Columbia HS girls’ basketball team stuns top-seeded Bayonne in state tournament first round

MAPLEWOOD – The 16th-seeded Columbia High School girls’ varsity basketball team stunned top-seeded Bayonne, 50-41, in overtime in the first round of the state North Jersey Section 2, Group 4 tournament on Tuesday, March 1, at Bayonne.

The Cougars trailed 19-17 at halftime and 32-25 at the end of the third quarter, but outscored Bayonne, 14-7, in the fourth quarter to tie it 39-39 and force overtime. CHS continued its momentum in overtime, outscoring Bayonne, 11-2, to pull off the major upset.

Senior Dominique Rayam led all scorers with 22 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead the Cougars. Senior Shadekay Haughton had 10 points and six rebounds; senior  Jasmine Keegan had eight points, six rebounds and five blocks; sophomore Kayla Anderson had six points; and senior Melissa Etienne and junior Courtney Miller each had two points for CHS, which improved to a 9-16 record.

Bayonne, which won the Hudson County Tournament title this season, finished with a 20-3 record.

The Cougars will visit eighth-seeded North Hunterdon in the quarterfinals on March 3 at 5 p.m. The winner will face the winner between fifth-seeded Union and fourth-seeded and defending champion Franklin in the semifinals on March 5. The final is March 8.

It marked the first time since 2010 that the Cougars won a postseason game. That season, the Cougars advanced to the Section 2, Group 4 semifinals and lost to North Hunterdon, 34-33, to finish with a 24-4 record.