East downs Artesians

Columbus East coach Brent Chitty thought his team got tougher as the game wore on Saturday night.

As a result, the Olympians were able to break open a close game and pull away for a 75-68 win against Martinsville.

“I thought they out-toughed us in the first half,” Chitty said. “Then, I thought the second half, we out-toughed them. Like (Friday) night, when we needed stops, we got stops. When we needed baskets, we got baskets.”

On Friday, the Olympians pulled out a last-second win at Madison. Saturday’s game didn’t come down to the closing seconds, but it was tight throughout.

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East (10-12) led only 63-60 with 2½ remaining, but made 10 of 12 free throws in the final 2:18. The Olympians went 22 of 28 from the line for the game.

“It’s great to get another win, especially with the win (Friday) night,” senior Tanner McFall said. “It was a tough, grind-it-out win, and this is going to give us a lot of experience because we know in the tournament, there’s not going to be any easy games. They’re all going to be tough.”

McFall led East with 19 points on senior night. Four other players — seniors Jonathan Foster and Chaz Painter and juniors Max Nolting and Thomas Myers — finished with 10.

The Olympians received a scare late in the game when Painter went up for a dunk and landed on his wrist. He was taken to the hospital for X-rays.

“Our crowd gave us a lot of energy, and our bench gave us a lot of energy,” McFall said. “We had some guys step up and make some tough shots. Chaz did a great job of just establishing his presence down low. It was too bad to see him go down on senior night.”

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Ted Schultz is sports editor for The Republic. He can be reached at tschultz@therepublic.com or 812-379-5628.