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After losing to their tourney nemesis the past two years in the Rumble on the River, the Columbus East Olympians were hoping that third time was the charm as they faced off against Fishers in Saturday’s championship game.
Unfortunately, things do not go as planned as they fell to Fishers in a low scoring 44-33 game.
The Olympians struggled offensively to start the game, as they only scored two points in first quarter, and defensively struggled throughout the game in terms of boxing out after missed baskets.
“We just couldn’t find the basket,” Olympians coach Danny Brown said. “You got to give Fishers credit defensively. We had some good looks, but Fishers contested every one of those shots.”
Giving up second-chance points might ultimately have decided the game for East.
“Not boxing out definitely did not help us tonight,” Audrey Wetzel said. “They got to (the right position) first, and they were just too strong to overpower them and get back in front.”
“We just didn’t have the intensity to start the game like we did in our previous games,” East senior Allyson Bunch said. “We have to make sure we do not allow second chance points.”
The offensive struggles for the Olympians continued into the second quarter as well, as they were down 22-7 at halftime. The third quarter was when the Olympians started to find their stride, as they forced Fishers into turnovers defensively and outscored Fishers 14-4 in the third quarter to come within 26-21 after three quarters.
“Being down by 15 at halftime, it was a big hole to come back from against a quality team,” Brown said. “The effort we put on in the second half was unbelievable. We executed very well and the girls never gave up in the ballgame.”
“After halftime, we just switched around our offense because we got bunched up together and couldn’t get any looks to start out,” Bunch said, “We just went to spreading out the floor more and that proved to be effective, especially in the third quarter.”
Down only five going into the final quarter, East just couldn’t get any closer as Fishers knocked down its free throws in the stretch run.
Bunch had 17 points to lead the Olympians. Wetzel added in 6 points.
At the end of the game, both Bunch and Wetzel were named to the Rumble on the River All-Tournament team.
Earlier in the semifinals, the Olympians defeated McCutcheon 44-34 in a feisty game. In the fourth quarter, after the game was out of reach, an altercation occurred between Olympians starter Courtney Hunter and Gabby Gary of McCutcheon, which forced them both to be ejected from the game. By rule, Hunter could not dress for title game.
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