It was a recipe for a tough opening night for the Columbus Christian girls basketball team.
First, the host Crusaders were facing Greenwood Christian Academy, an established IHSAA program. Next, in its second year of existence, Columbus Christian still is having trouble filling out all the positions, such as point guard.
The capper was an officiating crew who allowed Greenwood defenders to muscle the Crusaders’ ball-handlers every time down the court.
A steady flow of turnovers fed a Cougars’ team that notched a 59-18 victory.
“The effort was good,” Columbus Christian coach Ron Bridgewater said. “I was happy with our intensity. We were short on execution.”
Columbus Christian (0-1) started well with Rachel Warren hitting a basket in the first minute and Emily Price banking home a 3-pointer. The Crusaders had a 5-0 lead.
However, eight turnovers and three missed shots followed, allowing the Cougars to run off to a 15-7 lead by the end of the quarter.
Greenwood Christian kept the intensity up in the second quarter, pulling away to a 32-11 lead at the half.
Undaunted, the Crusaders played some tough defense in the third quarter and, even though they couldn’t match the visitors, played some of their best basketball of the night.
“I liked that coming out of the gate in the third quarter we slowed them down,” Bridgewater said. “Definitely, our defensive effort was better.”
The turnover issue is something that the Crusaders will simply have to deal with on a daily basis in practice.
“We let their defense force us to do things that we shouldn’t be trying to do,” Bridgewater said.
Although it was a painful way to open the season, Bridgewater said it was a good gauge.
“We have a long ways to go,” he said. “We have to work on sharpening our passes, and we have to work on taking care of the basketball.”
Warren led the Crusaders with seven points. Tori Robinson had five, and Price and Hannah Carlock each had three points.
Kierra Weber led Greenwood Christian with 14 points, Catherine Davis added 13, and Hannah Wright scored 11.