WITH 17 days to stew following its first loss of the season, the Columbus East boys basketball team was anxious to take out its frustrations on somebody else.
The Olympians did that Friday night in rolling to an 86-47 win against Franklin County in a game that wasn’t as close as the score indicated. East led 78-33 after three quarters before letting off the gas in the final period.
“We had good practices these past two days, and we were just ready to play since we hadn’t played in a while,” said Zach Martindale, who led the Olympians with 19 points. “We’ve been getting after each other since we haven’t been been able to play other teams in awhile. It’s been intense.”
East (5-1) hadn’t played since a Dec. 18 loss at Columbus North. The Olympians were supposed to play Ben Davis and Lawrence Central this past week at LC but were unable to make it because of the weather.
“We were all looking forward to playing in that tournament,” Martindale said. “It was just a bummer because the snow canceled us.”
Franklin County (2-6) was within 22-16 early in the second quarter when East went on a 32-3 run to pull away.
“We had too many days off,” East coach Brent Chitty said. “It was just unfortunate we didn’t get to play in that tournament. There was just a lot of rust, but I thought we knocked it off, and we took care of business. But still we know there are things we want to get better at.”
Chitty used his starters for only the first four minutes of the first three quarters and the first minute-and-a-half of the fourth period. He used his second five to close each of the first three quarters, and they extended the lead each time.
“We feel we have guys in any given situation that we feel comfortable playing,” Chitty said. “We have 10 guys that we think can play varsity basketball, and we put them in there.”
Bryce Lienhoop tallied 14 points and nine rebounds to lead the Olympians to a 33-23 advantage on the boards. Jesse Shea added 11 points off the bench, while Connor Umphress and Connor Jensen each added eight off the bench.
East forced 23 Wildcat turnovers.
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