BLOOMINGTON — A flat third quarter for Columbus East on the road against Bloomington South on Monday night cost the Olympians the game.
The Olympians hung tough in the first two quarters. Mathew Frost scored all nine of his points in the second quarter to keep them within five going into halftime.
The Panthers then came out and outscored East by 15 points in the third quarter on their way to a 68-49 victory.
“I loved the energy, attitude and effort we played in the first half,” East coach Brent Chitty said. “In the third quarter, we got a little discouraged because we weren’t scoring baskets and they were scoring.”
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Tanner McFall scored eight of the Olympians’ 10 points in the third quarter. He finished with a team high 18 points.
East (4-8) had trouble stopping Bloomington South (10-3) from deep. The Panthers hit four 3-pointers in the third quarter and shot 80 percent from 3-point range for the game.
“The first 16 minutes, I really liked (our defense),” Chitty said. “We just have to sustain, even when things aren’t going our way. We have to dig in deep, try to get stops and go down to get good shots and knock some down.”
The Panthers had a 22-point lead after a quick two-point bucket to start the fourth period. The Olympians went on a 7-0 run to cut the lead to 15 with just over five minutes left, but seven consecutive points by the Panthers bumped it right back to 22.
Jonathan Foster knocked down three fourth-quarter 3-pointers and scored 11 of his 13 points in the final period. Chance Coyle hit three 3-pointers for Bloomington South and scored a game-high 20 points, while Josh Hall added 11 points and six rebounds.
Chitty said his team has lost some of its enthusiasm in games after Christmas break, and it will be looking to get it back as the season moves on.
“We’re trying to figure out guys who can play with attitude, effort and energy for 32 minutes-plus,” Chitty said. “We’ve got Tanner and Jonathan who are busting their tails trying to be good seniors, and our other guys are very capable.”