Columbia got 19 points from Brie Droege and 14 points from twin sister Brooke Droege in its 49-34 semifinal triumph over Halifax, as the Tide is now 6-1 in its last seven games.
Linden Hall and Columbia had met in nonleague games the previous two seasons; the Lions swept the home-and-home series. This rematch is for the D3 gold trophy, and a spot in the PIAA playoffs next Tuesday against the District 2 champ. FYI: Linden Hall topped D2 winner Holy Cross in last year’s PIAA playoffs. Holy Cross is still alive in the D2 bracket, so that rematch is still in play.
Columbia is back in a district final for the first time since the Tide fell to Camp Hill in the 2017 2A title tilt. Linden Hall is appearing in a D3 finale for the fourth year in a row; the Lions fell to Lebanon Catholic in the 2018 1A championship clash before winning the last two 2A titles. Don’t forget: Linden Hall joins the L-L League as an associate member in 2022-23.
Columbia has won four D3 crowns: 2A banners in 1995, 1996 and 2000, and a 1A crown in 1997 to polish off a nifty run of three championships in a row. Twins Brie Droege (19.3, 80 percent free throws on 96-of-120 attempts) and Brooke Droege (14.7, 10 3’s) are having breakout ninth-grade seasons for the Tide, while Morgan Bigler (9.5) has protected the paint and sniper MacKenzie Burke (7.5, 23 3’s) has chipped in on the perimeter.