FLOYDS KNOBS — Columbus East hung tough with Class 4A No. 4-ranked Floyd Central for the first half of Wednesday night’s boys basketball game, but too many turnovers and not enough trips to the free-throw line for the Olympians helped the Highlanders pull away in the second half of the regular-season finale.
The first two quarters featured six lead changes and two ties and ended with the teams tied at 28. But Floyd Central stayed out in front for the remaining two quarters on its way to a 66-48 win for its first outright Hoosier Hills Conference title since 1986.
“We’ve been playing hard,” East coach Brent Chitty said. “That score won’t show it now, but we’ve been playing hard, and then in the third quarter, we just kind of let it slip away from us.”
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Thomas Myers missed some quality playing time in the first half after picking up two fouls in less than two minutes, but Matt Frost helped keep the Olympians (12-10, 3-4) in the game with a solid first 16 minutes. He scored 12 of his team-high 17 points in the first half, which allowed East to be even with the Highlanders (22-1, 7-0) at halftime.
Luke Gohmann hit five 3-pointers for Floyd Central, but the most significant one was a long-range 3-point buzzer-beater that got the Floyd Central crowd back in the game to end the third quarter. It also didn’t help that the Olympians had five third-quarter turnovers.
Gohmann’s 3-pointer put the Highlanders up by eight points to start the fourth quarter, and they went on a 7-0 run to push the led to 54-39. East tried to battle its way back into the game, but 12 points was as close as it would come.
Chitty said the Olympians tried to get to the free-throw line, but East could only manage to shoot four free throws to Floyd Central’s 15.
“We were trying to attack at the foul line, but we just couldn’t get there,” Chitty said. “But that’s something that we’ll take getting ready to go into the sectional. We’ll work on being strong with the ball attacking the basket … you learn something from every game.”