Columbus Christian ekes out win

Despite scoring just a pair of points in the final period of its season opener Saturday, Columbus Christian’s girls basketball team still managed enough offense to get past visiting Washington Catholic 26-17.

The Crusaders employed an in-your-face attack on both ends of the floor and forced more than two dozen turnovers to offset their own shaky moments in a contest that featured almost entirely new starting lineups for both squads.

Emily Muck led Columbus Christian with 12 points and 13 rebounds, while Jena Fryback added eight points and nine rebounds, including the game’s only pair of made 3-pointers.

The hosts played their starters throughout most of the game and responded well, said new Crusaders coach Jennifer Hardin.

“I’m pleased with the results,” she said. “I wanted to see what our starting five had in them, and I think they showed me quite a bit.”

Trailing 8-5 late in the opening quarter, Columbus Christian jumped in front 9-8 with consecutive jumpers by Muck and never lost control from then on. The Crusaders pushed the advantage to 15-9 after the Cardinals managed just one point in the second period.

Muck, a 5-foot-6 junior who transferred from the Indianapolis Homeschool Wildcats, had 10 points at intermission, while Fryback had five. She knocked down her second triple midway through the third quarter to put Columbus Christian up by double figures at 22-11.

Muck followed with her only bucket of the second half moments later to give the hosts their largest lead of the game at 24-12. A jumper by Taylor Ingram with 2:15 remaining in the game were the only points scored by the Crusaders in the final quarter, but it proved to be more than enough as Washington Catholic countered with just five points.

“We tried to play pressure defense and offense the entire game,” Hardin said. “I think the team took to it well.”