Columbus East seniors Kary Horner and Korin Humes were placed in the starting lineup as a tribute on senior night against Martinsville on Thursday.
Both seniors were named captains for the game in which the Olympians fell 52-41. East coach Danny Brown said that is a tradition he has been doing since he began coaching.
“They’re always going to start. They deserve that,” Brown said. “Forget basketball — there aren’t two better people than those two. They’ve been a joy to be around for four years. I’m going to miss them big time.”
The Olympians (12-11) had a tough team to face, going up against the highest scoring team they have played all year in the Artesians, whose season average was 65 a game. East never led in the game but hung close going into halftime only down by four points.
Martinsville extended the lead to 10 after starting the third quarter with an 8-2 run and ended the quarter with a seven-point lead.
A 3-point basket to start the fourth quarter by Britney Ballard closed the gap to a 38-34. Brown said that was a crucial moment where he felt the team did not handle the offensive possessions well. East had a chance to cut the lead to two but could not convert and Brown felt the team rushed the shot on the second opportunity to pull within one score.
“It wasn’t a bad shot,” Brown said. “We just rushed the shot. Those two items, we could have cut it to two or one, and then it’s a different ballgame from then on. I think that was a key moment in the game where we rushed the shot when we didn’t need to. We needed to run our offense.”
The Artesians (18-4) hit a 3-pointer to push the lead back to six, and the Olympians never got a chance to get the score that close again. Brown said Martinsville was one of the better teams East has faced all year, and he was proud of the way his team competed.
Addy Galarno led the Olympians with 15 points, and freshman Whitely Rankin forced five steals and a block. Brown was pleased with the way East guarded Martinsville’s top guard, Kayana Traylor, who scored a game high of 19 points.
Horner and Humes have one last home as Olympians, who close the regular season against Seymour on Saturday. Both seniors said they enjoyed their time with the team.
“It’s like we’re a family,” Humes said. “And it’s going to be hard going away from our family.”