In watching video of previous Silver Creek games, Columbus East coach Brent Chitty saw the Dragons shooting layup after layup.
So the Olympians tried to force Silver Creek to shoot from the outside Saturday night. The undefeated and Class 3A No. 9 Dragons hit five 3-pointers in the first quarter and led from start to finish in a 63-50 victory.
“I just wanted to see if we could get them away from the basket a little bit because they had some size,” Chitty said. “Those guys delivered. They shot the ball extremely well.”
The Olympians (1-2) were within 12-11 with 2:45 left in the first quarter. Silver Creek (6-0) then scored the final nine points of the first period and the first two of the second to take control at 23-11.
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The Dragons built the lead to as many as 16 on two occasions late in the first half. East scored the final two baskets of the half to trim the margin to 33-21 at intermission.
The Olympians forged to within 39-32 on a Carson Whitehead 3-pointer to close the third quarter. A three-point play and a basket by Matt Frost made it 44-40 with 6½ minutes remaining.
East still was within 54-48 with 2:45 left, but Silver Creek put the game away at the free-throw line.
“We’re just too inconsistent right now and kind of spurty,” Chitty said. “We played well in spurts.”
Frost led the Olympians with 16 points and nine rebounds. Drew Hasson scored 12 points, and Thomas Myers added nine.
Zane Gross scored 26 points, and Jack Hawkins added 18 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Dragons, who outrebounded East 36-26.
“I can’t say we didn’t play hard,” Chitty said. “Just at times, we weren’t very smart. We didn’t take care of the basketball at times, and then we just had some ill-advised shots. We had some pretty good shots tonight, but you have to knock them down, especially when (the opposing) team is hitting shots. We have to shoot it better, and we have to be a little tougher when it comes to rebounding. They absolutely out-toughed us on the boards.”