Fast start sends East girls past Braves

The way Columbus East was playing early in Tuesday night’s matchup with Brownstown Central, a late-game slide wasn’t enough to hurt them.

Saige Stahl powered the Olympians to a 20-point second-quarter lead, and they cruised from there to a 61-48 victory.

“We always talk about having a good start, so coming out here and not only having a good offense, but putting pressure on them, as well, running our defense, we just had to really get at that,” Stahl said. “Defense helps us get offense, so when we got the ball on offense, we just ran our stuff and were able to get out and get a big lead.”

Stahl scored 19 of her game-high 28 points and grabbed 10 of her game-high 13 rebounds in the first half, which ended with a 39-22 East lead.

The Olympians (4-3) built the advantage to 47-26 midway through the fourth quarter before the Braves (4-2) came back to within 16. East then got the lead back to 21 at 56-35 with 7 minutes left in the game before a 13-0 Brownstown run made the score closer.

The Olympians then made 3 of 4 free throws in the final minute to finish it off.

“We just couldn’t add on when we got to 20, but we worked hard to get to that point,” Brown said. “I thought we played really well the first half and moved the ball well. We talked about, we have to do a better job of rebounding and sharing the basketball, and I thought we did that great the first half.

“We got a little loose there at the end,” Brown said. “Brownstown is a scrappy team, and they didn’t give up. They have some good shooters, and we didn’t stop their drive to the basket. We have to do a better job of that.”

Allison Craig and Maeleigh Roberts each scored 13 points for East, which plays Bollingbrook (Illinois) on Saturday at Brownsburg.

“Overall, I’m happy with the win,” Brown said. “To be where we’re at at 4-3 with our schedule, I couldn’t be more thankful.”

Columbus East 61, Brownstown Central 48

Brownstown;7;15;13;13;—;48

Columbus East;16;23;11;11;—;61

Brownstown Central (4-2): Kelsey Schneider 3 0-0 6, Harley Toppe 2 1-1 7, Kalee Borden 4 3-4 11, Maddy Hackman 4 0-012, Jo Brittain 0 0-0 0, Addison Darlage 2 0-0 4, Sophie Wischmeier 0 0-0 0, Hailey Hobson2 0-0 4, Camryn Thompson 1 0-0 2, Kinzee Dean 1 0-0 2. Totals: 19 4-5 48.

Columbus East (4-3): Jenna Guse 0 0-0 0, Kimberly Carothers 0 0-0 0, Victoria Cuhadar 0 0-0 0, Allison Craig 5 1-1 13, Maeleigh Roberts 4 1-2 13, Heidi Murphy 0 0-0 0, Saige Stahl 11 5-5 28, Brielle Stevens 2 0-0 4, Leah Bachmann 1 1-1 3, Messiah Trapp 0 0-0 0. Totals: 23 8-9 61.

3-point goals: Brownstown Central 6 (Hackman 4, Toppe 2); Columbus East 7 (Roberts 4, Craig 2, Stahl).