Columbus East had a hard time making stops down the stretch Saturday night at Bloomington North.
The Olympians started the game with a two-point lead, but Musa Jallow lead the Cougars to a 21-point second quarter to allow them go into halftime up by seven. East never saw the lead again and fell 63-56.
“We got out toughed in second quarter,” East coach Brent Chitty said. “In the second half, we showed some toughness, but you have to show toughness 24/7.”
Chaz Painter’s 14 points and eight rebounds to go with Max Nolting’s 12 points kept the Olympians (6-9) in the game. Nolting scored eight points in the third quarter to help East cut the lead to two after ending the quarter with a 7-0 run.
Bloomington North (7-7) took the momentum back by starting the fourth quarter with a 7-0 run of its own. East was not done fighting and pulled within four points with 2:30 left in the game. Jonathan Foster scored six of his 10 points in the fourth.
The Olympians still had a chance trailing 62-56, but could not stop Jallow from getting to the basket. Jallow hit 5 of 6 free throws in the fourth quarter on his way to scoring 29 points for the game.
East was able to get Jallow into foul trouble late in the game, and Chitty said he was pleased with the way Foster defended him.
“There is a reason why Indiana and Virginia are offering him,” Chitty said. “I though Jonathan did a great job battling with him, but he’s a really excellent player.”
East next plays when they host Class 3A No. 2 Brownstown Central on Thursday.