ST. LEON — Columbus East went into Friday night’s game at East Central knowing it wouldn’t have to deal with Trojan standout Tyler Koelling, who had the flu.
The Olympians didn’t let anyone else beat them. They held East Central to 10 points in the second half in a 47-27 boys basketball victory.
“Let’s put this game in context,” East coach Brent Chitty said. “Their best player didn’t play, and a couple other kids on their team were sick. But that being said, when you have to play against a team that does not have some of their best players, some other kids will step up, so you have to take them very serious. I thought our kids took it real seriously.”
The Olympians (7-6) led by as many as 10 in the first half and enjoyed a 24-17 halftime lead. But after the Trojans (10-5) scored the first basket of the second half to cut the lead to five, East scored the final 15 points of the third quarter to take a 39-19 advantage.
The Olympians went 6 of 8 from the field in the third quarter, with Thomas Myers leading the way with five points in the period.
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“I thought we did a good job physically keeping people in front of us,” Chitty said. “Then offensively, outside of missing a few bunnies (in the first half), I thought we did a nice job of knocking down shots.”
East had balanced scoring. Matt Frost and Carson Whitehead each scored eight points, and Drew Johnson and Drew Hasson each added seven.
Frost grabbed five rebounds for the Olympians, who were outrebounded 22-21.
“I thought we played really well as a team and got out in transition, so we a lot of good shots,” Whitehead said. “This was one of our best games on defense.”
Joe Kirchgassner led the Trojans with nine points. Luke Collinsworth, a 6-foot-6, 265-pound freshman, added eight points on the inside.
“I think we played really well as a team on both ends of the floor and got the ball to each other really well,” Frost said. “We got good open looks and hit our shots. (Defensively), we just had to help on the big guy and get hands up on the shooters.”