Girls Varsity Basketball
Game Summaries & Headlines.
- Game Date
- Jan 12, 2021
- OLYMPIANS: 67
BEDFORD-NORTH LAWRENCE HS: 66
Columbus East celebrates beating Bedford North Lawrence 67-66 at Columbus East, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. Paige Grider for The Republic
It was a long time coming.
The Columbus East girls basketball team hadn’t beaten Bedford North Lawrence since Jan. 19, 2011.
That all changed on Tuesday night.
The Olympians jumped out to a huge lead in the first quarter and fended off a huge charge from the Stars late in the fourth to shock Class 4A No. 2 Bedford and the rest of the Hoosier Hills Conference world with a thrilling 67-66 victory.
“It was a tremendous start by us. I don’t think we could have played a better quarter than that, and we needed that,” East coach Danny Brown said. “We’ve done this every year we play Bedford. We’re ahead of them at the end of the first quarter, and then we just fall apart. This team didn’t fall apart tonight. They came back, and you expect that from the No. 2 team in the state. We kept hanging on. We led the whole game except twice, and each time they took the lead, we came back and got big free throws, so that was huge. We played great defense. we changed our defense. I put in a new defense during the week, and it worked.”
Emotions ran high for the Olympians (10-5, 5-0) after the game, and getting their first win over the Stars (14-2, 5-1) in a decade.
“We played hard every minute, and you can see our heart and our passion when we were playing, and that’s why we were able to pull off the win,” East junior Koryn Greiwe said. “We played with heart and passion, and it was fun.”
Entering Tuesday night, the Olympians have played four of the top seven teams in the state. East had trouble getting over the hump against the top teams in the state. That all changed.
“It feels so great because the whole year, we’ve been working towards this. This has been our goal to beat Bedford. We’ve been playing top teams in the state, and we just couldn’t get over that hump, and we finally did, especially doing it in the conference,” East sophomore Saige Stahl said. “This was a major goal of ours, and the fact that we accomplished that as a team, we’re all so proud of each other and ourselves.”
Bedford couldn’t buy a basket, and coupled with turnovers, it helped East jump out to an early 9-0 lead with 3:48 left in the first quarter. A 3-pointer from Greiwe, a transition layup from Stahl and an Albany Speer bucket extended the Olympians lead to 16-0. Makena Moore finally got the Stars on the board with about 1:40 left. East led 22-3 after the opening quarter.
Bedford found a way to combat the fast pace of play by the Olympians by utilizing a full-court press. That caused some turnovers from East, and the Stars cut the deficit to 28-19 midway through the second quarter. The Olympians came back to extend the lead to 35-21, but the Stars finished out the half on a 7-4 run to make it a 39-28 East lead at the break.
Bedford got it to within 39-34 to start the third quarter, but the Olympians fended off the serious charge. However, 3-pointers from Chloe McKnight and a 3-pointer from Karsyn Norman right before the buzzer cut the lead to 51-45 heading into the fourth quarter.
The Stars took their first lead of the game at 64-63 following a 3-pointer from McKnight with around 1:50 left. Two free throws from Leah Bachmann made it 65-64 East. Irye Gomez laid in a basket underneath to retake the lead 66-65, Greiwe then hit two free throws to seal the win.
Bedford almost retook the lead, but a Gomez layup attempt bounced off the rim, and the putback attempt from Norman was no good with 12.7 seconds remaining. A missed free throw by East gave the Stars one last chance, but the Olympians stole the inbounds pass, and a simultaneous possession was called with 0.4 seconds left with the possession arrow favoring East.
“Everyone was focused before the game, and we all said that we were going to get out to a great start, and that’s exactly what we did,” Greiwe said. “We didn’t panic when they went up one. We all looked at each other, and we were like, ‘We got this.’ We were leading the whole time. We had the heart and energy, and you could just tell that the energy was on our side.”
Greiwe finished with a game-high 22 points, while Gabby Dean finished with 13, Stahl had 12 and Albany Speer added 10 for the Olympians.
East now is in the driver’s seat and controls its own destiny to claim the HHC title. Brown is confident his team won’t have a letdown game after picking up its biggest victory of the season.
“Now we have to take care of business,” Brown said. “We have New Albany (on Saturday) and Jennings County (on Jan. 21) left. We have to take care of business, and it’s all in our hands to get it done.”
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