fourth quarter.
“We left Kohrmann twice wide open and that’s absolutely ridiculous,” Sandstrom said. “(He’s) one of the best players in the whole entire area regardless of class. You leave him wide open twice, leave the ball? Ridiculous.
“They got all the loose balls, they got offensive rebound put-backs. They made the little extra plays tonight and that’s a credit to Central. They defended their home floor.”
The Eagles made a run in the fourth quarter behind the scoring of Farmer and Holmes that cut Central’s lead to nine, but the Cougars pulled away at the free-throw line.