INDIANAPOLIS — Columbus East shared the ball well in Tuesday’s game at Franklin Central on its way to earning its third consecutive victory.
Franklin Central’s Isiah Morgan did all he could to give the Flashes a chance by scoring a game-high 26 points, but the Olympians’ balanced attack in the 64-58 win was too much for the home team to handle.
“I thought we battled,” East coach Brent Chitty said. “Defensively, I don’t think we got hands up on shooters. We kind of got off rotation a little bit, things we’ve got to sure up … But our guys offensively were aggressive in attack mode the whole night.”
The Olympians (11-8) executed on a handful of Drew Johnson assists and opened the game with a 5-0 lead before Franklin Central (3-16) tied it at 12 by the end of the first quarter. Morgan kept the Flashes going in the second quarter with nine points, but East also had two players who found their rhythm in the second period.
Both Thomas Myers and Matthew Frost contributed with seven second-quarter points for the Olympians. Myers scored a team-high 20 points, shooting 4 of 5 from 3-point range, and had six rebounds. Frost finished with 12 points and eight boards.
“My shot was really rolling, especially in the first half,” Myers said. “With a point guard like Drew, it’s always nice. He’ll get me wide open for my shot, so it’s easy.”
East held onto a 29-28 halftime lead, and Thomas opened the second half with another seven-point quarter to help the Olympians push the lead to 50-43 to start the fourth quarter. East led by as many as nine with 3:18 remaining before the Flashes made one final push.
Franklin Central cut the lead to six with 44 seconds left and committed a foul that sent Johnson to the free-throw line. He hit one of two before the Flashes knocked down a 3-pointer that brought the score to 60-56 with 30 seconds left. The Olympians sent Franklin Central to the free-throw line after committing a costly turnover that allowed the Flashes to pull within two points.
Franklin Central was forced to foul Johnson again, and he hit both free-throws to push the lead back to four. The Flashes failed to score on the next possession, and Johnson broke free for a fast break layup that sealed the outcome. Johnson closed the game with an eight-point fourth quarter.
“At the end we missed some bunnies and then some free throws,” Chitty said. “We’ve got to knock those down, and then it’s a little bit more comfortable.”