Columbus East made a huge fourth-quarter comeback Friday night that would fall just short.
The Olympians came back from trailing double digits in the fourth quarter to tie the game with over a minute left. Visiting East Central hit the go-ahead bucket with around 35 seconds left to send East home with a 47-45 loss on the Olympians’ senior night.
East trailed 36-25 heading into the fourth quarter. They fought all the way back to tie the game at 45-45 on a Ben Sylva basket with 1:15 left in the game. On the ensuing possession, Carson Pieczonka hit a basket and was fouled to put the Trojans up 47-45 with 35 seconds left. He missed the free throw to set the stage for a game-tying or game-winning shot.
Sylva was fouled with 3.8 seconds remaining. However, he missed the front end of a one-and-one, and the rebound went out of bounds to East Central with 0.8 seconds left. The Trojans got the inbound in to run out the time remaining.
“It’s definitely a tough loss,” East senior Zane Moravec said. “It’s exciting to see some shots go down in the fourth for us. It was good to see us make a little bit of a run, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter unless we get the win. We need to get in the win column real bad right now.”
Seniors Moravec, Sylva, Pete Coriden and Julius Dailey were honored before the game.
“It was very important,” Coriden said. “I’m glad we had a large amount of people come, and friends and family came. It was good to celebrate the progress we made.”
The Olympians (1-13) never led in the game and only had one tie in that contest that came late in the fourth quarter rally.
East Central (5-10) hit back-to-back 3-pointers to start the contest. Both teams traded baskets the rest of the way to make it a 12-6 Trojans lead after one quarter.
East Central grew the lead to double digits at 19-8 following a 7-2 run to start the second quarter. The Olympians started to gain momentum were they made some stops defensively and leading to points at the offensive end. They went on a 7-0 run that was capped off with a Kadin Lobdell no-look pass to Sylva to only trail 19-15 with about one minute left in the half. The Trojans stalled the momentum with a 3-pointer on the next possession. After a defensive stop, Dylan Maxwell went the length of the court to score a layup at the buzzer to put East Central ahead 24-15 at the half.
The Trojans extended the lead to their largest of the game at 34-21 following 3-point buckets. The Olympians looked to have some momentum following a Mason Reeves steal and basket and a Lobdell shot to cut it to 34-25, but Pieczonka hit a layup at the buzzer to make it 36-25 heading into the fourth. That set the stage for the Olympians rally.
“If we play like we did in the second half, we’ll be good for the rest of the year,” Sylva said. “We‘ve just got to put four quarters together and play that way every game.”
Sylva led East with 16 points, and Moravec added 11.
East Central 47, Columbus East 45
East Central (5-10): Pieczonka 6 0-1 15, Midlam 0 0-0 0, Maxwell 4 0-0 9, Wheat 3 5-6 1, Kuhn 1 0-0 3, Hofer 3 0-0 9, Richter 0 0-0 0. Totals: 17 5-7 47.
Columbus East (1-13): Ben Sylva 7 1-3 16, Pete Coriden 2 0-0 4, Zane Moravec 4 0-0 11, Julius Dailey 0 0-0 0, Jackson Fischvogt 0 0-0 0, Ethan Bumbalough 0 0-0 0, Kadin Lobdell 3 0-0 6, Mason Reeves 3 0-0 7, Carter Patterson 0 1-2 1. Totals: 19 2-5 45.
3-point goals: East Central 8 (Hofer 3, Pieczonka 3, Maxwell, Kuhn); Columbus East 5 (Moravec 3, Reeves, Sylva).