Columbus East struggled to score points Tuesday night, as it was without its three-point shooter Riley Meade in the Hoosier Hills match up against Bedford North Lawrence.
Kristen Lyons had to sit out much of the first quarter because of foul trouble and the Olympians did not have much to lean on offensively. They ended the first quarter down by 15 points after only scoring five points to start the game. Lyons came back to score nine of East’s 14 second quarter points and lead the team with 17 in the 70-50 loss to the Stars.
“(Bedford) came out really physical with us at the beginning,” East coach Danny Brown said. “We have to have Kristen on the floor the whole game. Starting off with foul trouble from the get go, we need to have somebody step up in her spot. That’s still a work in progress at this last stage of the season.”
East (12-5, 1-2) went into halftime down 33-19 but started the third quarter with an 11-4 run to cut the lead to 10. Addy Galarno picked up her offensive intensity in the second half, scoring 9 of her 11 points in the final two quarters. Whitley Rankin tried to make up for for the absence of Meade by knocking down three 3-pointers for nine points. Bedford extended the lead back to 18 going into the fourth. The Olympians started the fourth quarter on a short 6-2 run, but East could not stop the Star’s 6’1″ sophomore Jorie Allen.
“She’s tough, she’s maybe the best player in the conference and she’s only a sophomore,” Brown said. “She’s kind of like the point-forward for them. She can bring it down, post up, drive and kick, Allen can do it all. We couldn’t keep her in front of us. You have to make her shoot from outside and we didn’t do that.”
Allen finished with a game high 24 points and 11 rebounds and Kennedy Bunch added 17 points while hitting 4 3-pointers. East struggled to defend the 3-point line, allowing Bedford to knock down 8 3-point shots in the game. Bedford (13-4, 5-1) extended the lead with another three anytime East pulled within striking distance. Brown said somebody on the team needs to step up moving forward to fill the role of Meade who will not be returning to the team this season.
“We have to find that person in practice,” Brown said. “But I’m a big believer they have to do it in the game. We don’t need any 3:00 p.m. players. We need 8:00 p.m. players.”