Franklin fends off East comeback attempt

Mason Reeves

After giving up 71 points in a lopsided defeat at Bedford North Lawrence on Friday, Columbus East made it a point to have a much better defensive effort on Saturday.

The Olympians did that by holding a high-scoring Franklin team to 53. Unfortunately for East, however, their comeback attempt came up just a little short in a 53-46 defeat.

“I’m proud of our defense,” East coach Perry Nash said. “What we’re trying to get to is a pressure man-to-man team and take pride in how physical we’re going to be in our ability to lock people down. We got down, but I thought our man defense brought us back.”

The Grizzly Cubs (5-1) led by as many as 12 in the third quarter and still led 39-30 before Keaton Lawson and Mason Reeves hit 3-pointers to cut the lead to 40-36 going into the fourth.

A 3-pointer by Jack Fischvogt brought the Olympians (2-3) within 42-41 with 6 minutes remaining. After an exchange of baskets, East had a few chances to take the lead, but committed back-to-back turnovers around a Franklin free throw, and then the Grizzly Cubs’ Wyatt Nickleson buried a 3-pointer to push the lead to 48-43 with 1:27 left.

From there, Franklin made 5 of 6 free throws in the final 1:07 to put it away.

“We were there in a one-possession game,” Nash said. “I hate to say we came up short today, but I’m proud of our effort. This is a really tough (Franklin) team. It might have been the toughest team we’ve faced all year, and we really dug in and started to play the way that we want to play basketball.”

The Olympians hit their first five 3-pointers in the second half to get back in the game after trainling 28-17 at the break.

“We try to take inside-out 3s, and not only do we have guys hitting those shots, a lot of times, we have our sophomores with the ball in the paint, and I thought Keaton and Carter (Patterson) did a much better job of getting the ball out of that paint when people collapsed on them,” Nash said.

Reeves finished with 18 points to lead East. Lawson scored eight points, and Fischvogt added seven points and eight rebounds.

Franklin 53, Columbus East 46


Columbus East;13;4;19;10;—;46

Franklin (5-1): Ryder Street 3 3-4 9, Wyatt Nickleson 3 2-2 11, Micah Davis 7 5-10 20, Grant Hunter 0 2-2 2, Jayden Razor 2 0-0 5, Eli Zahm 0 0-0 0, Kolt Nelson 3 0-0 6. Totals: 18 12-18 53.

Columbus East (2-3): Mason Reeves 7 0-0 18, Anthony Cowan 0 0-0 0, Danny Coriden 0 1-2 1, Jack Fischvogt 2 2-2 7, Ethan Bumbalough 0 1-2 1, Keaton Lawson 3 1-2 8, Alex Duncan 3 0-3 6, Carter Patterson 2 1-2 5. Totals: 17 6-13 46.

3-point goals: Franklin 4 (Nickelson 3, Davis); Columbus East 6 (Reeves 4, Fischvogt, Lawson).