Columbus East blitzed through its first seven games this girls basketball season with seven wins by an average of better than 23 points a contest.
Saturday afternoon, the Olympians ran up against a big and athletic Jeffersonville squad. The Class 4A No. 9 Red Devils handed East its first loss of the year, a 63-47 Hoosier Hills Conference setback.
“They exploited us in almost every area today,” East coach Danny Brown said. “They took away a lot of what we had been getting the first seven games. Their speed and their quickness, we weren’t able to handle much today. They took us out of our offense. Our press didn’t work against them.”
The Olympians (7-1, 1-1) hung with the Red Devils (7-3, 4-1) for a quarter-and-a-half. Jeffersonville led 20-16 midway through the second quarter before going on a 9-2 run to end the half with a 29-18 lead.
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East’s Kristen Lyons opened the second half with a basket to cut the lead to nine. But then the Red Devils ran off nine consecutive points for a 38-20 advantage.
“We couldn’t get anything going offensively,” Brown said. “They just took it away. We weren’t getting any second shots. We weren’t knocking down shots. We couldn’t get a stop.”
Jeffersonville built the lead to 46-24 after three quarters. The Red Devils led 59-34 midway through the fourth quarter before the Olympians finished the game on a 13-4 run.
“We did a nice job not giving up at the end and coming back,” Brown said. “But we can’t get in a hole like that.”
Britney Ballard led East with 12 points. Addy Galarno added 11, and Whitley Rankin had 10.
Jeffersonville outrebounded the Olympians 36-25. Claire Cunningham led East with seven rebounds.
Nan Garcia led the Red Devils with 17 points and eight rebounds.
“Their speed and quickness is unlike maybe anybody we’ll see this year, and that’s tough to play against,” Brown said. “I told them afterward, when you see somebody like that, you have to play even harder.”