FLOYDS KNOBS — It was the regular-season finale for the Columbus East boys basketball team.
The Olympians were looking to spoil senior night for host Floyd Central. Instead, it was their night that was spoiled in the final seconds.
With East holding a 47-46 lead, the Highlanders’ Luke Gohmann buried the go-ahead 3-point basket with just under 10 seconds left. On the ensuing possession, East’s Parker Chitty had the ball stolen from him by Matthew Weimer, who had a breakaway but was fouled intentionally.
Weimer sank both free throws, and they proved huge — because on the final play, Zach Sanders made the heave just inside half-court. Despite that last-second shot, the Olympians fell short 51-50.
“We gave a great effort and we made some nice plays,” East coach Brent Chitty said. “We battled through and played tough. I think we are sectional ready — but we have to finish the job.”
East (11-12, 4-3) was hoping to get a little momentum booster, but this is now their fourth loss in the past five games. The Olympians have a quick turnaround, as they will now face crosstown rival Columbus North in the first round of the East Central Sectional on Tuesday.
The Olympians got off to a hot start on offense in the first few minutes off the game. They moved the ball around for the open shot, and that helped build an early 13-4 lead.
The Highlanders (14-8, 4-3) came roaring back, though, as they ended the first quarter on an 8-2 run.
Things did not get any easier for the Olympians in the second quarter, as they could not find the net and committed crucial turnovers that led to some baskets by the Highlanders. Floyd Central wound up putting together a 17-4 run to put East behind, 29-21.
A Sanders basket right before the half cut into the Highlanders’ lead to six.
The Olympians came storming back in the third quarter as a basket by Parker Chitty and a Zach Sanders 3 tied the game at 36-36 in the third quarter. Sanders hit another 3-pointer to give the Olympians the 41-40 lead after three periods.
Kevin Williams hit back-to-back baskets early in the fourth quarter to extend the Olympian lead to 45-40 before the Highlanders began a late rally.
Parker Chitty led the Olympians with a game-high 15 points and Sanders added 14.
The Highlanders were led by Gohmann, who finished with 15 points. Connor Sturgeon added 14.