HUNTINGTON — Columbia City’s boys basketball team lost in its rematch with Homestead in the squad’s sectional opener at Huntington North High School last Wednesday.
The Eagles finish the season 11-14 after losing to the Spartans, 60-41.
Sophomore Mitch Wilson led the Eagles with 27 points, most of which were scored in the third quarter.
The Eagles opened the game with several quick fouls, benching senior starter Trent Simmons after he picked up two fouls in the first 38 seconds of play. Losing Simmons so early threw the Eagles’ off their game.
“It got us out of our rotation,” said Columbia City head coach Brett Eberly. “We didn’t do a good job of adjusting.”
Columbia City struggled to get its offense going, picking up a 3-pointer from senior Garrett Roehling, a field goal from Michael Sievers and a free throw from Wilson for a total of six points, while Homestead piled on 16 points to take a 10-point lead.
“We came out flat and they took it to us,” Eberly said. “We weren’t ready to step up and make plays when we had to. I’m disappointed with how we started the game.”
Homestead dominated the second quarter, scoring 21 points to Columbia City’s eight, six of which came from Wilson, to make the halftime score 37-14.
Wilson was an unstoppable force in the third quarter, scoring all 15 of the Eagles’ points, but he made little ground on the Spartans, who added 14 points from four different scorers. The score was 51-29 going into the fourth quarter.
Eagle Bryce Taylor knocked down a 3-pointer in the fourth quarter, and the Eagles also had field goals from Roehling and Dillon Sheiss, along with five points from Wilson, to outscore Homestead 12-9. However, it wasn’t enough to come back, and the Eagles fell 60-41.
“It’s hard to come back against Homestead,” Eberly said.
Along with Wilson’s 27 points, Roehling scored seven, Taylor had three, Sievers tallied two points and Sheiss also had two points.
Homestead had three players in double digits: Onye Ezeakudo (12), Sam Buck (11) and Grant Raber (10).
In their previous matchup Jan. 16, Columbia City fell to Homestead 64-46.
The Eagles lose Ethan Christen, Simmons and Roehling to graduation, but several key players will return to next year’s roster.
“We have lots of players coming back,” Eberly said. “I’m really happy with the progress the underclassmen made in the past few weeks. They’re becoming good, consistent players.
Prior to the sectional game, the Eagles won three games in a row.
Homestead went on to win the sectional, beating Huntington North by one point in the championship game. The Spartans face Carmel in regional play this weekend.