Heading into the match-up against Jennings County on Thursday night at East, Olympians head coach Danny Brown knew the Panthers would not go down without a fight.
The Olympians were well prepared.
After being up by only one at halftime, East stormed out of the locker room, outscoring Jennings County 18-9 in the third quarter on its way to a 54-46 win.
The win takes Brown to 10-0 in his career against his alma mater and former high school squad.
East started out slow, falling to a 9-3 deficit midway through the first quarter and notching six team fouls in the first quarter alone.
However, the Olympians began to adjust in the second quarter, taking their first lead of the game with three minutes to go in the half on a field goal from East junior Allyson Bunch.
East appeared to be fully adjusted to Jennings County’s zone defense in the third quarter, forcing some crucial early turnovers and turning those into points.
East junior Katie Ritenour knocked down the team’s first 3-point goal of the game at the end of the third, followed by two fast break points off a steal by junior Courtney Hunter, putting the Olympians up 35-27.
East (8-7 overall, 2-3) handled the Panthers (5-10, 1-4) with solid free-throw shooting and good ball control late in the contest.
Brown said his team strives for balanced scoring, which is what carried the Olympians to the final buzzer.
Bunch had 11 of her 14 points in the first half, and although she was held to only three points in the second half, teammates Audrey Wetzel and Mikala Lomax came through for the Olympians.
Lomax had nine points in the second half, finishing with 14 for East, while Wetzel had eight of her nine points in the second half.
Hunter put up seven of her nine points in the second half.
Ritenour had five points for East, while Sarah Loesch had two and Molly Macy added one.
Kirsten Biggs led Jennings County in scoring with 15 points, followed by Halea Petro with nine and Katie Wilson with eight.