In doubt throughout, Columbus East’s matchup with highly ranked Brownstown was not decided until the final buzzer had sounded Thursday night.
At the very end, East’s attempt to force overtime failed, and the Class 3A fifth-ranked Braves hung on to defeat the host Olympians 57-54.
“We beat a very good team here tonight,” Brownstown coach Dave Benter said. “We have a lot of respect for them.”
The Braves (17-1), whose only loss came in late December to Class A third-ranked Barr-Reeve, grabbed the lead for good at the 50-second mark of the final quarter on a field goal by Brett McCory. Trailing 55-54, East called a timeout with 33 seconds left and then turned the ball over 17 seconds later.
Forced to foul, the Olympians (11-4) did so three times before forcing Brownstown to the foul line. Then, Skylar Thompson’s two free throws with 10 seconds remaining settled the final score.
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