The Columbus East girls basketball team ended the regular season playing what East coach Danny Brown claimed the best first half of basketball the Olympians have played all year at home against Seymour.
East got off to a fast start offensively, scoring 22 points in the second quarter to end the first half with a 35-14 lead. The Olympians played a solid game on both sides of the ball only holding Seymour to seven points in three of the four quarters in a 50-36 Hoosier Hills Conference win.
“We really got after it defensively,” Brown said. “We got out on their shooters, and offensively, we just made the ball move a little bit and hit a high percentage of our shots. It was surprising to see a 21-point lead at halftime against Seymour. That shows you how well we played. That’s hard to do.”
Kristen Lyons filled the stat sheet for the Olympians (13-11, 3-4) with 11 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks. Britney Ballard scored a game-high 13 points.
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Addy Galarno started strong for East, scoring six of her 12 points in the first quarter, but the Owls (15-8, 3-4) made some key adjustments in the second half to make a third-quarter push. Seymour’s full-court press to start the second half allowed it to go on a 13-2 run and pull within 10 points with just over a minute remaining in the third quarter.
The Owls forced 14 steals in the game and held the Olympians to just six third-quarter points. Makenna Fee led all scores for Seymour with nine points, but Owls coach Jason Longmeier said the lack of urgency in the first half just put them in too big of a hole to make a comeback.
“Early on we didn’t even know there was a game going on,” Longmeier said.
“It took us until about halftime to get out of our slump. In the second half, we sped it up a little more, made it a full-court game and got some early buckets, but we didn’t shoot the ball well. We’re a much better shooting team than what we shot this afternoon.”
It looked as if Seymour was going to make a second-half comeback going into the fourth, but both teams had a low scoring fourth quarter. Lyons said East’s defensive intensity played a major role in holding off the Owls.
“They’re a really great offensive team,” Lyons said. “They can shoot it really well, so we just really worked hard on getting down on defense and blocking out and really getting those rebounds.”