COLUMBIA CITY — Columbia City’s girls bounced back from dropping a pair of games last week to beat Bishop Dwenger on Nov. 27, 54-44.
The Eagles overcame a first-half deficit to power past the hosts. Columbia City trailed 17-11 at the end of the first quarter and 32-24 at halftime, but had an explosive second half, outscoring Dwenger 18-9 in the third quarter and 12-3 in the fourth.
The girls were led by freshman Bekah Marshall with 17 points and Carly Mabie, also with 17 points. Columbia City shot 88 percent from the free throw line, including 3-for-3 by Marshall.
The Eagles had seven turnovers compared to Dwenger’s 14, and collected 24 rebounds, led by Brayden Lickey with seven. Mabie tallied four steals.
Girls drop pair of games
Goshen’s girls put a halt to Columbia City’s three-game win streak last week, beating the Eagles in a close, 43-41 game.
A low-scoring first half set the stage for a second-half battle between the two teams.
Columbia City only scored six points in the first quarter and nine in the second, and Goshen scored nine points in the first quarter and six in the second, leaving the game tied at 15 at halftime.
Columbia City, which was used to playing fast-paced games against Whitko, Snider and Marion, needed to acclimate to the slower-paced Goshen team.
“They’re content to sit back in a zone and stretch it out,” CC head coach Amy Shearer said. “It took us awhile to get comfortable and execute an offense in the first half.”
The tempo picked up a little in the third quarter, with Goshen scoring 15 points to Columbia City’s 13 to make the score 30-28 going into the fourth quarter.
Carly Mabie was the driving force that led Columbia City, with tenacious defense that forced turnovers and scoring 17 second-half points, including 11-for-11 from the free-throw line.
“She was a big spark plug for us in the second half,” Shearer said. “She did a good job bringing intensity.”
Alaina Rongos and Olivia Shearer, who are often leading scorers for Columbia City, struggled offensively, scoring seven points apiece. Both players found themselves in foul trouble — Shearer ended the game with four fouls and Rongos fouled out toward the end of the game.
Rongos opened the fourth quarter with a basket to tie the game at 30. Goshen took back the lead, but Mabie kept fighting, connecting with a three-point play and hitting a long two-pointer to make the score 39-37 with two minutes to play.
Goshen made a free throw and had a three-point play of its own to take a 41-39 lead with 59 seconds left.
Shearer tied the game at 41 with 45 seconds left, but Goshen made a basket with 13.7 seconds left. The Eagles were unable to respond, at Columbia City fell by two.
Though Rebekah Marshall didn’t add any points to the scoreboard, she helped fill the gap left by Rongos when she fouled out in the fourth quarter. Marshall, a freshman, saw the most varsity playing time of her young high school career against Goshen.
“She did a good job coming in — rebounding, executing, setting good screens — I’m happy with how she’s played,” Shearer said.
Marshall led the team in rebounds with five and had a fourth-quarter block.
Though the Eagles didn’t come away with the win, it wasn’t for lack of effort.
“I’m never going to fault them for effort or energy,” Shearer said. “They come to play every night. We just have to make sure we’re using our heads a little more and understanding what needs to happen, along with our intensity. Playing hard and not playing smart doesn’t necessarily win games.”
The Eagles lost a six-point game to Bishop Luers on Nov. 24, 56-50.
Columbia City gave up a 25-17 halftime lead after a difficult third quarter.
Luers outscored the Eagles 20-6 in the third, and the teams each scored an even 19 points in the fourth.
Columbia City continued to shoot well from the free-throw line, going 8-for-8, and collected 27 rebounds compared to Luers’ 12. However, the Eagles tallied 20 turnovers compared to Luers’ nine.
Marshall led the team in scoring with 12 points, followed by Shearer with 11 and Gabby Fry with 10. Mabie had seven points.
Fry led the team in rebounds with nine and Mabie tallied four assists.