SULLIVAN TWP. — Columbia junior guard Brandon Severo swished a 3-pointer on his team’s first shot attempt and his teammates spent the rest of the first half trying to get him the ball.
Severo delivered nearly every time in a 79-44 victory over Black River in Patriot Athletic Conference crossover play.
“One through five in our lineup, anyone can shoot the three,” Severo said. “We have two stars (Jacob Simon and Zach Stopper) that enable other teams to leave the other three players open for wide-open shots. Today, they were keying on some of our better guys and they left me open for a couple of three.”
Severo sank four 3-pointers in a high-scoring first quarter. He finished with five treys and a game-high 19 points — all in the first half — and Columbia coach Larry Babics pulled his starters midway through the third quarter with his team ahead 57-19.
“For as talented as they are offensively, they’re about the most unselfish team that I’ve ever coached,” Babics said. “They knew Brandon was hot, and they kept trying to get him the ball.”
The three treys from Severo started a 16-0 run that bled into the start of the second quarter, which opened Columbia’s lead to 32-7. Stopper, who finished with nine points, capped the run with five points.
The Raiders (5-0, 3-0) then closed the first half with a 7-0 spurt — keyed by Severo’s final 3-pointer — to make it 45-17.
Freshman reserve David Delahunty added 14 points, while Simon finished with 13 points and a team-high 11 rebounds.
Black River (0-5, 0-3) helped erase memories of Tuesday’s lopsided loss to Clearview by outscoring the Raiders’ reserves 25-22 to keep things respectable. The Pirates had three double-digit scorers in Tyler Potter (11 points), Zach Sword (10) and Stephen Zumack (10).
“Just in three days, I can see improvement on the floor,” coach Cynthia Berry said. “Columbia’s a very, very good team — maybe the best team in this conference. Five games are done and there’s 17 more to go. You can focus on the five and all the things that have gone wrong or you can focus on the next day and improve on what you’ve done.”
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Columbia 79, Black River 44
COLUMBIA 27 18 19 15 — 79
BLACK RIVER 7 10 10 17 — 44
Columbia — Brandon Severo 7-0-19, Jacob Simon 6-1-14, Zach Stopper 4-0-9, Jay Banyasz 2-0-5, Kevin Simon 1-0-2, David Delahunty 6-0-14, Tyler Edmisten 3-0-6, Ryan Solanics 2-0-5, Brandon Heidecker 0-3-3, Michael Hershey 1-0-2, Michael Boey 0-0-0. TOTALS: 32-4-79.
Black River — Stephen Zumack 4-1-10, Tyler Potter 5-1-11, Caleb Stiver 1-1-3, Jerod England 1-0-2, Zach Sword 4-1-10, Anton Hsia 2-0-4, Brett Nagy 1-0-2, Jared Herb 1-0-2, Gabe Eaton 0-0-0, Aaron Schmitz 0-0-0. TOTALS: 18-6-44.
3-point goals — Severo 5, Delahunty 2, Banyasz, Stopper, J. Simon, Solanics, Sword, Zumack. Rebounds — Columbia 48 (J. Simon 11, Banyasz 6, Heidecker 6), Black River 39 (Herb 12). Records — Columbia (5-0, 3-0), Black River (0-5, 0-3). Junior varsity — Columbia 51, Black River 36.