FRANKLIN — It was one of the best outputs that Columbus East had all season, especially in the second quarter.
The Olympians took care of the basketball and made some great passes to outscore Franklin 18-6 in the second quarter. The Grizzly Cubs made a serious charge in the second half, particularly in the third quarter, but East’s second quarter was enough for a 60-45 win.
It was a much-needed victory for East (8-11) after they felt they let Friday night’s game against Jennings County slip away.
“It’s a roller-coaster ride,” East coach Brent Chitty said. “You never know which team is going to show up. They come out with that good energy. They started the game with a good attitude. They were hitting shots and got into the flow of it, and we knew they were going to make a run. (Franklin) is a good team and can shoot the ball well. We held up that run and just kept going.”
With Franklin (11-7) trailing 32-17 at halftime, Tyler Craft got going in the third quarter. He scored seven of Franklin’s next nine points to cut it 36-26. The Grizzly Cubs kept coming, eventually getting within six at 42-36.
In the fourth quarter, a Tanner McFall basket extended the East lead back to double digits at 48-38. Franklin’s Cory Richards and Hunter Gross hit baskets to get it back to 48-42, but that was as close as the Grizzly Cubs could get. The Olympians ended the game on a 12-5 run.
“(The Olympians) have big and strong kids. They played (Friday) night and were probably frustrated and angry down at Jennings County,” Franklin coach Brad Dickey said. “They were upset and took it out on us.”
Dickey was proud of the fight his team showed in the second half.
“We got it to within six, but then we launched about four 3-pointers,” Dickey said. “But they were from pretty good players that deserved that chance, and you can see they were trying to get it all back at once. We were tired and not at our best, and again, that is from Columbus East. They answered right back and got to the rim and caused us all kinds of trouble.”
Chaz Painter led East with 15 points. McFall and Jonathan Foster each had 14.
“It was important to get off to a fast start tonight, because that just fueled us for the rest of the game,” Painter said. “We needed to put (Friday) behind us right off the bat.”
Franklin was led by Gross with 14 points. Craft had 10 points and Richards added nine.