SELLERSBURG — Columbus East senior Karli Reynolds has been battling a cold recently. However, during Wednesday’s girls basketball contest at Silver Creek, she didn’t let her illness slow her down.
Reynolds scored 12 of her game-high 19 points in the third quarter to help lift the Olympians to a 57-43 victory.
The third quarter was huge for East, which outscored the Dragons 19-7 to give it the cushion needed to finish the game.
“We kind of started slow in the first half. We knew we wanted to run, but we were not running it,” Reynolds said. “Our coach (Danny Brown) got on us at halftime that we need to run our plays, and we did.”
The Olympians (5-2) are known to have good shooting from the perimeter, but instead, they focused their attention inside early in the game. Claire Cunningham and Kristen Lyons received a lot of touches, which resulted in Cunningham putting up all of her eight points in the first half.
“It helped move the ball around and create space for people on the outside and inside and also spread the defense,” Cunningham said.
East could have put the game away by halftime, but in the second quarter, it committed a lot of sloppy passes and had a few turnovers to keep Silver Creek (2-8) within striking distance. The Olympians led 21-20 at the half.
In the third quarter, East got aggressive on the defensive end. The Olympians forced several Dragons turnovers that resulted in easy baskets at the other end. East opened the third quarter on a 12-2 run and finished out the quarter by scoring the final seven points.
“We played some careless basketball the first half and we let them do whatever they wanted. There was not much effort defensively,” Brown said. “In the second half, we made our adjustments, and the kids got after it. We have to respect every team we play and have to come out and play hard.”
East did the job on the glass in the fourth quarter. Britney Ballard had a couple putbacks off of the team’s missed free throws. Ballard finished with nine points.
“We have been working really hard in practice, and everyone came out in the second half and gave a really great effort,” Reynolds said.
The Olympians will play their toughest two games on the schedule next. They have a huge Hoosier Hills Conference game Saturday at Jeffersonville and a Dec. 15 home matchup against crosstown rival Columbus North.
“We have to work hard and get our minds focused on the next competition,” Cunningham said.
“We have to put 32 minutes together because we are going to struggle to win if we do not play hard for 32 minutes,” Brown said.