Columbia HS girls basketball team upsets Payne Tech to reach ECT quarterfinals

Photo by Steve Ellmore.
Maia Little, left, dribbles the ball during the win over Glen Ridge on Dec. 19 in the season opener.

MAPLEWOOD, NJ — Freshman Bella Galatt scored 15 points and junior Corteney Provilon-Louis scored 14 points as the 10th-seeded Columbia High School girls basketball team upset seventh-seeded Payne Tech, 45-44, in the Essex County Tournament round of 16 on Feb. 8 at Payne Tech in Newark in a matchup of Super Essex Conference-Liberty Division teams.

Senior Maia Little had six points, freshman Shana Desir had four, and freshman Allie Harris, senior Kyla Benson and junior Kaijhe Hall each had two for the Cougars, who won their fourth straight game and seventh in the last eight games to improve to 12-5 on the season.

CHS defeated Payne Tech, 42-35, Feb. 4 in a divisional game at Payne Tech, led by Little’s 13 points, Provilon-Louis’ eight points and Hall’s seven points. Galatt had six points and junior Sophia Rounsavill and Desir each had four points. The Cougars avenged a 39-25 loss to Payne Tech on Jan. 7 in a divisional game.

Columbia defeated 26th-seeded Weequahic, 39-19, in the ECT preliminary third round on Feb. 6. Little and Galatt each had 11 points and Hall had 10 points. Provilon-Louis netted four points. CHS had a bye in the preliminary second round.

The Cougars will visit No. 2 seed East Orange Campus in the quarterfinals on Feb. 15.

CHS split its two divisional meetings with Payne Tech this season. Payne Tech won the first meeting, 39-25, Jan. 7 at CHS.