NEW ALBANY — Columbus East took on its toughest challenge of the boys basketball season when it traveled to New Albany on Saturday to face the Class 4A No. 3-ranked team that featured Romeo Langford, who is widely considered the nation’s top unsigned recruit.
The Olympians got off to a solid start by taking an early three-point lead, but they could not slow down Langford in the 89-60 Hoosier Hills Conference loss.
“Romeo is going to probably be one of the greatest players to ever play in the state of Indiana and he didn’t disappoint today,” East coach Brent Chitty said. “He hit a lot of shots, tough shots … We kept him away from the basket, and he still hit shots.”
Langford scored the first 16 points for the Bulldogs (17-1, 4-1) on his way to scoring 44, but East (8-8, 1-3) stayed within striking distance, being down 23-13 at the end of the opening period. Three 3-pointers by Drew Johnson, Thomas Myers and Max Nolting helped keep the Olympians close in the first quarter.
Langford scored another 11 points in the second quarter, but East continued to battle and was only outscored by two to leave it with a 40-28 halftime deficit.
New Albany started the open the game up in the third quarter, having three different players score at least six points. It also didn’t help East any that the Bulldogs hit 17 of their 19 free-throw attempts.
Drew Hasson scored nine points in the final two quarters to end the game with 13 points and five rebounds. That wasn’t enough to stop New Albany form outscoring the Olympians by 17 points in the second half. Myers also scored a team-high 13 points for the Olympians.
“I thought our whole team played extremely hard,” Chitty said. “Everybody did a good job. We attacked the basket, which we have to do. We hit shots early. We did a good job rebounding … I can’t fault our kids’ effort.”
Max Nolting scored 11 points, and Johnson added eight for East. Luke Poindexter led the bench with eight points, also.