Braves four-game streak ends

For The Tribune

COLUMBUS

After giving up 61 points in a loss at Brownstown Central last season, Columbus East made a concerted effort to tighten its defense when the teams met again Tuesday night.

This time, the Olympians were stifiling defensively. They harassed the Braves into 8 of 47 shooting from the field in a 49-31 victory.

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“I thought we did a great job on the half-court end,” East coach Danny Brown said. “Our press kind of slowed them down. We were in position all night. A couple times we maybe didn’t close out like we can, but for the most part, we controlled the boards with our size and just did a nice job.”

The Braves (5-2), who were playing their sixth game in 13 days, saw their four-game winning streak come to an end.

“When you play as many games as we’ve played, that takes a toll on our girls,” Brownstown coach Karla Rieckers said. “Our legs aren’t where they need to be.”

The Olympians (3-1) jumped out to a 27-15 halftime lead. They built the margin to 36-22 in the final minute of the third quarter before the Braves started chipping away.

Kristen Stuckwisch made a free throw to close the third quarter, then made a basket and a 3-pointer to open the fourth to cut the lead to 36-28 with 6 minutes remaining. But after an exchange of free throws, East went to its delay game and outscored Brownstown 12-2 over the final 3 minutes.

“We competed the whole game,” Rieckers said. “I thought we battled them on every possession.”

Tayler Garland led the Braves with nine points, while Stuckwisch added seven. Ashley Schroer grabbed eight rebounds.

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Ted Schultz is sports editor for The Republic. He can be reached at tschultz@therepublic.com or 812-379-5628.