For The Tribune
Brownstown Central played well in the first quarter of Thursday’s boys basketball matchup with Columbus East.
The final three quarters became a different story.
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The Olympians won the battle in every facet of the game, which led them to a 50-35 victory against the Braves.
“I thought East was much tougher than we were tonight,” Brownstown coach Dave Benter said. “They beat us going for the 50-50 balls. I didn’t think that we competed on the backboard, and they just killed us in the offensive glass. I felt like we were much softer than they were. I just don’t think we matched East’s intensity very well.”
The Olympians (6-7) quickly jumped out to a 4-0 lead over two minutes into the game. Brownstown (13-3) got five straight points from Isaac Johnson to go in front 5-4.
Later in the opening quarter, East led 10-8, but 3-point baskets from Ethan Wischmeier and Matthew Garland put the Braves ahead 14-10 with over a minute to go in the quarter. Matt Frost then converted a couple of free throws for the Olympians to cut the lead to 14-12 after the first quarter.
“Our guys came out early and rebounded, but we just didn’t make shots,” Benter said. “Over the last three quarters, I didn’t think our pace on offense was very good. We got soft with the basketball and couldn’t keep (East) off the backboard. Frost really hurt us. We were fortunate East missed some free throws; otherwise, it could have gotten ugly early.”
The Olympians took the lead back from Brownstown after Drew Johnson hit a free throw and basket to go ahead 15-14. Isaac Johnson answered back with a bucket to give the Braves the lead again at 16-15 with 5:30 to go in the first half. Drew Johnson then converted a 3-pointer to put East in the lead 18-16.
The Olympians led 20-16 until an Isaac Johnson 3 cut it to 20-19, but two free throws from Frost made it 22-19 at the half.
Brownstown came out to start the third quarter with a 6-2 run to lead 25-24 with about 4:30 left. East eventually took the lead and didn’t surrender it again by going on a 9-1 run to lead 33-26.
Isaac Johnson led the Braves with 13 points, and Seth Borden added eight. Frost finished with a game-high 21 points and Drew Johnson added 12 for the Olympians.