The way the teams were set up for Monday’s All-Area All-Star girls basketball game, it looked like the five Columbus East players and five Columbus North players would be on opposite sides.
But with East coach Danny Brown coaching the Gold squad, the Olympians’ two underclassmen had to switch to the Maroon team. That left the Maroon squad with a big advantage, and it rode that to a 68-46 victory at Columbus Christian.
“It was fun how the teams were mixed up, and I got an opportunity to play with people I don’t normally play with,” said North sophomore Annie Anderson, who scored 12 points for the Maroon. “It was a fun experience, and I’m glad I could participate.”
The girls and boys games, which are in their fourth year, featured The Republic All-Area teams. They benefited Columbus Christian senior Levi Sallee, who is recovering from a traumatic brain injury from an August 2016 car accident.
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Columbus North junior Nadia Lomax led the Maroon with 13 points.
“I think it was pretty nice getting on the floor again,” Lomax said. “It was kind of laid back. It was a lot more fun getting to play with the seniors again.”
East junior Claire Cunningham finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Maroon. Brown County’s Gracie Matlock added nine rebounds to help the team to a 55-41 advantage on the boards.
The Maroon squad, coached by Edinburgh’s Amy Schilling, committed only four turnovers, including just one in the first half.
“The team was moving the ball around and finding the open player,” Cunningham said. “I think we played well together. It was just a really great experience to play with everyone and play with your rivals and get to know them better.”
The Gold team led 8-5 midway through the first quarter following a pair of 3-pointers by East senior Addy Galarno. But the Maroon then went on an 11-0 run to take control and never looked back.
Galarno, The Republic Girls Basketball Player of the Year, led the Gold with 13 points.
“It’s obviously fun playing with all your friends again and playing against your crosstown rivals again,” Galarno said. “It’s a great opportunity to come out and play one last time.”
Jennings County junior Callie Wilder added 10 points and seven rebounds for the Gold. East senior Kristen Lyons led the Gold with nine rebounds.
“It’s always fun to play basketball,” Wilder said. “Pretty much all the girls knew each other, so it was just a lot of fun interacting with each other.”