BLOOMINGTON — Columbus East head coach Danny Brown knew that Bloomington South was a strong shooting team going into Tuesday night’s matchup between East and host Bloomington South.
The Panthers delivered, not only from the field but on defense, holding East to only 10 first half points on their way to a 59-35 victory against the Olympians.
Brown attributed the loss mainly to the lack of energy his team brought to the floor.
“We brought no energy to the game tonight,” Brown said. “We had a couple of players who were not feeling well, however that is no excuse.
“We knew they were good shooters coming in, and everything we tried defensively just did not work.”
Tough, quick paced defense dictated the first half for both teams, and the game went into halftime with East down 19-10.
However, the Panthers began to knock down jumpers in the second half, and East could not get much going on the offensive end while it continued to struggle on defense against South’s quick offensive pace.
East senior Mikala Lomax notched her third foul in the third quarter, while junior Molly Macy got called for her fourth early in the fourth quarter.
“I have to give Bloomington South a lot of credit,” said Brown of the Panthers’ up-tempo style and strong outside shooting.
“They play a quick game, and we have gotten away from our up-tempo game. That is something we need to get back to. We need to get back to who we are.”
South junior Lauren Whitlatch led the Panthers on an 11-2 run at the beginning of the fourth quarter to put the Panthers up 49-28 and take the game out of reach for East.
Whitlatch led all scorers with 20 points.
East junior Allyson Bunch led the Olympians with 12 points, followed by Audrey Wetzel, Courtney Hunter, Macy and Sarah Loesch each with four points.
South senior Lexi Ingram had three 3-point goals for the Panthers, finishing with 16 points total, while junior Mackenzie McNew added 12.
East will host its senior night against Martinsville on Thursday where it will honor lone senior Lomax.
“We absolutely need to bring more energy against Martinsville at home on Thursday,” Brown said. “It’s Mikala’s senior night, and we need to get this one, not only for her but for us.”