BEDFORD — Getting to the free-throw line wasn’t the problem for Columbus East Friday night.
Making those free throws, however, was.
The Olympians went 11 of 24 from the line. Meanwhile, Bedford North Lawrence went 20 of 29, including 8 of 8 in the final 1:21, to hang on for a 70-63 Hoosier Hills Conference win.
“Our kids battled, but you don’t deserve to win a game shooting free throws like that,” East coach Brent Chitty said. “We didn’t defend very well, and they got a lot of easy baskets. If you’re not hitting free throws, and you’re not defending and you give up easy baskets, that’s a long night.”
The Stars (2-2, 1-0) shot 56.1 percent (23 of 41) from the field.
“They did a good job of getting shots,” Chitty said. “They hit free throws. Those are things we’re just going to have to buckle down on. We’ll look at this film and say ‘Here’s what you think you’re doing; here’s what you’re really doing.’”
The Olympians (1-1, 0-1) led 38-37 after a 3-pointer by Zach Sanders with just under five minutes left in the third quarter. But Bedford then went on a 13-4 run to take control.
The Stars built the lead to as big as 61-50 with just over two minutes left in the game. East came back to within 66-61 on a Parker Chitty 3-pointer with 35 seconds remaining and got the ball back on a turnover, but Chitty missed a 3 that would have cut the lead to two.
Parker Chitty led the Olympians with 21 points. Sanders added 13.
“Our kids did a good job following the scouting report,” Bedford North Lawrence coach Jamie Hudson said. “Chitty is just a really good high school guard, and he earned those (points). But I thought we did a really good job on Sanders, and I think we contested a lot of their shots and when we did that, we were able to get rebounds and really attack the paint. We did a great job tonight getting points in the paint instead of just settling for jump shots.”
Braxton Day scored 23 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, leading the Stars to a 34-23 advantage on the boards.
“I thought the key tonight was our ability to keep them off the glass,” Hudson said. “As small as we are, that’s something we talked about all week – our will vs. theirs. That was the difference, I thought – keeping them off the glass and limiting their second-chance points.”
East, which came out on fire from 3-point range in Tueday’s season-opening win against Heritage Christian, was only 6 of 22 from beyond the arc on Friday.
“We rushed it,” Brent Chitty said. “We’re just a little quick with everything right now, and we’re going to keep working on that.”