COLUMBIA CITY — Columbia City’s girls cruised to a comfortable win over Leo on Saturday, 56-24, starting off Northeast 8 Conference play in prime fashion.

“We were really focused on starting off 1-0 in the conference. We really needed that to get us headed in the right direction,” said head coach Amy Shearer.

The Eagles played consistently throughout the game, scoring in double digits each quarter, including an explosive, 20-point third quarter in which the girls saw their lead grow by 15.

Columbia City took a 12-5 lead in the first quarter, led by Alaina Rongos with six points. Grace Schrader led the offensive charge in the second quarter, knocking down two 3-pointers to help Columbia City to a 25-11 advantage at halftime.

The Eagles blew the game open in the third quarter. Leo scored on the opening possession of the half, but did not score again until a free throw at the 1:01 mark of the quarter. Their second field goal of the game came with 29 seconds left in the third. Columbia City’s stingy defense produced four steals in a row.

“I was very pleased with our defensive tenacity,” Shearer said. “We had a lot of pressure, forcing them to make poor decisions with the basketball and just frustrating them.”

Meanwhile, the Eagles tacked on 20 points, including nine from Rongos and seven from Carly Mabie.

Going into the fourth quarter, Columbia City held a comfortable, 45-16 advantage. Hunter Alles scored six points and Olivia Shearer three to help the girls cruise to their 56-24 win.

Rongos led the Eagles with 18 points, followed by Schrader and Shearer with 10 apiece.

After the game, Columbia City’s girls ran back out onto the floor to applaud the pep band for its spirit during their games so far this season.

“The band comes to most of our home games and they do a great job,” Shearer said. “The kids in the band are very much into the ballgame and I hear compliments all the time from opposing coaches about how good they play and what they sound like. We just appreciate them being here, showing school spirit.”