SHELBYVILLE — Columbus East started the second half with more intensity and had all the momentum in its favor as it entered the fourth quarter.
Shelbyville suddenly stole the momentum that the Olympians had.
After Wyatt Koopman scored the opening basket for East in the fourth quarter, the Golden Bears then went on a 22-6 run to close out the game and hand the Olympians a 53-41 loss.
Another factor in the game was free-throw shooting. The Golden Bears were 15 of 19 from the line, including 10 of 11 in the fourth quarter. East started the game 4 of 4 from the line and shot 1 of 8 for the rest of the game.
“We have to hit our shots, and we have to hit our free throws,” East coach Brent Chitty said. “We have to take care of the basketball a little bit. We have to be strong with it. We had some turnovers when it got bumpy and a little physical, but we didn’t take care of the basketball.”
Both teams got off to a little bit of a slow start in the first half, with the shooting ice cold. Shelbyville (7-5) led only 8-7 after one quarter. The Olympians (4-6) had a better second quarter, but the offense still looked out of rhythm. Luckily for East, the Golden Bears were as equally out of sync.
East trailed 17-16 at the half.
“Defensively, we got to pressure some people up and not let them do whatever they want to do,” Chitty said. “We got to keep the ball out of the middle.”
Shelbyville scored the first bucket of the second half to lead 20-16. A steal and the finishing dunk by Tanner McFall at the other end ignited a spark that started the Olympians rally.
Max Nolting had a steal and went coast to coast to cap an 8-0 run in the third quarter to lead 33-27. The Golden Bears hit a free throw and then a 3-pointer at the buzzer by Josh Williams to cut into the Olympians lead to 33-31.
McFall led East with 11 points. Thomas Myers and Matthew Frost each added eight.
Chaz Painter missed his second straight game for the Olympians. He missed the Batesville game with a minor knee injury, but Monday tweaked his ankle during practice. He tried to play but could not and is taking things day by day.