Ranked Tigers too much for Discoverer girls
Columbus High girls basketball committed 10 turnovers in the second quarter alone, gave up 13 points on those extra opportunities and saw the game quickly spiral out of control in Friday’s 72-34 loss to Class A Fremont.
The Discoverers, returning to the court for the first time in two weeks and a day, struggled with decisiveness on the press break and couldn’t quite keep pace with the Tigers’ fast-paced offense, while to 0-9 on the season.
Columbus was scheduled to play in the Greater Nebraska Athletic Conference tournament the previous week but was forced to practice instead when winter weather prevented travel for the conference schools out west.
More competition may have helped, but against perhaps the best opponent on the schedule, the odds were stacked against a Columbus team forced to jump back into competition against a squad that forces constant mistakes.
“They’re pretty good. That’s probably the best team on our schedule, not just in the second half but on the whole schedule,” Columbus coach Dave Licari said. “Coming off break and seeing somebody like that who’s long and traps really well, we practiced against it for a week, and you know it’s coming, but it’s hard to simulate.”
Trouble was evident early when Fremont started with a 7-0 lead that forced a Columbus timeout after a turnover led to a Tiger 3-pointer barely two minutes gone in the game.
The teams traded buckets before Fremont finished the first frame scoring eight of the final 11 points.
Columbus had committed four turnovers and given away five points on those miscues, but it was about to get a lot worse.
After Jaleigh Adams-Tuls scored in the paint to bring the Discoverers within 25-13, the Fremont press led to 14 straight points. Nine in a row were scored after stolen passes or tipped balls.
An Adams-Tuls free throw finally put the run to an end but two more turnovers and four points sent the teams into the locker room with Fremont holding a commanding 43-14 advantage.
It grew to 67-26 in the third quarter when the running clock came into effect.
For as bad as a 38-point loss can be, Licari found some positives in his team’s performance, specifically offensively.
Columbus was much better with the ball early in the third quarter, and, for the most part, when the Discoverers weren’t giving it away, they were patient with finding open shots.
“To me, there was a reason the shots were going in (in the third quarter), and that was because we were working so much harder on the offensive end,” he said. “I loved how we came out to start the third. Hopefully, the girls can see that against a really good team.”
Nate Tenopir is the sports editor of The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.