Balanced attack boosts Olympians’ record to 9-2

Columbus East won the 3-point shootout that took place in Friday’s home game against Franklin County.

The Olympians scored on nine of 25 3-pointers in the 66-37 win over the Wildcats. There were 45 total shots from deep between the two teams. Britney Ballard led the Olympians with 18 points on four made 3-pointers.

“That’s just our normal game plan with them setting in a zone where going to shoot more three,” East coach Danny Brown said. “To get a 29 point win without our leading scorer Addy (Galarno), that’s an impressive win.”

Galarno was out of the game because of sickness, but Kaitlyn Dougherty stepped up in her first starting role of the season. She filled in by knocking down three 3-pointers in the first quarter on her way to scoring 11 points.

“I was really nervous going in, but when I got in and got the groove going it felt good,” Dougherty said. “I got the groove and I was like ‘oh I got this.’ We got it going.”

Whitley Rankin also knocked down a 3-pointer in the first quarter to give the Olympians (9-2) four 3-pointers in the first eight minutes. She finished with 13 points and two  3-pointer baskets. East led 16-9 at the end of the first quarter with all nine of the Wildcats points coming on 3-pointers.

Kristen Lyons took over for East in the second quarter by scoring eight of her 12 points in the second period. The Olympians had four players score in double figures while Claire Cunningham added nine. East had a 28-22 halftime lead before outscoring Franklin County (6-6) by 23 points in the final two quarters.

“The first half I thought we weren’t focused as well as we should be,” Ballard said. “In the second half, we became more focused and we got in our groove.”

East started the third quarter with a 14-3 run before taking a 47-31 lead to start the fourth. Ballard scored nine third quarter points on three 3-pointers. Ballard also led the defense with four blocked shots. East only allowed five field goals in the final two quarters.

“Our press worked again,” Brown said. “It kind of wore them out at the end and we moved the ball well, especially in the second half.”

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Frank Bonner is a sports writer for The Republic. He can be reached at fbonner@therepublic.com or 812-379-5632.