BILLINGS — The Columbus Cougars were happy to finally make it out of districts. Now, their dreams are a lot bigger.
Columbus continued its improbable postseason run Saturday night with a 42-34 win over Forsyth to win the Southern B girls basketball divisional championship and advance to state for the first time since 2015. The Cougars, who finished third in the District 4B regular-season standings, have won six consecutive postseason games to claim both district and divisional tournament championships.
Senior Morgan Kirch and Payton West each scored 10, while Brenna Rouane added nine for Columbus in Saturday’s win, but it was once again the Cougars’ defense that led the way. Forsyth shot just 26.2 percent from the field (11 of 42), while star 6-foot-4 center Lindsey Hein was frustrated into a 3-for-13 shooting night.
Columbus fronted Hein with 5-1 senior point guard Alexa Riveland most of the night, a look the Dogies never seemed comfortable with.
It was a one-point game at halftime, but Columbus outscored Forsyth 10-4 in the third to take the lead for good. The Cougars’ largest lead of the night was 11 midway through the fourth quarter.
Jordan Cookman led Forsyth in scoring with 11.
Columbus will be the South’s No. 1 seed at the State B girls tournament set for March 7-9 in Belgrade. Forsyth will be the No. 2 seed, while Three Forks will be No. 3.