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East girls force 40 turnovers, top Howe

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INDIANAPOLIS — Despite playing for the first time in 13 days, the Columbus East girls basketball team didn’t appear to show any signs of rust Wednesday night.

The Olympians put up a season-high point total and forced 40 turnovers in rolling to an 87-24 win at Indianapolis Howe.

“We’ve had almost two weeks off,” East coach Danny Brown said. “The kids were anxious to play. We need to work on our depth, and I think we got some kids a lot of playing time tonight.”

All 11 Olympians got in on the action. Each scored at least two points and grabbed at least one rebound. Seven players scored at least eight points.

But the biggest boost for East (3-1) might have been the return to the court of Katie Ritenour. The junior guard tore an ACL in early June and wasn’t expected back until January, but she was cleared to play this past week.

“She got cleared about a month before we thought she would,” Brown said. “It was nice to see Katie back in there. She needs to get in basketball shape, but it was just nice to see her on the floor.”

Ritenour, who started practicing this past week, hit a pair of 3-pointers and finished with eight points.

“Being out for six months, it feels good to be back on the court with your team,” Ritenour said. “It was a struggle at first, but it gets easier day by day.”

Mikala Lomax scored nine first-quarter points, and the Hornets (0-3) committed 13 turnovers in the opening period, as the Olympians raced to a 29-7 lead. They built the margin to 39-7 at halftime and led 54-9 midway through the third quarter.

“I thought the first quarter was our best by far because we’ve been working on our presses, and we were able to do that,” Brown said. “After that, we just called off the dogs and concentrated on playing man-to-man.”

Freshman Audrey Wetzel led East with 13 points and eight rebounds. Molly Macy came off the bench to record 12 points and eight steals, while Lomax finished with 11 points, and Bryn Eudy scored all 10 of her points in the second half. Sarah Loesch had eight points, and Courtney Hunter tallied eight points, seven assists and seven steals.

“We’re just trying to adjust still to a few new things, but I’m happy with the way they played,” Ritenour said.

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