Dr. Phil is back on the bench and as the calendar turns to February the Eagles are beginning to hit their stride. The Eagles have shook off a 6-4 start to the season to lock down the two-seed in Region 5-5A with a 79-51 win over Chamblee Tuesday night and finished the month of January with an 8-1 record.
Chamblee used energy and emotion to jump out to a 10-point lead in the first quarter 14-4 after a Jalen Knowlton basket. The Bulldogs led 16-7 after a quarter of play showing confidence while seeking redemption from a 55-point loss earlier this season at Columbia.
Columbia (16-6; 8-3) began the second quarter with a 8-0 run to pull within one and continued to chip away from there. Chamblee (12-10; 4-8) continued to maintain the lead throughout the quarter however were held scoreless the last 2:34 quarter. Kenton Eskridge nailed a three-pointer as the horn sounded to give Columbia it’s first lead of the game 30-29 at halftime.
Both teams exchanged the lead over the first four minutes of the third quarter as. Jalen Cobb hit a three-pointer to put Columbia up 38-36 with 3:29 remaining in the third and the Eagles never trailed again.
Columbia held a 47-44 lead as the fourth quarter and Kevon Eskridge opened the flood gates with a three-pointer to begin a 9-0 Eagles run. It was all Columbia from there as Kevon Eskridge went on to hit five more treys in the final frame as the Eagles put up 32 points in the quarter, rolling to the victory. Columbia hit 13 three’s in the game.
“Sometime you have to get use to the opponents gym, we’ve never played here (this is the second season of Chamblee’s new gym),” Columbia head coach Dr. Phil McCrary said. “It took us a while to get going, we sustained the punch they threw at us, kept our composure and believed in the game plan.”
Kevon Eskridge finished with 26 points (8 three-pointers), Jalen Cobb put in 16, T.J. Boykin tallied 12 while Kenton Eskridge put in 11 for Columbia.
Columbia’s only loss this calendar year was to region leader Miller Grove, who swept the Eagles in two regular season meetings. Dating back to the Tournament of Champions at Wheeler high school in late December the Eagles have won 9 of their last 11 games.
Odell Ferrell finished with a team-high 15 points, Glen Robinson put in 14 while Jalen Knowlton chipped in 10 for the Bulldogs.