Columbus East got its first win of the season and Trinity Lutheran suffered its first loss of the season on Friday night as the Cougars and Olympians squared off at Trinity.
It was a low scoring affair, but East was able to obtain a comfortable lead and win the game 44-22.
East got off to a good start as it led 13-5 after the first quarter. It was a struggle for the Cougars to get the ball in the basket throughout the first eight minutes, in large part due to turnovers and East’s ability to swarm the ball once it got inside the paint.
“You see how little we are, we’re like a bunch of gnats trying to get in there and make it tough on people,” East head coach Brent Chitty said. “I thought our guys did a good job making it tough for them to get inside and get something clean.”
The Olympians nailed five 3-pointers in the first half to take a 28-15 lead into the break. Ben Sylva and Julius Dailey each had two and Zane Moravec had 1.
“We believe all our kids can shoot wide open shots,” Chitty said. “I still don’t think we shot as well as we are capable of doing.”
Trinity had some more success getting baskets in the second quarter as Jacob Sabotin found Sage Broughton off some nice high-low action.
Broughton and Jacob Conrad led the Cougars at the break with four points each. Mitchell Hackman, who had 34 points in Trinity’ season-opener, was held to zero field goals in the first half, but he made 3 of 6 free throws.
“We wanted it in the lane area,” Trinity head coach Brad Dickey said. “If you spend all your time outside, the defense will key on your guards. We really wanted to touch the ball inside more often.”
The third quarter was a struggle for both teams offensively. East could only add six more points to its total, but Trinity could only amount two points as the Olympians went into the fourth quarter with a 37-17 advantage.
Broughton hit a three early in the fourth quarter to bring the Cougars within 14, trying to create some momentum, but East’s Will Rieckers answered with a 3-pointer of his own to push it back up to 17.
“I thought defensively we did a good job handling any run they would make,” Chitty said. “I was pleased with that. Rebounding, I thought we did a pretty decent job. We didn’t give them many second opportunities. Offensively, we still need to execute a bit better.”
The Olympians out-rebounded the Cougars 22-17 on the night.
Rickers had 11 points for the Olympians, who were led by Sylva with 14 points. As for the Cougars, Broughton led them in scoring with nine points.
Dickey wasn’t pleased with his team’s defensive effort.
“We kind of went soft in a couple spots that really hurt us in the first half,” he said. “We played much harder in the second half, but then a little bit clumsy.”
The Cougars will be back in action in one week when they host Southwestern (Shelbyville) next Friday.
“We need a little bit of everything,” Dickey said. “Our offensive play can get better. We rebounded well in our first game but not tonight. We’ll look at film and try to figure out how to get better at that.”
As for the Olympians, they will host Southwestern (Hanover) later tonight at 7:30 p.m.
“We’re gonna have to play a lot better defense,” Chitty said. “They got some size, too. They can shoot the ball pretty well, so we’re gonna have to be able to really get up in them, d them up and we’re gonna have to knock some shots down.”