Valley Preps

Columbus boys score upset over region foe Carver

David Mitchell

The Columbus boys earned one of their biggest region wins in years on Friday, topping Carver 65-54 behind a balanced offensive and stingy defensive effort.

Columbus got double-digit efforts from JaQuan Mason (17 points), Noah Lott (15 points), JC Houpt (12 points) and Lincoln Smith (11 points).

Columbus hung close in the first quarter and nearly tied the game before the half, but went into the break down six points, 35-29. The Blue Devils hit their stride in the third, though, briefly taking the lead and going into the final quarter tied 43-43. They outscored Carver 22-11 in the fourth quarter to earn the big victory.

“We’ve been waiting a long time for this,” coach George Williams. “Hopefully this can carry over for us.”

Columbus found its shooting stroke early, building its confidence that it could knock off Carver, which entered the game 5-1 in region play. Williams said the team matched up with the Tigers’ size well in the game. The Tigers were without senior Jawon Pass, who was on a college visit to Alabama for football.

Still, Williams was thrilled with the team’s victory.

“It’s great to beat a team like that,” he said. “That’s a great team we played.”

Carver was led by Rahmir Nelson’s 13 points and Joey Payne’s 12. Carver plays at Central on Saturday, while Columbus travels to LaGrange.

Friday at Columbus

Carver 14 21 8 11—54

Columbus 12 17 14 22—65

Carver (54)

Rahmir Nelson 13, Joey Payne 12, James 9, Madden 6, Harris 6, Cummings 4, Melvin 3, Calhoun 1.

Columbus (65)

JaQuan Mason 17, Noah Lott 15, JC Houpt 12, Lincoln Smith 11, Gardner 8, Dalton 2.

Records: Carver, 14-5, 5-2; Columbus, 8-10, 3-4. Next: Carver, Saturday at Central; Columbus, Saturday at LaGrange.