Olympians can’t slow down Bears

Columbus East didn’t have a bad shooting night Tuesday, but the way Shelbyville was shooting the basketball, the Golden Bears were going to be a tough team to beat.

Shelbyville shot 63.3 percent (31 of 49) from the field, including 59.1 percent (13 of 22) from 3-point range, in rolling to a 79-59 win.

“You can’t just get caught up in them being a good shooting team,” East coach Brent Chitty said. “They play extremely hard, they’re very aggressive, they stay after you. Their attitude and effort in which they play is just superior, and our kids couldn’t match it at any level tonight. We got beat in every facet of the game.”

The Olympians (5-4) battled back from an early 8-2 deficit to tie the game at 8-8 after back-to-back baskets by Matt Frost. Frost scored all eight of his points in the first quarter, and East trailed 22-16 after one.

The Olympians still were within 31-25 midway through the second period, but the Golden Bears (10-4) finished the half on a 13-5 run to take a 44-30 lead at the break. Shelbyville then scored the first eight points of the second half to end any thoughts of a comeback.

East did get back to within 14 twice in the fourth quarter, but each time the Golden Bears pulled away.

“We had some really poor possessions,” Chitty said. “We shot the ball at times at situations when we should have just held onto it. We were just out of sorts, and you have to give (Shelbyville) the credit.”

The Golden Bears put all five starters in double figures, led by 22 points from Cooper Lewis. Zach Kuhn added 16 points and 10 rebounds.

Max Nolting hit 4 of 5 3-pointers and led the Olympians with 14 points. Wyatt Koopman came off the bench to add a career-high 11.

Shelbyville outrebounded East 30-19. Frost led the Olympians with six rebounds.

“I thought Luke Poindexter just attacked the basket and did some really good things,” Chitty said. “I thought Max Nolting battled through. But we’re not an individual team. We have to be hitting on all cylinders. We didn’t execute offensively or defensively, and the result was not very good for us.”

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