Columbus East ran into a bit of foul trouble by the end of the first quarter, with Madison already in the bonus, and the Olympians thought they lost their inside presence with Claire Cunningham and Kristen Lyons on the bench.
Tayler Brewer proved them wrong. She led her team in the second quarter by scoring seven points off the bench that sparked a 12-3 run and helped turn the tide in East’s favor in a 62-41 Hoosier Hills Conference girls basketball victory.
“I’m glad I got the opportunity, but I felt we played as a team and came together,” said Brewer, a sophomore. “It was very special to get this win.”
The win by East (12-9, 2-4) ends a four-game losing skid.
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The Olympians got off to a little bit of a slow start in the first quarter, leading only 8-6. But the scoring opened up for them in the second quarter.
“We got open looks, but we just were not hitting them,” East coach Danny Brown said. “Tayler Brewer was the difference not in the second quarter, but she made the difference in the game. She put the game out of reach with her ability inside. She played great and did a good job for us.”
Addy Galarno finished with 14 points, but was one starter that was on the floor to experience Brewer’s second-quarter presence firsthand.
“Tayler played a huge part in getting us the win,” Galarno said. “She did an awesome job. Coming in, we worked really hard for this game and we wanted to win this for (assistant) coach Willie Humes, as well. This was the game for him being the former coach at Madison and also a win that we really needed.”
In the second half, with Lyons and Cunningham back in the lineup, the Olympians combined to score the first eight points to stretch the lead 36-21. Sarah Park scored five of the last six East points in the third quarter for a 44-28 lead.
Cunningham hit a couple of baskets to start the fourth quarter. After a Whitley Rankin 3-pointer, Galarno sealed the game with a couple of baskets to make it 56-30.
Rankin finished with 10 points for the Olympians. Cunningham added eight.